(Bastrop, LA) Who says “the grass is always greener on the other side” – not Tom Carpenter whose business is dedicated to making sure their turf is the greenest around. Carpenter founded Bayou Bend Turfgrass in Bastrop, LA in 1973 at a time when others thought his vision of a sod and turf company in Morehouse Parish was just a pipe dream.
More than four decades later, Tom’s dream is a reality. As you drive along U.S. Highway 165 south of Bastrop, you’ll see Tom’s life work on display at the Bayou Bend Golf Course, a 9-hole golf course carpeted with Bayou Bend’s luscious green turf. The golf course is owned by Carpenter and serves a dual purpose to demonstrate and market the company’s turf.
Tom’s business evolved over the years. Starting out as Fine Turf in 1973, the company grew into the Bayou Bend Nursery in 1984. It later began marketing turf as Bayou Bend Turfgrass, utilizing a sprigging system for golf courses and other sport surfaces. Today, Bayou Bend Turfgrass sells to an impressive list of clients, including top-rated and nationally recognized golf courses.
Carpenter’s entrepreneurial accomplishments were honored at the Morehouse Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) luncheon on October 11, 2016. Kay King, CEO of MEDCO, awarded Carpenter the 2016 Economic Development Award, which honors successful businesses that exhibit vision and innovation while bringing economic value to the community.
Carpenter has been instrumental in establishing the sod and turf industry in Morehouse Parish and has became a mentor for others in the area. Today there are three Morehouse Parish businesses listed on the Louisiana Association of Turfgrass.
As with many successful farming operations, the business is a family affair. Tom has been teaching his sons Gabe and Michael the sod and turf business since they were young. The Carpenters are not only growing turfgrass but a future generation of entrepreneurs who understand that the grass is not always greener on the other side.