MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Butler County’s newest mower and outdoor power equipment sales and service center recently opened just north of Middletown.

Taylor Equipment Sales & Service deals in zero-turn, garden and push-behind mowers and outdoor power equipment from names like Spartan, Snapper, Mikita and Honda.

Owner Derrick Taylor, who also owns Integrity Lawn Care & Snow Removal, said he purchased the property 2 years ago without knowing how he would use it. After seeing Spartan mowers in action at a lawn care expo, he was so impressed enough by the design, features and price that he decided to open a business that would sell their products and others.

Constructed in 1931, the concrete block commercial building previously served as an auction house, then became various small businesses including a chainsaw repair business and a lawn mower repair business before sitting vacant for nearly seven years with “little to no activity,” Taylor said.

Sprucing up the business involved more than a fresh coat of paint. Taylor had the side of the structure painted with an American flag, bald eagle and the words “God Bless America.”

Taylor Equipment Sales & Service employs three staffers, two of whom help with repairs and one who handles sales, inventory and parts. Taylor said he does not believe there is enough integrity or accountability in the industry when it comes to customer service and “trying to put the customer first.”

“We go the extra mile,” he said. “I’m sure everybody says it, but not everybody means it.”

Taylor said the trade show he attended made him believe Spartan mowers would be “a great asset to this area.”

“We love the mower and we wanted to own one for our own trailer, so here I am,” he said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Taylor, who has been in the landscaping business for 13 years, said taking a zero-turn Spartan mower for a spin on a customer’s sloping property last Friday left him even more impressed by the brand.

“They told me they had a little hill and when I saw it, I was intimidated,” he said.

Telling the customer there was no other brand he would rely on to handle such an incline, he volunteered to try it out himself there before the customer did. He completed the mowing without the mower sliding at all.