Our Story

Our Company Story: How HoneyDoMen Came to Be

My name is Darrell Babboni, and I am the founder, president and CEO of HoneyDoMen. I was born right here in Westchester County NY in 1979. I graduated from Somers High school in 96', got a degree in the Performing Arts and in 2001 decided to officially license, insure and incorporate Honey-Do-Men. The three questions I get asked the most is, "What does Honey Do Men" mean?", "Where did you come up with the name Honey-Do-Men?", and "Is HoneyDoMen a franchise?" Well there is the short version, the long version, and the one line answer. I will start with the quick and the fast. "Honey Do Men" comes from a phrase used a lot by wives who put together lists for their husbands to do around the house, the "Honey-Do-List" or "Honey Do This, Honey Do That". As for who came up with the name for our company, that would be my mom. In 1997 she suggested the name HoneyDoMen, and it has stuck ever since. As for the franchise thing, no, it's not a franchise. All the trucks and signs, the ads and the articles, all fall under one roof. For better or worse, the buck stops here.

The Background of the owner and CEO, Darrell Babboni:

Before I can really get into the story of how HoneyDoMen came to be, I need to give you a little background on who I am. I was born and raised in Somers NY, my parents were divorced when I was three, dad disappeared when I was five, and we had little to no money. We couldn't afford to pay someone to fix things around the house, so I had to learn. Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, helped to put food on the table when we couldn't and the men in the church helped fill a father's role in my life when mine couldn't. I thank God for those people and for the mother he gave me. It was because of them and my mother who instilled the ethics, values and morals that help drive me and this company to where it is today. I thank God for that and for my wife and my two beautiful children.

Because we couldn't afford to pay people to fix things, I had to try myself. I probably broke more things than I fixed and made my mom cry more than I did make her laugh, but that is how a kid learns. By the time I was 12 years old I was already knocking doors asking neighbors if they needed their grass cut, driveways shoveled or hedges clipped. By the time I hit high school, I hooked up with a company called the "Somer's Job Mart" which was run by one of the student's parents, Bethany Serrano, which matched up high school kids with local homeowners looking for things like a kid with a strong back and arms to lift and move things and do manual labor around the house. By the time I hit college I was starting to build my own client base and buying my own tools. I would work for anyone that needed anything done. Whether it was babysitting or washing windows, fixing a broken door or painting a railing, I was a Handyman for Hire. It was then that I got a call from my mom saying, "You're a Honey Do". I didn't know what that meant, but after she explained it, it made perfect sense. All my customers were women whose husbands either worked in the city; commuted all day or just weren't handy. Someone had to take care of the Honey-Do-List. From then on I was Darrell Babboni of The Honey-Do-Men, The Handyman Extraordinaire, and the name stuck.

I graduated from Westchester Community College in 1998 with an associated degree in the performing arts and a pretty steady and loyal customer base. Although I dabbled in the arts a little, there is a big difference between doing it as a hobby and depending on it to put food on the table. Construction always paid the bills, I was good at it and I loved it with all my heart, and still do. I don't know many people that can get up day after day and say, "I love my job". I do.

Company Story:

I would say the story has to start back in the late 90's. I was working out of my Honda Civic DX stripped down hatchback with the seats folded down, a milk crate full of tools, a back pack blower, and a folding ladder. I was living with and working out of my mom's house using her computer. I had a ladder strapped to the roof of the car, but no ladder rack because I couldn't afford the $200 to buy one.

It was in the fall of 2001 that I was up on a roof pointing a guy's chimney when I looked down and saw that his gutters needed to be cleaned. I told him "You know, for $50 I can clean your gutters". He said no, but I got to thinking, "I bet a lot of people would pay $50 to have their gutters cleaned". So, later that week I went to the Penny Saver in Yorktown NY and took out an ad, "$50 to clean your gutters, any house with a walkable roof". I got about 20 calls, sold all 20 jobs. So the next week I went and took out another add, got another 20 calls, sold another 20 job…and then thought, Hmmm, this wasn't just a good idea, it was good business. So over the next year or so I started phasing out the handyman part of my business and focusing sticky on gutters.

Over the next 5 years I hired more people, bought more trucks, started building the office staff and started winning awards. I found the best Gutter guys were Roofers. They would get off the ladder and work from the roof. The jobs went faster and were more profitable. The problem with roofers is that its' something that is in your blood and so the new staff pushed for us to go into roofing. Finely in 2005 I caved and said, "If we are going to do this than we are going to go all the way and do it right just like we did with the gutters".

I then contacted Pete Smyth, the regional rep for GAF, the largest roofing manufacture in the United States and set up a meeting. From that meeting I found out about the Master Elite program which was an invitation only program for the top 3% of roofers across the country. Will it was all or nothing, so I kept in touch with Pete and he kept an eye on us till 2 years later we got the invitations. Since then, we never looked back and are now on track to win almost every award you can think off.

In 2010, after reaching the top of that industry I decided to back into Handyman work, my first true love. Since then we have dabbled in solar, and for 2014, started a General Contracting Division to the company. We now can pretty much fix, repair, install, or replace almost anything on your home.

There are several spin off stories, like when I also worked at Home Depot, the United States Census Bureau and the USPS as a mail carrier. What happened with the performing arts and do I still perform today. Stories about the people and organizations we donate to and the ways we give back to the community, like the HoneyDoMen Entrepreneurial Scholarship, Holiday Miracle, and our Good Samaritan Truck and more. ..Maybe I will start a blog on it or write a book one day.

Special Thanks:

Not only to my mom and to my Church, but to:

Bob Benjamin : My first business partner and best friend
Johnny Layola: A God fearing man that taught me it was ok to bring the values and moral I learned at church with me to work.

Garry Kull : The first business man I really ever knew. A man who was inspirational to me as a young man, as a spiritual leader, a father figure, and a business mentor. Truly inspired by god to be in my life at that time.

Billy Giles : My first insurance agent who also became a dear friend. One might say the real true story of how HoneyDoMen came to be started at his desk in 1996 when a very young and naive kid walked in off the street, sat at his desk, looked him straight in the eye and said "I want to start a company, what do I need to do?"

If you would like to know more about Honey Do Men and its founder Darrell Babboni, please click here to read his blog.