Hacks and scrubs are everywhere....we have plenty here as well. We do have latino owned companies, but they don't get the customers that want a great lawn. The people who are cheap hire them. Knowing hort stuff(I have an AS in Hort) can get you far with customers. For example, we have had freezes here the last 3 years and our Coconut palms took a beating and many died. I picked up a big account last August in which the homeowner had a latino owned company who hacked everything back, scalped the lawn,etc. She lost 6 coconuts after a freeze. I informed her of getting the palms sprayed with a copper fungicide after this years freeze. Juan and Pablo don't have that knowledge, nor would they care to inform the client. The problem with Florida is that everyone wants the exotic plants, palms,etc. and our climate can screw a lot of stuff up and most companies around here suck.
I got off track there. Do you have any accounts in La Jolla? That is a beautiful and upscale spot.
I think with the right attitude, hard work, and knowledge, you can do well anywhere. I talk to all of my customers so I have a good relationship with them, they trust me, and like my work. Juan and Pablo more than likely can't talk to the customers either.
Another interesting thing I noticed was that the Queen Palms in Cal look different than ours here in Florida(they are everywhere here).