Leslie Turk

Taylors International unveils new corporate office

by Leslie Turk

Taylors International Services Inc. is unveiling its new corporate headquarters at 2301 S. College Extension today with a grand opening celebration that will be attended by many longtime clients. Founded in 1996 as a small offshore catering company serving the Gulf of Mexico, Taylors has grown to provide catering and support services to clients worldwide.

President and CEO Butch Darce says the company's 2007 revenues exceeded $65 million. "The good Lord willing, we hope to get to $125 million by the end of 08," says Darce, a Morgan City native who has lived in Lafayette since 1985.

Taylors, which previously leased office space on Rue Beauregard, invested a total of $2.5 million in its 6-acre Lafayette headquarters site, which has 8,700 square feet of office space and a 10,000-square-foot warehouse. Darce's partners are Jamie Tarpley, Sandy Goodman and Jon Murphy.

About 70 percent of Taylors International's work is in the Gulf of Mexico. "The Gulf of Mexico, at the moment, is our fastest-growing [segment]," says Murphy, the company's chief operating officer. In addition to its full menu of catering and support services, Taylors offers housekeeping, laundry, janitorial, transport, maintenance, security, pest control and entertainment services. Darce says the company recently landed a new Gulf of Mexico contract to feed 600 people three meals a day, seven days a week. "It could last three to six years," he says, declining to identify the client at this time. "It's all related to Hurricane Katrina. I would say a large portion is repair, bringing projects back."

Taylors also owns Phoenix Hospitality Management and JFP Services, both of which provide land-based services. The company has local contracts with Wal-Mart to feed employees at its Opelousas distribution facility and with PHI. It also operates in Iraq, where it has government contracts to feed private contractors working to rebuild the country, and will soon be working in Afghanistan.

The company recently hired Pat Mould as executive chef. In addition to devising the catering company's menus, Mould is implementing a training program and overseeing development of a test kitchen at the corporate site. Taylors has only developed 2.5 of its 6 acres on South College Extension; the remaining 3.5 acres will be used for the test kitchen and future expansion.

Taylors employs 28 people at its Lafayette office and another 360 out of Lafayette for its offshore services. Additionally, it has 130 employees in Iraq and 40 at a land camp in Arizona.