What began as one man's small business more than 100 years ago is now a staple in Louisiana's oil and gas industry as a wholesale fuel and lubricant distributor that services retail, industrial, commercial and government customers. Through its years of success in an ever-changing industry, what has always remained is Guillory Oil's commitment to providing incredible service to its family of consumers, as well as its employees and community.
In fact, Guillory Oil's commitment to both people and the industry is why it has been recognized repeatedly by Chevron and Valero. Valero honored the company with the CTE Achievement Award in 2017. That same year, Chevron named Guillory Oil as a Regal Class Marketer, an honor that was earned again in 2018, 2019 and 2020. As a Regal Class Marketer, Guillory Oil is recognized for its top performance in customer service, site execution and business growth. In addition, the company has also been honored with the Gold Level in Chevron's Customer First Mystery Shop Program.
Continuing Guillory Oil's history of excellence is a priority of Michael Guillory, who purchased the family company from his father, Stephen, in 2017. In addition to helping the company achieve special recognition from Valero and Chevron, Michael is working to expand the company's dealer and convenience store operations. In December 2019, Guillory Oil purchased and began operating the Chevron station at 600 E. Kaliste Saloom Rd. in Lafayette. The company is in the process of purchasing a station on E. Broussard in Lafayette, which Guillory Oil will also operate. In addition to these projects, the company is working to demolish and completely rebuild their site on Ambassador Caffery Parkway, also in Lafayette. Michael’s goal for Guillory Oil is to have 20-25 company owned sites, which will also include a second office facility.
For Michael, his company is about much more than business; it is about people, too.
"The men who came before me were men of their word, committing to a business deal with a handshake," Michael said. "As we continue to grow, it's important that we maintain the values of a small company, which means caring about our customers, our employees and our community."
Michael remains committed to and active in the oil and gas industry. He currently serves as Chairman of the Motor Fuels Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Advisory Board and is president of the Louisiana Oil Marketers & Convenience Store Association. The Association consists of more than 250 members who own, operate or supply over 3,000 retail motor fuel and car wash outlets in the state selling combined 4 billion gallons of motor fuel annually. The association's functions include tracking ever-changing laws that regulate the industry and representing the industry and its members in political matters.
Guillory Oil's continued growth has been built on more than 100 years of loyal customers, hardworking employees and a dedicated family that has worked through an ever-changing industry.
Eloi Guillory founded in 1914 what would later become Guillory Oil. His business provided kerosene and Red Top axle grease at a time when railroads and wagons were the standard form of transportation, and his deals were sealed with a handshake. Just 21 years later, Eloi's son J. Dudley Guillory led the company to become the first Gulf Bulk Oil Distributor in Eunice at a time when gasoline consumption was skyrocketing as more and more individuals purchased automobiles. His wife, Suzanne Tate Guillory, oversaw the business in Eunice while J. Dudley served his country during World War II in the U.S. Navy.
The world and industry rapidly changed between J. Dudley's start as a leader and 1970, when his son Stephen "Stebo" Guillory joined Guillory Oil. There was a time when gas pumps were hand-operated and manually cleaned. Workmen used rags and vinegar to remove lead built up on the glass tanks that topped gas pumps. Instead of using motors to move fuel from a truck into overhead tanks, ladders and 5-gallon buckets were utilized. One man would draw fuel in a bucket, pass it to a coworker perched on a ladder and that person would pour the fuel into the tank.
By the time Stephen joined the company, Guillory Oil was dealing in both gasoline and diesel. Gasoline was selling for 26 cents per gallon while diesel was sold for 6 cents per gallon. Moving 100,000 gallons within 30 calendar days was considered a good month. Today, the company moves more than 4 million gallons per month.
When Stephen purchased the business in 1985 from his retiring father, he grew Guillory Oil by expanding on the number of dealer operated sites. As he carried on his family's legacy, he sometimes uncovered pieces of its past. When the company's former warehouse and office building were being demolished, Stephen discovered the business' original $1,000 bank note. It was signed by his grandfather, Eloi, and his great-grandfather, Alexandre’ Miller.
Today, Michael Guillory, owns his family's company, but he was an employee first, working as a cashier in one of the family's convenience stores and as a truck driver delivering fuel. He eventually decided that he wanted to help lead Guillory Oil into the future. After graduating from University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a business management degree in 2005, Michael joined the company. At the time, the Guillory Oil team consisted of five full-time employees. Since, the company has grown to include 40 employees and anticipates having more than 50 employees by the end of 2021.
Michael also saw an opportunity for Guillory Oil to invest in its own transport division and made that goal a reality. Today, he also works toward expanding its bulk fuel and lubricants offerings to continue to accommodate local farmers and businesses.
In 2020, Guillory Oil moved into its new facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Highway 13 in Eunice. Anyone visiting this location can also fuel up before hitting the road. Guillory Oil decided to install a Chevron Fuel Canopy at the site, which has exceeded all expectations and provides a quick stop for drivers traveling through Eunice.
The addition of the new office/warehouse facility has not moved Guillory Oil from its original roots on East Ardoin Street. All storage and loading operations continue at its original East Ardoin Street site near the same railroad where Eloi Guillory began selling kerosene and axle grease more than 100 years ago.
2017In March of 2017, Michael, great grandson of founder Eloi Guillory, purchased the company from his father Stephen and continues to grow the company’s customer base and its staff. Guillory Oil finished 2017 with recognition from Chevron/Texaco for outstanding performance in Customer First, Image, Training and Volume growth qualifying them for Regal Class.
2005Michael Guillory, son of Stephen Guillory, begins working for the company and extending the family business to 4 generations. Michael would quickly recognize an opportunity for the company to invest in its own transport division to ultimately become its own carrier of the fuel the company was selling.
1985Stephen purchased the remaining shares of the stock from his father J. Dudley. He expanded the company’s services to supplying fuel to Branded and Unbranded Retail stores and quickly grew a strong dealer base. Later that year Gulf was purchased by Chevron and all branded sites were converted to Chevron.
1970Stephen "Stebo" Guillory, son of J. Dudley Guillory, began working for the family business driving a Bobtail. He would develop the first self-serve convenience store for the company. Stephen would eventually become a shareholder.
1935J. Dudley Guillory, son of Eloi Guillory becomes the first Gulf Bulk Oil Distributor in Eunice, Louisiana at a time when selling gasoline, diesel and tractor fuel would become widely popular.
1914Eloi Guillory began his business in 1914, supplying mainly kerosene and axle grease to his customers.