Chief Administrative Officer
Bulk Plant Manager
More than a century ago, Eloi Guillory founded a business that supplied kerosene and axle grease at a time when railroads and wagons were the standard form of transportation. What began as a rail side operation is now a wholesale fuel and lubricant distributor that services retail, industrial, commercial and government customers throughout Louisiana.
In 1914, few automobiles were on roadways and gasoline had yet to become the preferred fuel for machinery. Instead, kerosene powered tractors and Red Top axle grease kept wagons rolling. That same year, Eloi established a business that would later become Guillory Oil along the railroad in Eunice, having fuel and grease delivered to his business via rail car.
Eloi served mostly farmers and his deals were sealed with a handshake. His good word and hard work aided in steadily increasing the company's services and growth. His son J. Dudley Guillory expanded on his father's foundation, leading Guillory Oil in 1935 to become the first Gulf Bulk Oil Distributor in Eunice. This major shift reflected a worldwide trend in which gasoline consumption skyrocketed as it was utilized for more automobiles and farm equipment.
Methods of operations were quite different than when Eloi began business, and even more so than they are today. 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 then pass it to a coworker perched on a ladder. That person would then pour it into a tank. “Those were the tough days,” said Guillory.
After J. Dudley acquired the business from his father, it was overseen for a time by his wife, Suzanne Tate Guillory. She manned the helm in Eunice while her husband served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Business continued to grow as the years passed and so did the founding family. In 1970, J. Dudley welcomed son Stephen "Stebo" Guillory into the company. By then, Guillory Oil was moving gasoline and diesel. Gasoline was selling for 26 cents per gallon while diesel cost 6 cents per gallon. Moving 100,000 gallons within 30 calendar days was considered a good month. Today, the company moves nearly 4 million gallons per month.
J. Dudley retired in 1985. Boasting 50 years as company leader, J. Dudley was seen as a pioneer. Upon his retirement, Bill Walters, then-marketing manager for Gulf-Chevron, said of J. Dudley, "Men with such longevity in this business are not plentiful."
Stephen purchased the business from his father in 1985. Under his leadership, Guillory Oil grew to include its own convenience stores and expanded 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 in 2000, Stephen discovered the business' original $1,000 bank note. It was signed by his grandfather Eloi and his great-grandfather, Alexandre’ Miller.
When Stephen's son Michael Guillory was growing up, he worked as a cashier in one of the family's convenience stores. 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, Michael joined the company in 2005. At the time, the Guillory Oil team consisted of five full-time employees. Currently, the number of team members has grown to 24. After working a few years, he quickly recognized the opportunity for the company to invest in its own transport division and Guillory Oil began transporting the fuel the company was selling.
In 2017, Michael purchased Guillory Oil from his father Stephen. His vision for its future includes growing its dealer and convenience store operations, as well as expanding its bulk fuel and lubricants offerings to continue to accommodate local farmers and businesses. After all, farmers and community businesses enabled the family business to grow into the company it is today.
Integrity and dedication to meeting the needs of customers continue to be the foundation of Guillory Oil.
"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 also dedicates himself to supporting the industry as a whole. He serves on the Motor Fuels Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Advisory Board and the Louisiana Oil Marketers & Convenience Store Association (LOMCSA) Board of Directors.
LOMCSA 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.
While he lends support to all petroleum marketers, Michael's focus remains on Guillory Oil and its customers. Today, the company's brands include Chevron/Texaco and most recently, Valero, who joined this lineup in 2015. In 2017, Valero recognized the company with its CTE Achievement Award. Guillory Oil attained the level of Regal Class Marketer for Chevron in 2017 and 2018, which recognizes top performance in customer service, site execution and business growth. The company was also honored with Gold Level in Chevron's Customer First Mystery Shop Program.
Currently, Guillory Oil is working with architects and contractors to construct a new office and expand its operations on Maple Avenue and Highway 13 in Eunice. However, its storage and loading operations will continue at its original site on East Ardoin Street 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.