The award-winning marketing and advertising firm BBR Creative is relocating from downtown later this year. The 11-year-old firm, which specializes in brand building for its clients, has an office under construction in Beauregard Office Park, located on Rue Beauregard just off Kaliste Saloom Road.
BBR is currently leasing 3,200 square feet of office space at 444 Jefferson St., a building owned by Lafayette attorney Tommy Guilbeau.
BBR’s new headquarters — located in the office park that is home to several local companies including Pecot & Company Architects, the law offices of Larry Curtis and Gulf Offshore Logistics — is 4,100 square feet. The ad agency hopes to move in this October.
“We were ready to own,” says Sara Ashy, who founded BBR (which stands for blondes, brunettes and redheads) with Cathi Pavy and Cherie Hebert. Ashy says the firm, which has a staff of 13, initially tried to stay downtown but couldn’t find a building that met its needs. Also, she says Go Zone incentives made it more economical to build.
BBR’s partners were taken with the design and feel of Beauregard Office Park, as well as its location. “It’s still in the middle of everything,” Ashy notes.
Ashy says the agency will enjoy the benefits of ownership and the additional space but admits she’ll miss downtown. “It’s a trade-off.”
TAYLORS INTERNATIONAL OPENS NEW CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
On Friday, April 18, Taylors International Services Inc. unveiled its new corporate headquarters at 2301 S. College Extension. 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.
MEALS-TO-GO CONCEPT OPENS IN RIVER RANCH
Now you can have a delicious restaurant-quality meal at home without the time-consuming shopping, chopping and related prepping — not to mention the cleanup. Cena (say na), a gourmet meal assembly concept, has opened on Bradbury Crossing in River Ranch (near CC’s Coffeehouse and Café Roma).
Everything Cena offers is fresh (aged beef and no hormones or steroids in the chicken), and there are several options for assembling your meals. You can go online at www.cenatogo.com or call in to select a session in which you assemble your own meals (on Tuesdays only you don’t need to schedule a time). Based on recipes that are provided at each station, you assemble the healthy ingredients — tweaking as you wish — take the meal home in an aluminum pan and follow the simple cooking instructions. It’s a cinch.
You can also have Cena’s staff prepare the meal for you. Just place the order — the menu of 14 entrees rotates monthly, and nutritional facts are offered online for each meal — and pay for it online in the morning. That afternoon the meal or meals will be ready for you; just pull up to the back door. If there are steps to the cooking process, the ingredients will be packaged separately.
May’s entrees include artichoke and goat cheese stuffed chicken, butter poached prawns and herb crusted steak. Additionally, refrigerated and frozen entrees are always available for a quick pickup. Meals feed six people and half meals feed three. The cost of entrees averages $5 per person; sides, which can be cooked when frozen, are $7 or $8 each and feed six.
Cena is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Cena’s local franchisees are Eunice natives Billy Stagg, his wife Lori and Lori’s sister, MidSouth Bank exec Karen Hail. The Staggs have relocated to Lafayette from Atlanta, where Billy worked as a district manager for a restaurant company. He has 21 years of experience in the industry.
The trio will soon introduce food and wine tastings on the first and third Thursdays of each month; additionally, wine pairings are offered with each meal.
Cena, which means “dinner” in Italian and Spanish, was founded in 2004 in Spokane, Wash.
SCELFO JOINS CITY CLUB AT RIVER RANCH
Paul Scelfo, the former general manager of Townhouse Restaurant and Caterer, the Oil Center facility that closed its doors in early April, has moved over to City Club at River Ranch. City Club owner Robert Daigle says Scelfo is heading the catering operation, assuming duties most recently held by Joe Broussard.
It remains unclear whether Townhouse will continue to offer catering services, though it is honoring all events already on its books. In a letter to employees, Townhouse owner Art LeBlanc noted that catering would continue for “a considerable period of time.”
Also at City Club, General Manager Morty Valldejuli has left to pursue other interests. Daigle says Valldejuli was hired in mid-2006 primarily to head a new hospitality division that would oversee several hotel projects in River Ranch. That plan included a large hotel that has since been put on hold due to rising construction costs. “Just about everything Morty did was related to hospitality,” Daigle says. “We just don’t have the properties for him to manage.”
COYOTE BLUES EXPANDING TO BATON ROUGE
Lafayette’s popular Mexican restaurant Coyote Blues has purchased the former Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon building on Acadian Thruway just south of Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. According to Baton Rouge’s Daily Report, Coyote Blues paid $2.1 million for the Lone Star site, which has been vacant since it was damaged by a fire earlier this year.
Braxton Moody IV, who owns Coyote Blues on Johnston Street in front of the Mall of Acadiana, told the online news source that plans are to demolish the property and build a new location from the ground up.
Moody noted that he would like to open the new location in time for LSU football season. “This is a good time to be moving into Baton Rouge,” he said. “The major chains are pulling back, but we’re blessed with the recovery and $118 a barrel oil.”
In a story about the Moody family’s purchase of the local restaurant from its founders (“Moody Blues” Jan. 10, 2007), The Independent Weekly, Acadiana Business’ sister publication, reported that a Baton Rouge location was in the works. At that time, Coyotes Blues’ co-founder Simon Eid would not disclose financial terms of the sale of the local restaurant. Sources close to the parties, however, said the restaurant’s building, business and rights to the name sold for about $4 million.
Moody, whose family has a long history in the restaurant business, was captivated by Coyote Blues since it opened in April 2003 and had been trying to buy it for some time.
The restaurant’s concept is Mexican with a Cajun twist. “We think we’ve hit on a unique concept, fresh Mex with a Louisiana fusion and mesquite burning grills,” Moody told Daily Report.