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The Business View – November 2018 / Small Business of the Month
Melvin Hyer started a company out of the back of his car more than 40 years ago and built it into one of the largest asbestos abatement supply companies in the world. He ultimately sold that business – Industrial Safety Products – in the early 1990s to get a fresh start with a completely family owned and operated firm. That new venture – Gulf Supply Co. – still traces its roots back to Hyer’s trunk in 1976.
Now owned and operated by Hyer’s daughter, Colleen Kennedy, who serves as president, and her husband, Vice President Butch Kennedy, Gulf Supply is one of four companies that make up The Gulf Companies, providing a full range of services to the oil, gas and construction industries. Other branches of The Gulf Companies are PPE Rentals, Drugnostics Biomedical and Gulf Coast Training and Testing.
Located on Telegraph Road, Gulf Supply is one of the largest supplier of safety and janitorial products in the Mobile area, selling in bulk and single items. It is the Mobile Area Chamber’s Small Business of the Month.
With 18 employees, a key to Gulf Supply’s success is that, while it’s big enough to handle most any industrial service need, it’s small enough to adjust to the needs of the customer.
“We have the same capabilities as the large safety supply companies, but we have the flexibility to change as our customers need, unlike our competition,” said Gulf Supply Corporate Sales Director Cliff Kennedy, son of Colleen and Butch. “We see ourselves as a service company. We find safety solutions for our customers, and we provide them with the products they need.”
The company’s leadership and employees find personal ways to give back to the community they serve, helping needy families and supporting local youth sports teams on an individual level. “That is where we have found that our support means the most,” Cliff said.
Now employing the third generation of the founding family, Gulf Supply is poised for continued growth and excited about its future.
“Our industry is very unique, and we are constantly finding new ways to reach bigger clients with our small footprint,” Cliff said. “We are building lasting relationships with customers that will allow us to continue to grow for the next generation.”
Click here to read The Business View – November 2018
To read about previous Small Business of the Month stories, click here.
Additional information is on the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.mobilechamber.com, on Facebook at @MobileChamber and Twitter at @MobileChamber.