One Family Helping Others, Since 1927
The Year Is 1927. The first talking movies hold cinema audiences enthralled. “Lucky Lindy” has soared to celebrity after making the first solo flight across the Atlantic. With much of the nation’s economy “roaring,” everything seems possible. So with $1750 in capital and an old Ford truck between them, a few men decided to stake their futures on their belief that by offering excellent products at value prices with superb customer service, they can make a place for themselves in the business community. The business Fuel, Feed and Building Supplies was born.
Celebrating 90 Years of Business
90 years later, that original coal yard and small warehouse has become Taylor’s Do-it Centers, one of the region’s biggest home-grown success stories. As one of Virginia Beach’s oldest retail businesses, this family-owned and run enterprise continues to be the destination of choice for homeowners who come to Taylor’s expecting to find the same things customers have found for 90 years now: uncommon customer service, quality merchandise, cheerful expertise, excellent selection and competitive pricing.
At Taylor’s, doing business the old-fashioned way has never gone out of style. You can trace Taylor’s current policies straight back to the principles of the original founders – James Jordan, Audie Fisher, Edward Hardy, and Willard Ashburn, joined in short order by Robert Taylor.
A Family Business
From the beginning, it’s been a family affair. Dawson Taylor has fond boyhood memories of the times he spent hanging around the warehouse and coal yard, then later the 17th Street hardware store when it opened in the early 30s. “I’m sure my friends and I often made pests of ourselves as we played hide and seek behind stacks of roofing and cement,” he admits. The fact is, a boy growing up in the 20s and 30s would have been hard pressed to find a more fascinating place in all of Virginia Beach to spend his growing years than Fuel, Feed and Building Supplies, Dawson believes.
All three of Dawson’s sons have followed in their father’s footsteps. Joe Taylor is President of the company, while Russ Taylor serves as Vice President/Operations Manager. Oldest son Bob left the helm of Taylor’s in 2001 to head Do it Best Corp., the member-owned hardware cooperative to which Taylor’s Do it Center is a member. Today Bob serves on the board for Taylor’s along with his two brothers.
Five members of the fourth generation of the Taylor family are now actively engaged in the family business.
90 Years of Friendships and Giving Back to the Community
The founders, and each succeeding generation, have always been integrally involved in their neighborhoods and their region. Among them they have served terms in office as vice-mayor and on the school board, helped establish hospitals and healthcare facilities, sponsored community events, headed fundraising drives for charities and community groups, garnered recognition awards from civic groups, given generously to worthy causes, and employed 100s of local residents over the years. Dawson sums it up simply, “we will always remain grateful to our customers, our friends, who helped make our success possible.”