Byrd & Cook Floor Covering/Interiors
by Susan Marquez
When he was just 27 years old, David Byrd started a business with a co-worker, A.C. Cook. “I worked with Mr. Cook at the same company. I had been promoted to outside sales. We worked in the paint industry for a company out of El Paso, Texas, and we both came from the manufacturing and chemical side of the business.” Paint was something David grew up with, as his father was a successful paint contractor.
David says one day Mr. Cook told him he’d always wanted to start a business, and he asked David if he would like to join him. “I was all about it, but Mr. Cook was older and had a lot to risk.” They both jumped into it, and despite a slow start, Byrd and Cook, founded in 1984, is a successful business today.
Mr. Cook passed away in 1995, and David purchased Cook’s half of the business from his family.
“We started as a paint store,” says David. “We were a Glidden Paint Center. About three years later, we changed to Devoe Paint, which we sold until about four years ago.”
David explains that the paint industry has changed a lot over the years, not in his favor, and the other side of his business was growing. “We decided it was time to make a change, so we chose to drop the paint side of the business and focus on commercial flooring. It’s a hard business to get into, as there are strict certification standards.”
Today the business has a commercial side that caters to general contractors. “We do a lot of work for hospitals, schools, banks, churches, and other commercial businesses, expanding out to as many as five different states on the commercial side. We’ve even done work for Nissan.” The residential side of the business includes floor coverings and interiors, with full design services. “We work directly with the consumer and decorators on that side,” he says.
In addition to floor coverings, Byrd & Cook Floor Covering and Interiors offers window treatments, stone countertops, backsplashes, custom showers, Kemiko concrete stain and other interior finish work. Wall & Structure Coatings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Byrd & Cook that offers stucco and stone for exterior applications.
“We are kind of diversified in our offerings, which I like,” says David. “We have also narrowed it down as well, focusing on a few things and doing them the best we can. Our company has grown quite a bit in the past eight years, and we’ve enjoyed growth every year for a long time.”
David says the secret to their long-term success is their commitment to customer service. “We treat customers with all the honesty we can and give them a fair deal. We always try to do what we say we are going to do. I’d lie if I say I’ve made every customer happy, but I can say I’ve tried. We wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t do a good job.”
Just like any business, David says that Byrd & Cook has had its ups and downs. “We’ve been through recessions, and the key is to make necessary adjustments and keep moving ahead. We know that our employees are who drive this business, and we always strive to treat our employees with respect. I’ve never really had a big turnover of staff here. We’ve been blessed with great folks. I know that in order to grow, I have to trust my folks to do things the way they see fit, and more often than not, it’s better than anything I could of thought of myself!”
Byrd & Cook started with just two people, and has grown to a company that employs almost fifty people. Located at 2110 Highway 80 East in Pearl, David says he looks forward to the company’s continued growth into the future.