Lafayette Parish's economy is diverse, with family owned, mom and pop retail outlets thriving side by side with large corporations. But did you know that Lafayette is also home to a number of locally based companies with global customer bases?
One such company that immediately comes to mind is Frank's International, an oil and gas industry leader.
We're taking a look at three other companies that were founded right here in Lafayette , and that continue to call the Hub City home.
We begin with Petroleum Helicopters, Inc., one of the world's leading helicopter services companies.
In addition to its operations throughout the United States, the Lafayette-based PHI has operated in 43 foreign countries.
It's one of numerous global companies headquartered right here in Lafayette .
One of these so-called hidden gems is Stuller, Inc., also known as Stuller Settings. Its owner and founder, Matthew Stuller, turned an after school job at a local retailer into a global leader in the jewelry industry. They currently supply over 200,000 individual items to 40,000 jewelry retailers around the world.
But probably the most compelling global success story is Golfballs.com. Back in 1995, president and CEO Tom Cox decided to open an exclusively online golf ball store, a business model relatively unheard of at the time.
Now, the company, with more than $12 million in annual sales, includes a retail outlet on Arnold Boulevard. As well as a twenty thousand square foot warehouse packed with customized products shipped to all 50 states and more than forty foreign countries.
“Ten percent of our business comes from the store, 90 percent comes online, so the store is an important face we have in the local community, most of our business is online and almost all of our business online is customized products.” said Cox.
With this unique business model, Golfballs.com could be headquartered anywhere. Why Lafayette? Tom Cox says it's all about quality of life.
“If you tie that with a university that provides us with great employees, technical employees, golf employees, golf employees, you add that to the great work ethic, and it's no secret that Lafayette is a great place to start and grow a business.” said Cox.