Holly Days in the Park, Part II
The Lexington Park Business Association (LexBA) is celebrating the holidays by sharing tidbits about the traditions and challenges local nonprofit organizations and businesses face during this time of year. In the first edition of Holly Days in the Park, we learned of the Lexington Park Rescue Squad’s efforts to help responders focus on the joy of the season while they Serve and Save. This time, we look at two retail businesses.
The holidays are such a busy time for families and perhaps doubly so for family-run businesses. Family firms have long been the backbone of Lexington Park with Taylor Gas, Heating and Air and Doyles Carpet of Southern Maryland being two fine examples.
The newly rebranded Taylor Gas, Heating and Air company has been going strong on Great Mills Road for 75 years. Doyles Carpet, which originally opened on Tulagi Place right next to what was then McKay’s Foodland, has thrived in Lexington Park for 54 years and now has locations in both Great Mills and Prince Frederick.
Of Doyles Carpet’s 8 employees, only two are non-family members. And Frank Taylor’s brother, daughter and son are full-time employees of his company’s 25-member workforce. For these companies, a holiday break does not mean a break from the family, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. And yet, the holidays are not without complications for each business.
When asked, Norm Doyle explained that the holidays are quite busy because customers are in a hurry to install new flooring in time to welcome guests. One such order with a mere 7-day turnaround came in just this week. And this was not for flooring that Doyles has in stock. All the materials must be ordered and shipped from a supplier. So, did they take on the rush job? Without a moment’s hesitation.
As further testament to Doyles’ customer-first focus, Norm relayed that in December of 1980 he and his wife, who worked side-by-side with him for 40 years, installed green shag carpet in their home in time to entertain their guests. Well, the day after the installation at his house was completed, a customer who urgently needed green shag carpet in their home called Doyles. Norm, ever the businessman and perhaps without telling his wife, had the carpet removed from his house and reinstalled in the customer’s home just in time for Christmas. Happily, Norm’s marriage survived that business decision.
Doyle’s Carpet is closed from Christmas through New Years. When they reopen, they will also be the home of the Great Mills Post Office. You’ll be able to lick a stamp and buy parquet all in one location! Now that’s convenient.
While Taylor Gas, Heating and Air will close on both Christmas and New Years days, the company is never really closed. Taylor provides year-round, 24-hour emergency service for its propane customers. Can you imagine an empty tank just when you need to cook the holiday feast? The call center is always manned, and a technician and propane tank driver are ready no matter the time of day to respond to a homeowners’ or businesses’ need.
Taylor expanded their operations and diversified the company some years ago to include not only propane delivery but heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment sales and service. When asked why they didn’t build their new facility in another part of the county, Frank said, “Great Mills Road is our home. We’re across the street from the company’s original headquarters in a community where we have deep ties to other businesses and the broader Lexington Park area. We never considered leaving.” The company now serves customers throughout St. Mary’s, Calvert, and parts of Charles County.
LexBA wishes you and yours the best of the holidays and we hope that you will look forward to our next edition of Holly Days in the Park. LexBA’s monthly meetings are open to the public and take place at 8 a.m. on the 4th Thursday of the month at various business locations. To learn more about the Lexington Park Business Association, email LexingtonParkBA@gmail.com.
Robin Finnacom, 240-298-1133