The Baudiers Flooring Story
Like so many family businesses of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Debra and Mike Price’s journey actually began decades before they were born, with Debra’s grandparents, Elenora(Chico) and Stephen Baudier, Jr.. Stephen Baudier Jr., who was working in a New Orleans furniture factory dreamed of carving out a better life for his new wife and himself over on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In 1938 the Baudiers moved to Gulfport to open their own business refinishing, repairing and upholstering antique furniture. S.P. Baudier Furniture came into being on the corner of 25th Avenue (Hwy 49) and 27th Street in an old wood and tin building. Their home, where they raised three children, was located directly behind their shop. Their customers quickly recognized the dedication and master-craftsmanship of this couple and their reputation exploded. The Baudiers would love, live and work at this location for over 60 years.
As a grandchild, Debra spent a lot of her childhood in the Baudier home and shop with her grandparents. “I couldn’t wait to be old enough to not just watch, but to actually work in the shop with them. Over years spent with them I learned the lost art of refinishing, repairing and reupholstering antique furniture and even how to cane and tuft.” A great many people, including the caretakers of Beauvoir-The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, would go to Baudiers Furniture time and again to resurrect their once beautiful family heirlooms.
When Debra and Mike married in 1980 Mike was working as a boat captain in the offshore oilfields. Once their oldest son, Michael, Jr. was born, Mike was determined to stay on land with his family and left the oilfield behind. Mike had friends who were flooring installers and he worked with them as he learned the trade. As Mike progressed in the business he began working for various flooring and home stores as a subcontractor. Debra continued raising their two sons, Michael and Casey, while working with her grandparents.Debra grandma always told her loyal customers that if they ever needed any flooring or had any flooring problems to keep Mike and Debra in mind. This began Baudiers Flooring with Debra opening a small showroom in the front room of the furniture shop. Mike’s workload was such that he began to teach Debra how to properly measure and other points necessary to the trade. In 1989 they decided to go into business and began selling carpeting and vinyl with just a handful of samples utilizing Debra’s grandparent’s furniture shop as their base. They continued on this way for the next 11 years working with their customers by appointment only.
As the years rolled on, S.P. Baudier Furniture and Flooring, along with so many others on the Coast, endured and overcame many hurricanes. The Baudiers would always help in the rebuilding process of the coast. When Hurricane Georges hit the MS Gulf Coast in September 1998, causing heavy damage to the Baudier Furniture and Flooring building, Chico and Stephen decided it was time for them to retire.
After Hurricane Georges, Debra and Mike built a new home for their family having it customized specifically to bring Grandma and PawPaw Baudier home to live with them. The S.P. Baudier Furniture and Flooring building was torn down and the small home full of a lifetime of memories relocated. Debra and Mike purchased the land where the business had begun and in 2000 built and opened BAUDIERS FLOORING, LLC. “It was so important to us, as an homage to my grandparents, to keep the Baudier name as part of the new business. They’d spent a lifetime teaching us that, no matter how big or small the job, customer service and quality of work is what’s important. The Baudier reputation my grandparents built was impeccable. We strive, every day, to live up to their high standards of living, loving and doing business on this wonderful Gulf Coast.”
We’ve spent over 30 years trying to live up to the standards that the Baudier name represents. In good times and bad, hurricanes, fires, personal loss and financial struggles, we continue to grow. Through hard work and the values taught by Chico and Stephen and most especially thanks to the thousands of customers and friends we’ve met and served through the years, Baudiers Flooring, LLC. has continued to flourish. “The business simply outgrew the building, a problem we are so blessed and thankful to have!”
After 18 years, the Prices decided it was time to renovate the building. The renovation expanded the showroom by more than double and increased the office space from one office to three. The warehouse, previously taking up the back half of the building is now located offsite. The new renovation provides a much more welcoming and easy to navigate showroom for people to visit. We want everyone to feel comfortable and be able to relax when they come to us to make their flooring decisions, discuss their building situation or just to dream of having a new home or business someday with awesome flooring. We are all so blessed to live in a country where, along with our dreams and our sacrifices, the fruits of our labor can be realized and enjoyed.