G&J Marine continues supplying offshore rigs’ needs

Fleet Supply/Bayou Black Electric continue to evolve
February 24, 2015
The Power Shop continues legacy of excellence
February 24, 2015
Fleet Supply/Bayou Black Electric continue to evolve
February 24, 2015
The Power Shop continues legacy of excellence
February 24, 2015

When it comes to supplying offshore workers with food and janitorial supplies, one local business in the area sets the standard high.

G&J Land & Marine Food Distributors Inc. is a family-owned grocery and janitorial supply company based in Morgan City that delivers to offshore oilrigs in a large swath of the Gulf of Mexico across state and federal waters.

On a daily basis, a blur of employees, forklifts and food products whirl around the G&J warehouse floor in a well-orchestrated dance. Crews execute their assigned tasks with vigor and precision. The choreographers of this organized and spirited performance are the founders’ son, Mike Lind, and grandson, Erik Lind.

Gerry and Eileen Lind started their company in 1964 with 10 employees, three trucks, and a small warehouse.

The company now employs more than 100 people, operates more than 20 trucks and has a 50,000-square-foot warehouse.

“In the beginning my father butchered G&J’s own meat,” Mike Lind said, Gerry Lind’s son and the president of the company. Regulations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have changed since then. Now the facility is federally inspected, as they are a wholesale grocery distributor.

Gerry and Eileen Lind owned a grocery store in Seattle, Washington. They came to Louisiana in the late 1950s to help Universal Services, an offshore catering company, in a merger with another company.

The couple saw a need for an offshore food distributor and started G&J a few years later.

“My father was a hardworking and caring person,” Mike Lind said.

Gerry Lind made sales calls and worked the warehouse operations. Eileen Lind managed bookkeeping, the workforce and processed grocery orders.

Eileen expected a lot from her employees and motivated them when they need it, Mike Lind said. “She was the rock during the founding years of the company,” he said.

Growth was slow and steady through the years, said Mike Lind. But during the energy crisis of the 1970s and the oil glut of the 1980s, times were tough. In 1974, Mike Lind joined his father in operating the business.

Mike Lind took over sales during that time. “We survived small and slowly grew business during this time period because we continued to improve our service model that my parents started in the 1960s,” he said.

It was during these trying times that federal and state regulators began implementing new standards for food distributors.

“While we were modifying our purchasing and storage areas to abide by federal laws we were also growing the business during economic trying times,” Mike Lind said. During that time, the younger Lind and his wife began having children. As they got older, they would come to work with him, growing up with the company and being groomed to take it over one day.

“The Shrimp and Petroleum Festival was on Front Street in downtown Morgan City right in front of G&J,” Mike Lind said, “…and we would walk outside and get on the Ferris wheel.”

After the hard times ended in the Eighties, the company experienced a time of growth.

“We took on new jobs that really made us redefine our packaging and logistics methods to lead to what our customers think of us today,” Mike Lind said.

In 2007, Erik Lind joined the company after working seven years for a real estate research firm in Austin, Texas. He is now the vice president of the company.

Erik Lind and his wife had just welcomed their first child and wanted to raise their children at home in Morgan City. Simultaneously, the company was experiencing a period of growth and he wanted to be a part of it.

“It has always been in the back of my mind to work in the family business and continue my grandparents’ legacy,” Erik Lind said.

That is the legacy of a focus on expeditiously delivering the best food and janitorial supplies with few errors, he said.

Another family member joined the team to help with carrying on the legacy of high level of customer service. Mike’s son-in-law, Cleve Boudreaux, joined in 2010 and is in charge of purchasing and operations.

Customer satisfaction remains of the utmost importance since its opening in 1964. G&J strictly caters to the commercial shipping and offshore oil and gas industries with the belief that by exclusively servicing this field, the company is able to respond to their demanding clients, Erik Lind said.

Erik and his grandmother, the late Eileen Lind, are pictured in the G&J Land & Marine Food Distributors’ company truck. Today, Erik is vice president of the company.