By Rebecca Jones
HOUSTON- Birthed and reared in Natchitoches, Louisiana which rests in the heart of Natchitoches Parish, founded in 1714 and is recorded as the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory, is Mr. Ed Roy Metoyer. Being born into a very proud family and amongst a group of very grounded people; an excerpt from “Slaves and Masters: The Louisiana Metoyer’s,” by Elizabeth Shown Mills and Gary B. Mills reveals a brief insight into the pedigree of the origination of the Metoyer family in Louisiana.
For Elizabeth and Gary Mills described how, “the Metoyer family of Louisiana provides an intriguing ample of the degree to which class, race and economic lines were blurred in early America. The Metoyer’s were both slaves and masters; in that regard, they were not unique. They were singular in the degree of their success. In the pre-Civil War South, they were, as a family unit, the wealthiest of all free families of color in the nation. After the war, they endured generations of poverty but preserved a rich store of oral history, much of which has been documented at Melrose Plantation in Melrose, La. The Metoyer family has been nationally conspicuous since 1975–the year that Melrose, the last of at least a dozen pillared, two-story “mansion houses” that they built on their plantations, was declared a National Historic Landmark.”
As a young man, Metoyer was taught the value of hard work and developed a deep appreciation of his roots heritage and genealogy in Louisiana. Upon graduating high school he pursued a career in the printing industry, in July of 1964. While never forgetting his humble beginnings in the provinces of Louisiana, he set out for a larger territory which landed him in Houston in the year 1977. It was that same year that he purchased a home and began to work out of his garage on an old “printing press”, which led to the development and implementation of Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. Since that time he also has been a printing teacher, pressman, production guru and so much more. As his company began to grow Mr. Ed Metoyer eventually purchased an office space on the Northwest side of Houston and begin to acquire more business from friends, family, churches, residents and local entities throughout the community.
Following, Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. soon proved to be a company that specializes in all types of printing needs inclusive with: church programs, souvenir books, memory books, funeral programs, yearbooks, envelopes, business cards, letterhead, marketing items and any other printing needs that one may have. Since its establishment Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. has maintained an environment conducive with professional customer service, courteous demonstrations and down-home Southern hospitality. Throughout the years, Mr. Ed Metoyer has gained and developed a very interpersonal relationship with his clients, which has enabled the company to set itself aside in the industry of which it operates in. Accordingly, he expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation as it relates to local: residents, churches, small business owners, funeral homes and every individual that has every patronized their services – both past and present.
During an interview Mr. Metoyer exclaimed that, “I am proud of my struggles and all of the ups and downs that came along with it; because they aided to build Metoyer-Roy Printing into the company that it has become today”. Mr. Metoyer’s eyes glistened and a proud stare adorned his face as he spoke of his daughter Emily. He spoke of how Emily was born on his mother’s birthday and in the self-same year of which she passed away. He proceeded to inform that, even though he lost his mother, he never really lost her; “because her presence is ever existent through my daughter”. Undoubtedly in agreeing with the powerful thought alluded to by Mr. Roy Douglas Malonson on many occasions which states that, “Success without a successor is failure”; Mr. Metoyer is passing the torch on to his daughter, Emily.
While Ms. Emily has now become the president of Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. (formally known as Met Printing, Inc), her entitlement and position within the company was not automatically inherited. She explained how she started at the very bottom and worked her way up. “As a child, my summer and winter breaks were spent at my father’s business.” She continued, “my siblings and I were practically raised in the print shop.” Emily started out doing contract work for the company as a delivery driver. She later began to work in the office along with the company’s receptionist. Gradually, she learned the business inside-out and eventually realized that it was in part, her destiny to keep and preserve the legacy that her father worked so hard to acquire.
After conversing with the intelligent and beautiful Emily in regards to her goals and aspirations for the company; one can only commend her vision to continue on with the same traditions and methods that has worked for her father nearly four decades. During an interview, Emily stated that, “My main goal is to continue on with the legacy that Dad started.” She went on to inform how she appreciates the continued support from the community and repeat customers from generation to generation that the company has received throughout the years. As it relates to the company Emily shared that, “When people meet us, they meet who we are; and we strive to let people develop their own opinions about the type of company that we operate as.” Continuing she revealed how, “even despite the technologically advanced world that we live in, we still receive handwritten letters and faxes from customers that we have maintained business with since our creation.” “Though some people may consider this as a very simple gesture, we appreciate our customers and the projects they entrust us with – big or small” Emily stated. “I think that it is so awesome to see repeat customers and churches that my father started out doing projects for over thirty years ago, and yet they still come to us for all of their printing needs.” “People like Mrs. Connie Stewart, Mr. Roy Douglas Malonson, sororities, fraternities, universities (Prairie View A&M – Texas Southern Universities), churches, non-profit organizations, funeral homes and local residents have been our biggest supporters and we thank them all” added Emily. She concluded the interview by stating that, “Overall I would be no where without the relationship that I have with my father and without the support of our beloved customers.” Continuing, even while operating in an ever-advancing society of technology, Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. still thrives off of the, “old-fashioned” way of doing things. Even with the addition of a recently added state-of-the-art digital press, they still utilize their offset printers and original equipment daily.
Concluding, after interviewing both of the Metoyer’s one specific theme repetitiously resonated from the both of them, they appreciate and love their customers. Since the company does not have a Sales Team, they heavily rely on word of mouth. So they both agreed in unison that their customers are the foundation of which the company’s success was achieved. African-American News&Issues salutes Mr. Ed & Ms. Emily Metoyer of Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. for the continued excellence and superb services and professionalism that they have rendered to members of the Black community in the Houston, surrounding areas and onward. We also recognize Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. as the largest Black-owned producer of souvenir books in the city of Houston.
For more information or to inquire about the services of Metoyer-Roy Printing, Ltd. call (713) 338-2159, Fax (713) 680-2679; email firstname.lastname@example.org , or stop by 5151 Mitchelldale, Ste A-3., 77092. The company’s website is listed as www.metroyprinting.com.