A little more than seven decades ago, as the nation recovered from World War II and Main Street America flourished, Taylor’s Office City opened its doors in Watsonville and henceforth became the city’s preferred destination for all manner of office supplies.
On June 30, the store that has become a nucleus in the Main Street corridor will close its doors.
It is not yet clear what will become of the building at 440 Main St., which the Taylor family still owns.
But the company, which opened in 1949, will become part of Palace Business Solutions, and will continue to serve their customers, says co-owner Scott Taylor, who will now be a senior account manager for that company.
“I’m going to keep calling on all my accounts that I’ve been calling on for 50-plus years,” he says.
These include California Giant, Reiter Affiliated, Encompass Community Services, Driscoll’s, Graniterock and S. Martinelli & Co., just to name a few—which will not see an interruption in the services they are used to, Scott Taylor says.
“They are special people to us,” he says.
His brother, co-owner Steve Taylor, who also owns a ranch in Gilroy, plans to retire and spend his time working the land.
The fact that he is “retiring” to an endeavor that presumably requires far more physical labor will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the family’s work ethic. Their parents did not let them sit around idly as boys, instead signing work permits that allowed them to work picking berries at a young age.
“Scott and I have been working since we were 12,” he says. “I’m going to be 70 in June, and I am just done working. It’s been a wonderful way to make a living, but I am at a point where I’m saying, ‘forget it.’”
Steve Taylor says the merger will allow the company to offer a wider range of supplies available with Palace, and to leverage the company’s easier online ordering system.
“I am really excited about moving my accounts to Palace,” he says. “We can help them grow and they can help us grow.”
Late last year, Palace announced its final brick-and-mortar location in Capitola was closing–while keeping the Business Solutions portion of the business going, which is an online ordering and delivery system.
Charles Maier, who also owns the Crow’s Nest, Gildas on the Wharf and Santa Cruz Diner, stepped in to purchase the retail arm of Palace.
The Business Solutions portion will now expand, thanks to the merger.
“We’re thrilled to be able to work with them and their customer base,” says Palace Business Solutions President and CFO Lori Scott. “We’re really honored to work with them.”
Zarko Radich, who owns Jack’s Cigars next door, said he has been neighbors with the Taylors’ business for four decades.
“You can have a brother living on the other side of the planet, but your neighbor is right next door, and that’s so important,” he said.