By Kyle Boaz
After 10 years in business together, a father-son duo will be ending their business.
Mike and Scott Parrish started MS Parrish Construction in 2008 and survived through the financial crisis during that time period.
“I was living in Florida in 2007 and my dad called me. I was engaged and he asked me to come up here and start a company,” Parrish said.
“I was only in my first year [of college] so I was torn. But a house and career, you can’t pass that up.”
Parrish left Northwest Florida State to begin working with his father in Louisiana.
“He’s a master of his craft and has a ton of talent,” Parrish said of his father.
In the company’s first year, it built Tobacco Plus and did home remodeling.
“The first couple of weeks and first year were good,” Parrish said.
“At the end of [that] year the housing market crashed. Some years were better than others. We had our ups and downs throughout the years but we always stayed in business,” Parrish said.
“We did a lot of work at the hospital, the high school, some work at Orscheln’s when they opened, put on hundreds of roofs and all kinds of remodels. The most substantial thing is Tobacco Plus. We built that the first time and added on the drive-thru a couple years ago. That’s the most substantial thing off the top of my head. The coolest memory I have is probably tearing down a building with saws, crowbars and rope. It took one week. We took it down brick by brick.”
The twist in the family relationship is that Scott was adopted in the fifth grade by Mike.
“That is even more of a special relationship,” Parrish said.
Last year, Mike suffered an unknown medical episode that changed the future of the business.
“He was driving and talking to my mom when he blacks out,” Parrish said.
“We got there and I didn’t see my dad in the truck. He was bent over in the truck so I went up to him and it took about five or six minutes to wake him up,” Parrish said.
The unknown episode left Mike with a faulty memory and other injuries.
“He does pretty good for himself now. The industry took my dad [with] all of the chemicals, dust and stress of being a small business owner,” Parrish said.
“He didn’t quite make it to 10 years [at MS Parrish].”
Whenever Parrish returns to Louisiana, he will still see the mark that he left around the city.
“When I move away from here and come back and driving around with my kids I can point out what we built,” he said.
“We started in a recession and we worked our way through that. Something like that could encourage someone else to take a risk.”