Gov. John Bel Edwards and Richard’s Cajun Foods Inc. President Ronnie Doucet announced that the company will invest $2.7 million to relocate some production and administrative functions to Church Point and expand the company’s operations there.
With the expansion, the food processing company will retain 38 jobs and will create 12 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $35,000. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 16 new indirect jobs, for a total of 28 new jobs in the Acadiana Region, the governor's office said today.
The Richard’s Church Point facility will include a 28,000 square feet of production and office space.
As part of the expansion, the company is adding 6,000 square feet of space, as well as renovating 3,000 square feet of existing space in the Church Point facility.
In addition to expanding the facility, Richard’s is relocating some production operations from Milwaukee to Church Point.
The company anticipates construction beginning in January 2019, with completion by March 2019. Commercial operations will not cease during the expansion, and hiring for the new jobs will begin in early 2019. the announcement said today.
“The decision by Richard’s Cajun Foods to expand in Acadia Parish is a vote of confidence in Louisiana’s ability to foster success for our existing employers,” Gov. Edwards said. “Richard’s products have been on family dinner tables across Louisiana and other Southern states for many years, and we are confident that this expansion will allow them to spread Cajun flavors and traditions to larger markets and new customers. We are proud to have their Louisiana-made products reach dinner plates across the U.S.”
Richard’s is a producer of Cajun food products, including smoked sausage, boudin and prepared entrees. Founder Lonnie Richard learned the preparation techniques of Cajun specialties from his grandmother at her Church Point grocery store. Richard’s began selling these products with only one delivery truck, and formally established Richard’s Cajun Foods in 1981.
“We are excited about our ongoing investment in Church Point, Acadia Parish and the state of Louisiana to ensure we continue to make high-quality Cajun meats and foods by our valued team member’s at Richards,” said Doucet.
Richard’s Cajun Foods is a key component of Tall Tree Foods Inc., which is based in Milwaukee. The Cajun foods producer was purchased by Altamont Capital Partners in 2013 along with Texas bacon and sausage producer Blue Ribbon to form the basis of Tall Tree Foods.
“We are proud that Richard Cajun Foods calls Acadia Parish its home,” said Acadia Parish Police Jury President David Savoy. “This expansion will contribute greatly to economic growth for our parish and Church Point. Richard’s decision to expand demonstrates the strength of Acadia Parish as an optimal location for food processing and manufacturing businesses.”
“Richard’s has been a staple of our community for many years, as well as a cultural distinction of our Cajun cuisine,” Church Point Mayor Russell Stelly said. “An expansion like this would be great for any community. The increase in the company’s production is not just expanding Richard’s brand, but it’s also expanding Church Point’s name through the growth of one of our largest employers.”
Louisiana Economic Development began working on a potential expansion with Richard’s in July 2018. To secure the facility expansion in Acadia Parish, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a $125,000 performance-based loan from LED’s Economic Development Award Program. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“For four decades, Richard’s has provided Acadiana and Louisiana with authentic Cajun products,” said President and CEO Troy Wayman of One Acadiana. “This expansion of a company in one of our region’s target industries will not only create new jobs for Acadiana citizens, but will also extend Richard’s product reach and share what makes South Louisiana unique with a wider audience. Congratulations to Acadia Parish and Richard's Cajun Foods on this exciting announcement."
“Richard’s announcement is excellent news for Acadia Parish,” said President and CEO Amy S. Thibodeaux of the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce. “Richard’s Cajun Foods has a longstanding commitment to Church Point, Acadia Parish and preserving the values of Cajun culture through food. We are proud that this project will create additional opportunities for employment, which is always a focus for our organization.”