CHURCH POINT — The Richard's Cajun Foods plant in this Acadia Parish city just got bigger, and another expansion is planned for next year, a company official said during a Wednesday ceremony.
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony, company and elected officials celebrated the $2.7 million completed expansion that features an additional 6,000 square feet and renovations of 3,000 more. But parent company Tall Tree Foods said it plans to add even more in 2020.
Luke Briggs, Tall Tree Foods vice president of business development, said a 2020 expansion will include new office space, a pavilion and a test kitchen that will include about 20 additional hourly and salaried positions over the next 18 to 24 months.
It's the current expansion, which consolidates all Richard's production for the United States in Church Point, that was cause for celebration. The move, which added 12 direct and 16 indirect new jobs in addition to its 38 current employees, was announced back in December.
"This is just a great, great opportunity for the business to keep on growing and expanding the way it's been going for many years," said company president Ronnie Doucet. "I also have to acknowledge that we couldn't do this without our employees. We're all in this together and we appreciate everyone's contribution to making this happen."
Briggs added that the company turned down large incentives from Texas to build there. Staying in Church Point, he said, was "the right thing to do," as Richard's in authentic Cajun food that should be made in Louisiana.
Jim Bourgeois, executive director of business development with One Acadiana, said the expansion not only adds jobs to the community and economic development for the region, but also will help extend Richard's product reach and "share what makes south Louisiana unique to a wider audience."
"We couldn't be more excited with the expansion here in Church Point today," said Amy Thibodeaux, Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "We're fully appreciative of the confidence that Richard's has bestowed on not only Acadia Parish but Church Point specifically. As a native of this community, I'm really proud to see the roots that Richard's has here and the expansion and growth they've seen over the past few years."
Richard’s is a producer of Cajun food products, including smoked sausage, boudin and prepared entrees. Richard's also recently announced a partnership with Supreme Rice to use Louisiana rice in their prepared entrees.
The company was bought by Altamont Capital Partners in 2013 along with Texas bacon and sausage producer Blue Ribbon to form the basis of Tall Tree Foods.