Meat processing startup Cajun Traditions Food Processors will make a $2.85 million capital investment to renovate and equip an existing facility in Church Point, LA. The new meat processing and packaging facility will create 35 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $25,505, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in 57 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 90 new jobs in Acadia Parish and the surrounding region.
Lonnie Richard co-owns the company with his brother, Todd Richard, and nephew, Benjamin Richard. With a long family history of Cajun meat production, the family brings proven experience to the new venture. Founded in July 2019, Cajun Traditions will source quality ingredients for Cajun meat products, including sausage, boudin and more sold under the Cajun Family Traditions brand.
“Louisiana’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, and I am proud to see that our unique traditions are living on through new generations, as is evident by the Cajun Traditions venture launched by the Richard family,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Lonnie Richard is not only preserving a valued tradition, but he is reinvesting in his community and creating new jobs in the process. We join him, his family, and the entire Cajun Traditions team in celebrating this major new step and the great new economic activity heading to Church Point.”
Cajun Traditions Food Processors LLC purchased the former Garan garment manufacturing site from the town of Church Point earlier this year. The 80,000-square-foot facility was built more than 40 years ago. Cajun Traditions will install new electrical equipment, complete roof repair and pour a new slab. The company also is buying new machinery, including smokehouse equipment, stuffing machines, vacuum-pack machines, grinders, mixers, and refrigeration equipment.
“Our family has always taken great pride in the tradition of preparing and distributing sausage and boudin, which the people of Acadiana enjoy eating and sharing as part of our rich culture,” said Lonnie Richard. “Cajun Traditions gets back to the roots of sausage-making with the quality that today’s consumers have come to expect. We are proud to invest in our community, contribute to the local economy and add jobs to the local area, and we look forward to growing a sustainable company that will enrich our community and bring quality meat products to the marketplace.”
The company plans to distribute products within the local market initially, and company leaders have plans to enter the larger market in its third year. Construction and renovation will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, with production beginning soon after. The company anticipates that all positions will be filled by 2025.
“Cajun Traditions Food Processors is a gift to Church Point,” said Mayor Ryan “Spanky” Meche of Church Point. “They are breathing new life into a building that was vacant for almost 30 years. The economic aspect of this new company is enormous. We welcome Cajun Traditions to town with open arms.”
The State of Louisiana provided the company with a competitive incentive package, which includes a $300,000 performance-based incentive from the state’s Economic Development Award Program to offset infrastructure costs. In addition, Cajun Traditions is expected to utilize the state’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“As we enter a time of economic recovery, 1A is proud to stand alongside our strong partner Amy Thibodeaux and the Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce as part of this announcement, which impacts the food processing industry,” said One Acadiana President and CEO Troy Wayman, CEcD. “The launch of this company reflects a great win for Acadiana and exemplifies the potential that our region has to recover. Our competitive business climate, skilled workforce and strong infrastructure will support Cajun Traditions’ continued growth and success.”
“The Acadia Parish Chamber was excited to assist Cajun Traditions and bring additional new jobs and investment to rural Church Point,” said President and CEO Amy S. Thibodeaux of the Acadia Parish Chamber. “Cajun Traditions’ new investment builds upon the owners’ decades of experience in the food processing industry and adds to the blossoming economy in Church Point. This new investment illustrates Acadia Parish’s entrepreneurial spirit and solidifies its place as a hub for food processing and manufacturing.”
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