GONZALES, La. — Today, Mayor Barney Arceneaux and Blue Runner Foods President Richard Thomas announced the Ascension Parish manufacturer will make a $2.26 million capital investment to expand its production with a new frozen foods line. Blue Runner hopes to complete the expansion by the end of the year at its site in Gonzales, Louisiana.
“As the ‘Jambalaya Capital of the World,’ the City of Gonzales is a global ambassador for Louisiana cuisine,” Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux said. “Blue Runner Foods’ continued expansion embodies not only our love of food, but also the local tradition of a solid work ethic in a community that promotes business and supports their long-term growth.”
Launched in 1918, Blue Runner has operated in Gonzales since 1946. The expansion will provide approximately 8,000 square feet of new production space, along with state-of-the-art equipment for flash-freezing and preserving the unique cream-style consistency and flavor profiles of Blue Runner beans, soups and meal bases.
“Blue Runner Foods has been proud to provide authentic Creole meals throughout the years to Louisiana and the greater Southeastern Region of the U.S.,” said Vice President of Operations Katie Bautsch. “We are excited to continue this tradition and expand into the frozen food market, where our classic recipes can reach even more tables with the same taste and convenience that the Blue Runner label is known for. We are proud to continue our investment in the state and expand in our Gonzales facility.”
The frozen foods project represents the latest of multiple expansions for Blue Runner Foods in recent years. A decade ago, the company added a storage-and-distribution facility, followed by the addition of meal bases and kits for Creole food dishes, and the packaging of dried beans.
“Blue Runner Foods is a Louisiana-based, family-owned company that has fed the people of our region for over 100 years,”’ said President and CEO Kate MacArthur of the Ascension Economic Development Corp. “They truly take pride in keeping Louisiana’s food tradition alive.”
The building phase of the expansion project is expected to support 35 construction jobs over the coming months. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana is providing assistance through its Industrial Tax Exemption and Enterprise Zone programs.
About Blue Runner Foods
Blue Runner Foods began making delicious food in 1918, when the Union Canning Company began canning fresh fruits and a variety of other items. In 1946, the company moved to Gonzales, Louisiana, where all Blue Runner products are still produced today. In addition to Blue Runner’s famed Creole Cream Style red and navy beans, the company offers premium dry beans packaged in four varieties – red, navy, black and great northern; and crafts a host of meal bases, including Creole chicken and sausage gumbo, and Creole seafood gumbo. Blue Runner also markets Creole tomato bisque, navy bean and red bean soups, and provides its Creole food solutions to commercial foodservice businesses, as well as its traditional wholesale and retail consumer grocery customers. For more information, visit BlueRunnerFoods.com