Kleinpeter Farms Dairy products are now available in Mississippi grocery stores. It is the first major expansion of the Baton Rouge-based company outside of Louisiana.

President Jeff Kleinpeter also said a substation for Lake Charles is in the planning stages and that will lead inevitably to an expansion into Texas.

Rouses supermarkets in Diamondhead, Gulfport, Long Beach and Ocean Springs, Miss., will begin carrying Kleinpeter products. In addition, students are now being served Kleinpeter milk at the St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School in Bay St. Louis, Miss., attended by Kleinpeter, two of his brothers, his father and grandfather.

Kleinpeter said the Mississippi expansion was helped, in part, by the close teamwork between Kleinpeter Dairy and Rouses to help get Smith Creamery back in business following the destruction of Smith’s Washington Parish facility in June.

Kleinpeter Dairy is packaging and distributing Smith Creamery’s milk and using its distribution network to help Smith’s get into more supermarkets, including into more Rouses. “As we worked together to help out the Smiths, our teams got to know each other even better so the move into Mississippi is a natural result of that cooperation,” Kleinpeter said in a statement.

“This is a stepping stone that will enable us to expand even further into Mississippi, thanks to the Rouses team,” Kleinpeter said. He said former Louisiana residents in Jackson, Hattiesburg and Natchez have been asking for an expansion into Mississippi.

Within the past four years, Kleinpeter Dairy has increased its original Baton Rouge and New Orleans service area west to the Texas border and north to Alexandria. A new substation in Lafayette is 70 percent complete.