Cajun Traditions

The old Garan garment factory in Church Point, Louisiana is expected to be renovated into a sausage-making food processor by Cajun Traditions. 

A meat processing and packaging startup has bought the old Garan garment manufacturing site in Church Point and will package sausage, boudin and other products there, a move that will create 35 new jobs.

Cajun Traditions Food Processors bought the 80,000-square-foot building, 188 S. Olivier Road, last year from the city and will overhaul the facility by the end of the year, according to an announcement from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. The company will invest $2.85 million into the facility, which has been for sale for more than two decades.

The company is co-owned by Lonnie Richard, the former executive with Richard’s Cajun Foods in Church Point, along with his brother, Todd, and nephew, Ben. It was founded last year.

“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,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “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.”

The company will install new electrical equipment, repair the roof and pour a new slab with construction expected to be complete in the fourth quarter. The company also is buying new machinery, including smokehouse equipment, stuffing machines, vacuum-pack machines, grinders, mixers, and refrigeration equipment, LED officials said.

The state provided the company with a competitive incentive package that includes a $300,000 performance-based incentive from the state’s Economic Development Award Program to offset infrastructure costs. The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Plans are to initially distribute products within the local market but will enter the larger market in their third year. It also expects to be fully staffed by 2025 with an average annual salary of $25,505.

“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,” Lonnie Richard said. “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 building, which had been for sale for 25 years, sold last year for $200,000 after being listed earlier for $324,000, according to acadiaparishtoday.com. City officials there were having to pay for maintentance, insurance and electricity on the building.

“Cajun Traditions Food Processors is a gift to Church Point,” Mayor Ryan “Spanky” Meche said. “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.”

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Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.