Election 2019 Louisiana Governor

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks to media at his campaign office in Shreveport, La., Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. Edwards, a Democrat, was campaigning in the same metropolitan area his Republican challenger, Eddie Rispone, will be holding a campaign rally with President Donald Trump later in the evening.

Savoie’s Sausage and Food Products announced a $12.7 million expansion at its plant just east of Opelousas that company officials say will broaden its distribution area and add 16 total jobs.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and company officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon of the project, which will include construction of a 41,000-square-foot building along with new production equipment, allowing the company to nearly double its production.

Savoie’s, which employs 100, will add five jobs at an average salary of $45,300, and Louisiana Economic Development officials estimate the project will  involve 172 construction jobs.

Work will begin in January and should be complete by August, LED officials said, with operations beginning a month after completion.

“Savoie’s products have been a fixture on Louisiana dinner tables and have delighted our families for generations,” Edwards said. “I am proud to celebrate this progress that will allow Savoie’s to share its authentic Louisiana flavor far beyond our state. Today’s announcement is a testament to the success of the company, strengthened by our unique culture and the highly skilled workforce of Acadiana.”

State officials began working on the expansion with Savoie’s in July 2018 and offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based, forgivable loan of $100,000 from the state’s Economic Development Award Program. Savoie’s is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

“Savoie’s is a great example of collaborative business expansion outreach that leads to growth opportunities for local companies,” said Bill Rodier, executive director of the St. Landry Parish Economic Development. “Our local, regional and state economic development partners all contributed to making this exciting expansion a reality. We are thankful to be a part this dynamic team, and fortunate to have such a great company joining the continued growth of our area economy.”

Savoie’s has participated in Louisiana’s Economic Gardening Initiative, facilitated by LED’s Small Business Services team, which provides participating companies with market research, a review of core strategies and an analysis of threats and opportunities. Savoie’s exposure to those market research strategies served as a catalyst for the new expansion.

Established in 1955, Savoie’s is a privately held corporation involved in the development, manufacturing, packing, marketing and distribution of Cajun food products. It originating from the heritage recipes of founder Eula Savoie, who died in January 2010, Lafleur said.

“We believe that she would be happy to see her family business expanding and her products distributed to more and more customers,” he said. “Her legacy to her family, employees and customers continues to grow, and those of us who were fortunate enough to have known her, worked with her and learned from her, take pride in carrying the business that she created forward into 2020 and beyond.”

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Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.