Blue Runner Foods To Expand In Gonzales

GONZALES, La. — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards 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.

Blue Runner Foods already employs 31 people at its Louisiana operations. Through the project, the company will create eight new jobs with an average annual salary of more than $35,300, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates an additional 18 new indirect jobs will result, for a total of 26 new jobs in the Capital Region. Launched in 1918, Blue Runner has operated in Gonzales since 1946.

“From its famous kettle-cooked beans to Creole meal bases and soups, Blue Runner is one of Louisiana’s best-known and loved food companies,” Gov John Bel Edwards said. “We salute Blue Runner for reinvesting in its Gonzales manufacturing facilities, which ultimately represents an investment in the future of the people who cook, prepare and package their food for families throughout Louisiana and beyond.”

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.”

LED and its economic development partners began discussions about the potential expansion with Blue Runner Foods in November 2019. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana is providing assistance through its Industrial Tax Exemption and Enterprise Zone programs.

“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.”

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.

“We’re excited to celebrate the continued success of a homegrown favorite in Blue Runner Foods,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “The foods manufacturing sector is a growth opportunity for our region and state, and Blue Runner serves as a multigenerational entrepreneur success story in the field. Blue Runner not only provides economic opportunity for the region, but also community pride in our unique culture.”

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

About LED
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2020, LED attracted 58 new economic development projects representing over 11,600 new jobs, 8,600 retained jobs and more than $12.7 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team, in conjunction with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, assisted more than 17,500 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2020. For more information, visit


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