Capitol City Produce, a Louisiana-based produce distributor, announced it is investing $22 million to expand its distribution center in East Baton Rouge Parish to support growing demand. The addition of a new refrigerated warehouse, dock and office space will allow the company to increase workflow efficiency and bolster regional restaurant, retail and commercial food supply chains.
The company expects to create 45 new direct jobs, while retaining 258 current positions. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 81 new indirect jobs, for a total of 126 new jobs in the Capital Region.
“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing a business born in Louisiana succeed, grow and create jobs and opportunities for other Louisiana families,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This reinvestment in the Capital Region will have a positive ripple effect on the economy by creating new markets for Louisiana agricultural operations that are already benefiting from Capitol City’s commitment to locally-sourced produce.”
The project will grow the company’s current facility by approximately 70,000 square feet. The majority of the expansion is dedicated to 60,000 square feet of additional refrigerated warehouse space and shipping and receiving docks, with the remainder going toward new offices.
“Our local, family-owned business is growing alongside the success of our customers, many of which are local, family-owned businesses as well,” Capitol City Produce Owner Paul Ferachi said. “We are especially excited to commence this phase two expansion of our master plan in our 75th year as a Louisiana-based business, and with our fourth generation of family members now engaged in the support of our customers. It’s our determined focus on the future combined with values from our past that makes Capitol City Produce a unique fourth generation business with the spirit of a startup.”
Founded in Baton Rouge in 1947 by the Ferachi family, Capitol City Produce has grown into one of the most prominent produce providers in the region, servicing more than 3,200 customers across Louisiana and the Gulf South. The company sources many products through partnerships with regional farms, including Louisiana-based operations such as Kleinpeter Farms, Liuzza Produce Farms and City Greens.
Construction on the Commercial Avenue facility is anticipated to begin in the third quarter of this year. Commercial operations are projected to start by the end of 2024.
“I am thrilled about the expansion of Capital City Produce, a long-standing company that has been an integral part of Baton Rouge’s business landscape,” Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said. “This expansion not only symbolizes the vibrancy of our economy, but it also solidifies Capital City Produce’s commitment to our community. The project brings exciting growth, job opportunities and showcases our city’s unwavering dedication to fostering a flourishing business environment. Capital City Produce’s continued success and longevity are testaments to their resilience and the mutual prosperity they bring to Baton Rouge.”
To secure the project in Baton Rouge, the state of Louisiana offered Capitol City Produce a competitive incentive package featuring the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart. The incentive package also includes a performance-based award of $300,000 for site infrastructure improvements through the Economic Development Award Program. In addition, the company is expected to participate in the Enterprise Zone program.
“Capitol City Produce’s expansion in Baton Rouge cements their headquarters in Louisiana’s Capital Region,” said Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber president and CEO. “We are thrilled to see this homegrown company choose to further build their business in Baton Rouge and invest in our local workforce through their innovative professional development programs. Our business retention and expansion team was happy to assist in their decision-making, and we all look forward to celebrating this expansion alongside the company.”
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About Capitol City Produce
Capitol City Produce has been rooted in time-honored local family business values since 1947. While focused on being progressive, relevant, forward-thinking and innovative, for both its customers’ and team’s best interests, the company remains tethered to the core values passed down by its founder, Vince Ferachi. Learn more at www.ccpfresh.com.
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant economy. It is the only state agency in the U.S. accredited by the International Economic Development Council, boasting award-winning programs like LED FastStart, rated the No. 1 customized workforce training program in the U.S. 13 years in a row. In 2022, LED attracted 53 new economic development projects representing 18,137 new direct, indirect and retained jobs and $20.7 billion in new capital investment. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.
Mark Lorando, LED Communications Director
Ron Thibodeaux, LED Press Secretary
Darin Arceneaux, Capitol City Produce President