Capitol City Produce, a Louisiana-based produce distributor, is investing $22 million to expand its distribution facility 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.
Capital City Produce expects to create 45 new jobs at the facility, while retaining 258 positions. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 81 new indirect jobs, for a total of 126 new jobs in the region.
Construction on Capital City Produce’s 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.
“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing a business born in Louisiana succeed, grow and create jobs and opportunities for other Louisiana families,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“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 facility by about 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,” Paul Ferachi, Capitol City Produce owner, said in a statement.
“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.
To secure the project in Baton Rouge, the state of Louisiana offered Capitol City Produce an incentive package featuring the workforce solutions of LED FastStart. The 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.”