Gonzales-based Blue Runner Foods expanding with frozen foods

Staff Report

Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux and Blue Runner Foods President Richard Thomas announced the manufacturer will make a $2.26 million capital investment to expand its production with a frozen foods line.

Blue Runner Foods, known for its line of Creole recipes, will expand its operations in Gonzales.

The company hopes to complete the expansion by the end of the year at its site in Gonzales, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

“As the ‘Jambalaya Capital of the World,’ the City of Gonzales is a global ambassador for Louisiana cuisine,” 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 long-term growth.”

Blue Runner launched in 1918 and has operated in Gonzales since 1946. The expansion will provide about 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 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.,” Vice President of Operation 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.”

The frozen foods project represents the latest of multiple expansions for the company in recent years. Blue Runner added a storage-and-distribution facility a decade ago, 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,” Ascension Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Kate MacArthur said. “They truly take pride in keeping Louisiana’s food tradition alive.”

The building phase is expected to support 35 construction jobs in the months ahead. 

To secure the project, the state is providing assistance through its Industrial Tax Exemption and Enterprise Zone program.

Blue Runner Foods’ facility is located at 726 S. Burnside Ave., Gonzales.

The company dates back to 1918 when it was called Union Canning Company. It moved to its current location in 1946.