Blue Bell Creameries has broken ground in Luling on a distribution hub for their popular ice cream products.
Plans for the facility, which is located in Esperanza Business Park, were underway for more than a year before the company broke ground earlier this month.
The 14,700-square-foot facility will mostly consist of cold storage units kept at -18 degrees for Blue Bell ice cream products and will be able to handle up to 18 distribution routes.
In addition to providing for five full-time office and dock workers and several part-time employees, the facility may transfer up to 40 drivers from nearby distribution centers.
“The New Orleans and Baton Rouge facilities are completely at capacity,” Joe Robertson, advertising and public relations manager for Blue Bell Creameries, said. “This is going to help relieve them. We are going to transfer some routes from both of those facilities.”
Robertson was quick to add the center will allow room for growth and said St. Charles Parish was perfectly situated for a distribution facility.
“We’re hiring shipping and office personnel at the new branch. It will allow all three branches to grow. We are really excited about it,” he said.
According to Corey Faucheux, director of economic development and tourism for St. Charles Parish, the Blue Bell facility represents a $2.5 to $3 million investment in the parish in construction costs alone.
Over the next decade, Faucheux believes other businesses will pop up along I-310 in Luling near the Blue Bell facility.
“When you look at the lay of the land of the parish, that appears to be the most prominent area in terms of not only businesses, but also potential real estate developers looking for light industrial or commercial property,” he said.
Faucheux said the area allows for future development because it is located on high land, offers easy access to the interstate and is zoned for commercial and industrial use.
“We just hope it is a harbinger for more of those types of businesses that we are hoping to attract to the parish in the future,” he said.
In fact, Faucheux said his office is currently talking with several other commercial and industrial businesses looking to move to the parish in upcoming years.
“Interest remains high and it is our job to bring quality development to the area to offer more jobs to our residents and broaden our tax base,” he said.
Even though Blue Bell is only available in about 30 percent of the nation’s supermarkets, it ranks as one of the top three best-selling ice creams in the country.