WALKER, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and The Martin-Brower Company LLC highlighted the start of construction for Martin Brower’s $16 million food distribution facility in Walker. Company officials led a groundbreaking ceremony at the Livingston Industrial Park on U.S. Highway 190, where Martin Brower will build a 142,000-square-foot logistics facility for state-of-the-art distribution to quick-service restaurants in a three-state region.
In addition to retaining 160 existing jobs, Martin Brower will create 30 new direct jobs that will provide an additional $1.3 million in new annual payroll by 2020. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 26 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 50 new jobs in the Capital Region. Martin Brower estimates development of the new facility will generate up to 200 construction jobs at peak activity.
Gov. Jindal said, “For more than 50 years, The Martin-Brower Company has perfected the vital role of supply chain management in the restaurant industry. We’re proud that when the time came for enhancing its technology and facilities for the next generation, Martin Brower recognized the many business advantages of operating in Louisiana and chose to expand in our state. This project represents the retention of valued jobs for Louisiana families throughout the Capital Region, and the new facility will lead to more great career opportunities for the people of Livingston Parish.”
Since 1979, Martin Brower has operated a food distribution facility in West Baton Rouge Parish. The need for more distribution space and additional rail access led the company to evaluate new potential sites, beginning in the Port Allen area and extending throughout the Capital Region. After also exploring out-of-state options in Mississippi, Martin Brower selected the Livingston Industrial Park as the best-suited location for its new food distribution hub.
“We are thrilled to finally break ground on our Walker facility project,” Martin Brower General Manager Larry Daigle said. “This occasion marks a significant milestone for our organization, team members and customers. Our general contractor has a timeline in place targeting completion near the end of the third quarter of 2016. We remain very thankful for all of the support we have received from LED, LEDC and the City of Walker and are looking forward to our grand opening next year.”
To secure the project, the state offered Martin Brower a competitive incentive package that includes a performance-based $1.2 million Economic Development Award Program grant to offset the costs of a new road and related infrastructure improvements at the Livingston Industrial Park in Walker.
“I firmly believe this warehouse distribution center will change the face of our industrial park and be a stimulus for continued business growth in the area,” Walker Mayor Rick Ramsey said. “On behalf of myself, the Walker City Council and Chief of Operations Fred Raiford, we wish to express our extreme gratitude to the Livingston Economic Development Council, Parish President Layton Ricks, the Parish Council and our area legislators who committed to this project from the beginning over a year ago. The city also thanks Jamie Setze of the Capital Region Planning Commission and Louisiana DOTD who, through their hard work, enabled the city to secure grants that, when added to the financial support of Louisiana Economic Development, made the arrival of Martin Brower a reality.”
Martin Brower’s new distribution center, which will supply food service products to restaurants in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, will be completed by late 2016 at the company’s 22-acre site in Walker.
“The Martin Brower project is a culmination of hard work from a collection of individuals and organizations in Livingston Parish and the state and a strong commitment on the part of the company,” Livingston Economic Development Council President and CEO Larry Collins said. “Martin Brower’s decision to locate in Walker is a demonstration of the strength of Livingston Parish as a hub for regional business operations. We welcome Martin Brower into our community and we look forward to a long and successful relationship as they join existing companies to create jobs in our community.”
“Martin Brower’s decision to expand its operations in the Capital Region is a testament to the business climate’s viability,” Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp said. “This expansion preserves the payroll within the region and the new site in Walker will enable the company to grow and serve the needs of its multi-state customer base. BRAC’s economic development team worked closely with the LEDC to pursue certification of the site through the state. That the site had already been vetted expedited the selection process by compressing the timeframe for due diligence. BRAC was pleased to work closely with the LEDC team, LED and local officials to win this significant project.”
About Martin Brower
The Martin-Brower Company LLC provides end-to-end supply chain management solutions to more than 20,000 quick service restaurants in 19 countries. The company is a division of Reyes Holdings LLC. For more information, visit http://www.martinbrower.com.