Blount Fine Foods, makers of premium prepared soups, entrees and side dishes, purchased a premium food manufacturing plant in Portland, Ore. The 80,000-square-foot facility, formerly produced for Harry’s Fresh Foods, will allow Blount to increase its production capacity for its line of soups and side dishes. The facility is expected to be brought online by July, and the company will invest $25 million in upgrades, including a cutting-edge spiral hydro chiller to quick-chill soups to lock in freshness and proprietary cooking kettles that allow small batch efficiencies.
“For several years, that facility has employed smart, capable, experienced and entrepreneurial soup and side dish makers, many of whom will come work with us,” said Todd Blount, president and chief executive of Blount Fine Foods, Fall River, Mass. “We are excited about Portland and its ‘foodie’ culture, the access to quality talent, and the evolution of our nationwide network to meaningfully reduce the total miles our products travel on average.”
The new facility will employ 50 people when it opens, including Blount veteran Douglas Gregoire, who will be the general manager. By 2021, when the plant is fully operational, it will employ about 150 people.
The plant joins Blount’s other manufacturing facilities in Fall River, Warren, R.I., and McKinney, Texas.
Blount also has partnered with a third-party logistics company to expand its distribution and logistics across the United States. Currently, it operates third-party logistics locations in Taunton, Mass., Fort Worth, Texas, and Atlanta. In 2020, two more locations will be added in Oregon and the Midwest.
“Market demand for all soups, but especially our premium soups, continues to increase, with flavors, sizes and eating occasions creating more opportunity for our customers,” said Blount. “Adding this facility meaningfully rounds out our nationwide network of plants and distribution points and allows us to get the best ingredients to the ideal plant, and then ship the highest-quality product on to the customer in the most efficient manner possible. In many ways, we hope this equates to an endless and uninterrupted supply of the world’s best soup.”