Company Also Adds 3PL Facility in Atlanta As It Expands Its Nationwide Manufacturing and Logistics Network
Fall River, Mass.-based Blount Fine Foods (www.blountfinefoods.com) has purchased the former headquarters of Harry’s Fresh Foods and its production facilities in Portland, Ore. The acquisition gives Blount an additional 80,000 square feet of production capacity for its soups and side dishes. Blount already has plants in Fall River, Mass., Warren, R.I. and McKinney, Tex.
It has also entered an agreement with a third-party logistics (3PL) partner in Atlanta to provide expanded distribution and logistics nationwide. Blount has 3PL locations in Taunton, Mass., Fort Worth, Tex., and Atlanta, Ga. This year, the company will name two more 3PL locations in Oregon and the Midwest.
Todd Blount, president and CEO, said there is increasing demand for all soups, especially the company’s premium soups. The new facility rounds out the firm’s network of plants and distribution facilities, enabling the company “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.”
Blount plans to invest more than $25 million to ensure that the plant is state-of-the-art by the time soup season begins in July. Plans call for all new processing equipment, including a cutting-edge “spiral hydro chiller” for quick-chilling soups to lock in freshness. Also coming online: proprietary cooking kettles that are large enough for production efficiencies yet small enough to allow soup to be made largely by hand in small batches.
There’s a ready pool of talent nearby, including workers who had worked at the plant under its previous ownership. “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,” Blount said.
The company expects to employ about 50 people when the facility opens in the second half of 2020, including up to six who will relocate to Portland from other Blount facilities. One who will relocate is Blount veteran Douglas Gregoire, who has been named general manager of the new plant. By the time the new facility is fully operational, which is expected to be by 2021, Blount expects to employ up to 150 people there.
“With the purchase of this plant in Portland, we are adding redundancy, flexibility, diversity, breadth, and depth, all of which benefit our customers around the country, while also strengthening our leadership position in the industry,” concluded Blount.