Blount Fine Foods invests in Portland prepared foods facility
Prepared foods company Blount Fine Foods is getting some new manufacturing digs. The Fall River, Mass.-based maker of prepared soups, entrees and side dishes for retail and foodservice, and a leader in private label soups specifically, has purchased a manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore., gaining 80,000 sq. ft. of production capacity for its products.
The Portland facility joins the company’s three other production sites, which include its Massachusetts headquarters and facilities in Warren, R.I., and McKinney, Texas. Alongside the new facility, Blount Fine Foods has added a third-party logistics partner with the aim of expanding its distribution and logistics nationwide. Currently, the company has third-party logistics locations in Taunton, Mass., Forth Worth, Texas, and Atlanta, with plans to add two more in Oregon and the Midwest this year.
“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 Todd Blount, president and CEO of Blount Fine Foods. “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.”
In the coming months, the company said it plans to invest more than $25 million in the Portland facility to ensure it is state-of-the-art and ready for the next soup season, which starts in July. The investment will include a spiral hydro chiller for quick-chilling soups and proprietary cooking kettles large enough to bring production efficiencies but small enough for the soups to largely be made in small batches by hand.
Blount provides private label soups to retailers nationwide and makes its broader portfolio of products available to stores.
“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,” Blount said. “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 roughly 50 people once the facility opens in the latter half of 2020. By the time the site is fully operational in 2021, the company said it expects to employ roughly 150 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,” Blount said.