RESERVE — National Meat and Provision Company, a nearly 100-year-old family-owned food service company whose clients include such iconic Louisiana restaurants as Brennan’s and Commander’s Palace, announced it is investing more than $437,600 to expand its production facility in St. John the Baptist Parish.
The project will add 3,795 square feet of freezer storage, allowing the company to better serve its wide range of customers, including retailers and offshore companies in addition to restaurants.
The company, best known as NATCO, expects to create five new jobs while retaining 80 current positions. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 12 new indirect jobs, for a total of 17 new jobs in the Southeast Region.
“NATCO has been supporting Louisiana’s world-renowned food service and hospitality industries with high-quality products for nearly a century,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a press release. “This company showcases the importance of small business owners to our state’s economy and culture. I thank NATCO for its long commitment to Louisiana, and look forward to the additional job growth and economic activity that will result from this investment.”
In 1925, first-generation American Nicholas Lalla started NATCO as a meat cart in New Orleans. Now in its third generation of family leadership, the company supplies customers across the Gulf South with meats and food-service products.
“As a Louisiana-based company, an expansion at our Reserve facility reiterates our commitment to our local roots,” NATCO COO Charles Schimmel said. “NATCO has experienced tremendous growth in our USDA production operations over the last several years, and this under-roof bulk freezer expansion will give us the ability to redesign some of our current facility layout and further increase efficiency and output.”
Construction for the expansion of the West 10th Street facility began in July. The company estimates the new equipment will be fully operational in mid-October.
“NATCO has invested significantly in St. John Parish, and I am proud to celebrate this exciting expansion with them,” said St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard. “This project not only reaffirms NATCO’s commitment to our community and to creating and retaining jobs locally, but also speaks volumes about their success. I look forward to continuing to work together.”
To secure the project in Reserve, the state of Louisiana offered NATCO a competitive incentives package including a $60,000 performance-based grant contingent upon meeting investment and payroll targets. The company is also expected to participate in the state’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“This expansion will allow NATCO to continue a history of more than 95 years of delivering high-quality food products to customers around the Gulf South,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “GNO, Inc. worked alongside company leadership over the past two years to secure a suite of incentives that will allow NATCO to expand into new product lines and services, creating new high-demand jobs and a renewed commitment to success in St. John the Baptist Parish.”