Baton Rouge-based Focus Foods, a meal solutions manufacturer founded in 2019, today announced a $1.7 million expansion and relocation from its Celtic Studios base of operations to a larger site in Baton Rouge.
The project will create 100 direct new jobs with an average annual salary of $45,000, plus benefits. Focus Foods is retaining 333 jobs.
The company began as a network of former food truck owners who merged their skills and talents to develop and manufacture easy-to-prepare frozen meals. At the start of the pandemic, the company prioritized meals for in-home consumption provided to elementary and high school students who had switched to a virtual or at-home setting.
Focus Foods plans to move its corporate headquarters and manufacturing operations into the 75,000 square-foot former Valluzzo-McDonald’s distribution plant on Choctaw Drive in August. It will add 15,000 square feet to the facility for an industrial culinary kitchen and a shelf-stable food manufacturing center.
The company provides 30,000 meals for K-12 students across seven parish school districts each week through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child & Adult Care Feeding Program. In addition to school and home delivery, Focus Foods operates eight owned distribution sites and 50 partner sites across 11 parishes.
According to LED, the state offered the company a comprehensive incentive package that included LED’s FastStart software. Focus Foods is expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. The company also will receive a $100,000 award from the state’s Economic Development Award Program.