Tag Archive for: gretna

Zatarain’s Builds a New Production Facility in Gretna

Zatarain’s, the market leader in boiling products, has built a new production facility in Gretna. Gretna’s current facility is where all Zatarain’s products except frozen and ready-to-serve items are made and distributed. The company’s yearly nationwide sales are $250 million dollars with 6 million cases of products produced annually. Out of the $250 million dollars sold, $37 million comes from the rice mixes. This is important for New Orleans because most of the rice used is purchased from Louisiana local growers.

New Orleans is currently the heart of the market for Zatarain’s products which are sold nationwide. Crawfish seasonNew Facility for Zatarain's is the only time food-service-size packages are sold at retail in New Orleans.

General Manager Jill Pratt said, “The Walmart on Tchoupitoulas sells so much that if they don’t have extra, they will run out on the weekend.” Zatarian’s recognizes Nola’s loyalty to their products by contributing $1 million a year to various local sponsorships and charities.

More than 200 different Zatarian’s products are made in Gretna which prompted the building of the new facility. The new building is located on First Street in what is known as the industrial Gretna neighborhood. The $26 million dollar facility’s foundation sits atop 900 pilings that have been driven into the ground supporting the 80,000-square-foot plant. The new plant will speed up the process they call “ribbon blending” where the product is blended from 10 minutes to 1 minute. This plant is also responsible for around 300 stock keeping units (SKU’s) and individual products and is the location of the research and developmental kitchen where side dish mixes are created.

July 13, 2015 was a proud day for locals here in Gretna as the plant’s 200 plus employees toasted to root beer at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Root beer extract is Zatarians’s best-selling product on Amazon.com and was Emile Zatarain’s first product sold.


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Gretna Heritage Fest to Get New Organizer

Live Nation, the notorious national concert booking company, will be taking over Gretna Heritage Fest for the first time this year. Live Nation is in charge of hundreds of venues and festivals around the country and fosters over 21,000 concerts per year. As of last year, Live Nation opened an office in New Orleans and hired local Russell Doussan as the President for the regional office.  Doussan was responsible for the past Gretna Fest, as well as the Bold Sphere Music at Champion’s Square concert series.

Known for its laid-back, local vibe, the Gretna Heritage Fest is located in historic Gretna, Louisiana.  The festival includes carnival rides, food from local venders and live music. The festival has grown throughout the years and Gretna Heritage Festcurrently includes 25 city blocks with six stages!

The lineup for this year includes many big name headlines such as Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr. and Bret Michaels. Other entertainers that will also be preforming are Aaron Lewis of Staind, Wild Feathers, Uncle Kracker, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., Marc Broussard and more.

The 21st annual Gretna Heritage Festival will be taking place October 2 – 4, 2015. Single day tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate and a 3-day pass is $47.50. If you want to have the VIP experience, you can purchase a “Premium Pit Ticket” which will give you access to restricted up-close viewing and special concession areas for $90.00, or go all out and purchase the “Friends of the Festival” weekend pass which will give you VIP seating at the main stage, four free drinks, unlimited free food, water and soft drinks for $350.00.  A good side note for families who want to attend, children 12 and under can attend free of charge.

Free parking is provided at the Oakwood Shopping Center or at 3rd and Derbigny St.  If parking at the Oakwood Shopping Center, there will be a shuttle service to and from the shopping center to the festival. Tickets are on sale now by visiting ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.

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West Bank to New Orleans Transportation Soon to Get Easier

A bill signed by Governor Jindal gives the green light to two projects which could transform transportation from the West Bank to New Orleans into a simple, easy ride for those residents commuting from places such as Gretna, Marrero, and Harvey to the Central Business District (CBD) to work everyday.  Currently, the ferry boats that dock at Canal Street and Algiers Point and Chalmette and Lower Algiers are so old that they are constantly breaking down and have the potential for permanently being put out of service because of their ages. One of these ferry boats was built in 1937.  The first project approved by the governor was to design and build these boats.  Construction will take approximately 12 months for the first boat and  6 months for the next boat built after that.

“It gives us the opportunity to use all the procurement options now available to speed up the process to get thoseWest Bank to New Orleans Ferry Transportation ferries built,” Transdev Vice President Justin Augustine said Tuesday. “We talked to boat builders…the feedback was clearly they could get the first built in 12 months and a second one within six months after that.”

Another transportation project that will alleviate stressful travel for those residents that live in Belle Chasse was the fastrack approval of a design / build process for a new bridge that will replace the Belle Chasse Tunnel underneath the Intercoastal Waterway.  Because state law prohibits a design and build process at the same time, in the hands of one contractor, special approval had to be given by the legislature for this caveat.  Similar measures were proposed and passed after Hurricane Katrina to move needed construction projects through to the approval stage at a faster pace.  Overall, through the construction of these two necessary modes of transportation, homeowners on the West Bank will soon have new ways of traveling the short commute to New Orleans while still enjoying the “away-from-the-city” life of living in Jefferson Parish.

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Success for West Bank’s Gretna Food Truck Festival

The first-ever Gretna Food Truck Festival, proceeds of which were donated to the Gretna Economic Development Association, the Jefferson Parish Recretaion Booster Club, and the Boys & Girls Club West Bank Unit, went off with one hitch – blazing New Orleans heat.  With heat indexes over 100 degrees, some fest goers recommended that the 2nd planned festival be scheduled for the fall after the Gretna Heritage Festival.  In addition to the “free exposure” for food truck owners to advertise their tasty wares, the festival was used almost like a benefit concert (except with aGretna Food Truck Festival DJ) for local Westbank organizations with entertainment by local legend DJ “Ed B,”.

First of all, the proceeds from the wine and beer sales were totaled and given to the Gretna Economic Development Association, while the proceeds from non-alcoholic beverages were dontaed to the Jefferson Parish Recreation Booster Club.  T-shirts for the festival with a logo designed by Manuel Ponce were sold for $15 – $17 / each and the money benefited the Boys & Girls Club West Bank Unit.  The music was performed at this year’s Gretna Food Truck Festival by DJ “Ed B,” Ed Batiste.

Several food trucks supplied the food of varied tastes and quantities including Diva Dawg, La Cocinita, Crepes a la cart, Ironsides Waffles, Food Drunk, and Frencheeze.

“We knew the event was going to be big based upon buzz on social media, but the crowd exceeded our expectations. At one time, we estimated they were 1,400 people there early in the event. The crowd never got smaller until the end despite the heat index over 100 degrees. The overwhelming response was “when are you going to do this again?” said Gretna Councilman Joe Marino III, who served as event coordinator.

Despite the heat, the festival was a huge success, its location at the Farmers Marketplace in the heart of Old Gretna turned out to be the best place on the West Bank to have it again, according to Gretna Councilman Marino.

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