Business considers Ferriday move

Published 12:12 am Monday, November 16, 2015

FERRIDAY — A Houston-based Cajun seasoning company is considering relocating its operations to Ferriday.

Heaven Made Products, which is owned by Louisiana native Michael Pitre, is in the process of negotiating a move into the former Kelly’s Kids building in Ferriday. The town owns the building.

Ferriday Economic Development Director Beatrice Cummings said the agreement would ultimately have to be approved by the board of aldermen, but the essential elements of it include Heaven Made making between $250,000 and $275,000 in improvements to the Kelly’s Kids building and hiring at least 15 people.

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In return, the town would allow the company to occupy the property rent-free for five years.

“They have also asked for 30 acres of land to actually do the growing of vegetables to make the seasoning,” Cummings said. “Everything is going to be homegrown and produced here in Ferriday.”

Heaven Made Products Owner Michael Pitre said he began considering the move to Ferriday after meeting local resident Alex Promise — who told him about the town and the Kelly’s Kids building — several years ago.

Pitre said in addition to working with the town, he hopes to receive some economic development support from the state, and wants to see the project get under way in the next six months.

“We’ll be hiring an anticipated 15 people in the first year, and in one-and-a-half to two years, that number will double and possibly triple, and within three to four years we hope to be hiring 80 to 100 people,” he said.

“The only requirement from the town is that I hire 80 percent of the workers from the Ferriday area, and then 20 percent from all around.”

The proposal for the Ferriday facility includes a demonstration kitchen and fundraising programs for local schools, Pitre said.

In recent years, a clothing company, Neimaj Footwear and Apparel, had expressed interest in the Kelly’s Kids facility and had at one point signed a lease on the building, but discussions with that company have since ended, Cummings said.