Supreme Rice, one of the largest rice-milling operations in Louisiana, is investing $16.2 million to develop parboil facilities in Crowley and Mermentau for a new line of ready-to-eat products, state officials say.
The expansion will create 20 direct new jobs, and LED estimates the project will result in 79 indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 100 new jobs in Acadia Parish. The company will retain 181 jobs at its current locations.
In Mermentau, the company will build a new greenfield facility for the parboil operations, which will partially cook the rice for the new product line. In Crowley, it will develop a new parboil mill inside its existing facility.
“As a processor of one of Louisiana’s key crops, Supreme Rice is both a cultural ambassador and an agribusiness leader for our state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This expansion and the new jobs it will generate in Acadiana will help to sustain the growing momentum of our rural revitalization efforts.”
Supreme Rice plans to begin construction on the new facilities by the fourth quarter of this year.
“Our new parboil facility in Mermentau will allow us to market this product line to customers,” CEO Bobby Hanks of Supreme Rice said. “The new parboil rice products will create another value-added milled rice offering that further supports the stability of Louisiana-grown rice.”
Established in Kaplan, Louisiana, in 1936, Supreme Rice moved to Crowley the following year and has been headquartered there since. Founder Joseph Doré built and implemented one of the first drying units in the industry, allowing the company to expand its reach globally. Processing more than 1 billion pounds annually, Supreme Rice produces packages of white long grain, medium long grain, jasmine and brown long grain rice that are shipped to more than 50 countries.
“Supreme Rice Mill is a very important economic engine for Crowley, Acadia Parish, and the State of Louisiana,” Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux said. “We are pleased and excited to have this expansion realized and look forward to the continued success and growth of this business. Under Bobby Hanks’ leadership, the rice mill has grown substantially, and we wish him the very best in his endeavors.”
"It is with hopeful and great anticipation that the new endeavor with Supreme Rice in Mermentau will bring the economic boost that is much needed to our village and community," Mermentau Mayor Darla Istre said.
To secure the project in Acadia Parish, the state of Louisiana provided Supreme Rice with a competitive incentive package that includes $750,000 from the state’s Economic Development Award Program. The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zone programs.