SANTA TERESA, NM – Louisiana Pepper Exchange, a global bell pepper company that has mastered logistical innovations to market pureed peppers to restaurants and discerning gourmets, announced a major expansion to the Santa Teresa border area of New Mexico.
The New Mexico Economic Development Department, (EDD) reported that New Orleans-based Louisiana Pepper Exchange has acquired a 10-acre site in the Ironhorse Industrial Park, with the intention of gaining strategic transportation advantages for processing chile imports from Mexico and Central America. In addition, the acquisition will prepare the company to cultivate relationships with growers in southern New Mexico.
“Louisiana Pepper Exchange’s decision to expand into New Mexico proves once again that our strategy of investing in the international border is working. This location in Santa Teresa is a win for the company and its customers, and a win for New Mexico, providing jobs and a more diverse economy,” said Alicia J. Keyes, EDD Cabinet Secretary.
The family-owned Louisiana Pepper Exchange was founded in 2010 by Chris White, an Army veteran and West Point graduate. White used his deployment and logistical expertise to patent a proprietary methodology for shipping bulk bell pepper puree, which he now supplies worldwide to some of the largest hot sauce manufacturers.
The State of New Mexico supported the expansion with a $300,000 grant from the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s (EDD) Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job creation fund. Louisiana Pepper expects to hire at least 20 people over the next five years, with an average salary of $45,000.
The site will include a 40,000-square-foot processing warehouse along with space for tanks that can store 30 million pounds of pepper puree for sale to U.S. customers.
“Santa Teresa, is the perfect location for Louisiana Pepper to thrive. It is an industrial park with rail services and an overweight trucking area that can support our supply chain from Mexico,” said Zach Foster, chief financial officer of Louisiana Pepper Exchange. “The Mesilla Valley has a long history and heritage with chiles; New Orleans has the same culture, so this is a natural fit. We are thrilled to be part of this business community.”
Louisiana Pepper Exchange has cultivated direct relationships with growers in Mexico and Central and South America for purpose-grown products and are exploring other opportunities with New Mexico’s rich chile-producing culture.
Davin Lopez, president and CEO of MVEDA, said that to complement the State of New Mexico’s LEDA award, an additional $100,000 from the NM Borderplex Closing Incentive was awarded to support the project.