PARIS, Texas - Campbell's Soup's new $48-million ready to eat production line at the Paris plant is officially up and running.
"It's a 76,000 square foot edition and is a plant within a plant and will create 70 jobs." said Campbell's Soup President Denise Morrison.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Congressman Ralph Hall and dozens of others in attendance were greeted Texas style Monday morning with people on horseback lining the entry driveway to the factory.
"When we came in, there horses and flags and it was just a wonderful welcome." said Morrison.
The Paris plant will now join the company's Everett, Washington location as the second Campbell's plant to produce packaged fresh soups. Like Campbell's canned soups, the packaged fresh soups are ready-to-eat, but are made using a more specialized cooking method.
"The Campbell's brand is known internationally." said Staples. "They have a history with a strong heritage, a great history and a bright future and that really parallels who we are here in Texas."
Staples says Texas' economy made it an easy choice for Campbell's Soup to invest in Paris.
"Companies can go all over the world today, so Paris making decisions to bring companies here, looking at ways to continuously improve infrastructure sends the right signal to companies." said Staples.
Paris Mayor AJ Hashmi says he's glad to see a project months in the works come to fruition.
"We are very excited about it, obviously they needed support from the city, which was provided to them." said Hashmi. "We will continue to provide support to Campbell's and all others that who want to come to Paris."
"The more we can do to grow our business and to work collaboratively with the city, we are all for it." said Morrison.
Morrison thanked the almost 800 Paris plant workers for making the expansion possible.
"We're very appreciative for the workers and the people at Paris, Texas in our plant, because without the people we couldn't be doing things like this and they're just very special." said Morrison.
In addition to the new production line Campbell's also added a customer test kitchen, allowing the company to conduct soup tastings with customers.
Campbell's Paris plant also makes Campbell's condensed soups, Prego Italian sauces, Pace Mexican sauces and V8 juices.