Brown’s Dairy, a subsidiary of Dean Foods, is closing the doors of a Hammond milk processing plant that has been in operation since 1904.
A spokesman for Dean Foods confirmed Tuesday that the Baronne Street milk processing facility will close, according to a 4WWL news report, eliminating about 185 positions.
“We will certainly make everyone aware of open positions throughout Dean Foods and encourage them to consider applying,” Dustin Cox, Manager of Corporate Communications for Dean Foods, said in a statement, according to the report, adding that the jobs will be phased out over the next several months.
While the plant has been there over 100 years, it opened its current operations in the 1960s, processing and distributing the following through Louisiana, south Mississippi, and south Alabama:
The decision to close the operation, Cox said, was to enhance manufacturing capabilities in the area, but much of the production will be kept at a Brown’s Hammond facility within Louisiana.
“This decision was made after a careful review of the facility and how we can best support our customers in the region,” Cox said, according to the report. “We regret the impact that this result will have on our employees and our community. The decision to eliminate jobs in any part of our business is never an easy one. This move does not reflect the quality of work performed by our Brown’s Dairy employees, but the need to enhance our capabilities.”
The business started with four employees that cranked ice cream by hand, growing into an operation receiving 15 tanks of milk a day and employing almost 200 workers.