HOUSTON – Gourmet Ranch, a subsidiary of Jake’s Finer Foods, announced the start-up of operations at its new processing plant in northwest Houston. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the 38,000-square-foot plant on May 18, where company officials highlighted the facility’s technology-rich equipment, refrigeration and ventilation systems, which were designed for worker safety and comfort by Euless, Texas-based Team Group.

Gourmet Ranch, which was founded in 2000 and acquired by Jake’s, a broadline foodservice distributor, in 2001 has a reputation for delivering premium meat, poultry and specialty meats directly to consumers through its website. The company plans to increase production with the addition of the new facility and has plans for expanding the footprint of the new facility when growth warrants. Forty employees currently work at the federally inspected plant and more workers will be hired as production increases.  

The design and layout of the plant is based on the company’s executive’s touring processing plants around the country and implementing the best of what they saw in its new facility.   

“We have seen an ever-increasing demand by restaurants and the consumer for good, quality meats and the new facility will allow us to ramp up capacity,” said Jason Blackshear, Gourmet Ranch’s president.

He added that the pandemic required the company to implement worker safety protocols as part of its operation and to look at new business strategies.

“COVID also changed consumer behaviors and spending. With more buyers wanting meat delivered to their homes. That demand is here to stay, and our e-commerce business continues to grow.”