ASPA Member Feature: Paul Piazza & Son, Inc.
October 2, 2020
For more than 125 years and through four generations, the Paul Piazza & Son family has been providing Premium, Wild-Caught Gulf Shrimp to customers throughout the United States. From the beginning, the company has always worked to be the perfect partner for its customers and continues that tradition to this day.
“Our objective is to help our customers to grow their businesses and in turn, our own business,” said Kristen Baumer, President of Paul Piazza & Son and great-grandson of Paul Piazza. “If we grow our customers’ business by building relationships, understanding and sourcing what they need, and delivering those products consistently; both Companies grow and prosper.”
The story of Paul Piazza & Son begins with Paul Piazza himself, who began selling fresh shrimp, fish, and wild game (including rabbits) in the New Orleans French Quarter in 1892 — first on foot, then by wagon and as his reputation grew, he proudly opened his own stall in the famous French Quarter Market. By 1975, the company’s business had expanded in New Orleans with the addition of a processing plant that started with two or three peeling machines and grew to nine.
Then Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, and the company was changed forever.
PP&S, like much of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana, was devastated by the storm and its aftermath. The rebirth of the Company began later that year with the acquisition of a state-of-the-art processing facility in southwest Louisiana and the re-opening of an updated, more efficient processing facility and new Administrative Headquarters in New Orleans. This facility occupies a full square block in the city’s historic area.
That acquired processing facility is Bayou Shrimp Processors, located in Delcambre, Louisiana, about two hours southwest of New Orleans. Bayou Shrimp Processors’ plant was built in 1995 and is centrally positioned on the Gulf of Mexico in an area with a long seafood legacy.
When Kristen’s brother, Shep Baumer, president, and Kory Eschlard, vice president (and Shep’s brother-in-law), bought it for Paul Piazza in 2005, it already had several valued long-term employees who embraced the shrimp industry with an inspiring measure of loyalty. Each employee has nearly 20 years of loyal service, and they embody the Paul Piazza & Son philosophy of delivering the perfect shrimp while being the perfect partner.
“We looked at the storm’s destruction as an opportunity to not only rebuild but to reinvent our company by strengthening our sourcing capabilities and expanding our production capabilities,” Kristen said.
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