ContactPaul Piazza & Son, Inc.
1152 St. Louis St.
New Orleans, LA 70112
Quick FactsYear founded: 1892
# of employees in peak season: 75-100
# of family members working in the business: 4
Product type(s): U.S. Wild-Caught White and Brown Shrimp
Capacity (pounds per day): 100,000
Square footage of facilities: 50,000 sq. ft.
Product brand names: Paul Piazza Brand
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 have some older women who work here, and all of their sons are shrimpers, so they know what’s involved in this line of work,” Kory said. “They care about quality, and they know what it takes to make quality happen.”
“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.
The 40,000-square-foot Delcambre facility is equipped with four water wells and a large filtration system on the 10-acre property that provides high quality water for processing. During the season, 150,000 pounds of wild-caught domestic shrimp are processed daily, including peeled, peeled and deveined, headless, peeled and deveined tail on, easy peel, and 5-pound block frozen.
The company is also mindful of how it handles waste. Instead of discarding shrimp shells, they have them hauled out to local cattle farmers who use them for fertilizer.
“As far as a storyline goes for this company, it just doesn’t get any better,” Shep says. “We are pulling from the culture. We’re supporting the culture of the town and the domestic shrimp industry and all the people in this business here whose lives depend on this industry. Paul Piazza & Son and Bayou Shrimp Processors are helping to keep the culture alive.”
Following the addition of Bayou Shrimp Processors, Paul Piazza & Son expanded sourcing capabilities and developed new partnerships with boat owners, fishermen and docks in Texas and Louisiana.
Bayou Shrimp Processors focus is to pack a quality product for Paul Piazza & Son, which is distributed to a wide list of local, regional and national customers, including grocery stores, institutions, food service, distribution and wholesalers.
Paul Piazza & Son supplies the entire U.S. market with more than 30 million pounds of premium Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp each year, seeking partnerships with customers who appreciate the unique taste, flavor and attributes of Wild-Caught Gulf Shrimp.
Through hard work and relentless focus on quality, the companies combine cutting-edge technology with four generations of knowledge, the work of hundreds of employees and carefully-built relationships with fishermen across the Gulf.
Wild-Caught Gulf Shrimp are the two companies’ only business, a tradition that the brothers and their families hope will remain for many generations to come.