Manda Fine Meats has sold its idle Baker facility for $200,000 to a pair of investors who plan to develop an industrial manufacturing incubator in the building.
The plant at 13111 Plank Road was shut down in April 2013 over concerns products made there may have been contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium.
The Baton Rouge company sold the Baker plant in a deal that closed earlier this week, according to records filed with the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office. The deal included a 15,000-square-foot building, a separate 6,000-square-foot warehouse and 11 surrounding acres. The buyer was Lincoln Park LLC.
William Manhein, one of the principals of Lincoln Park, said all of the food processing equipment inside the Manda building has been removed and sold to other businesses.
“There’s nothing in there anymore,” he said. “The last thing that was left was these big industrial ovens, and they were shipped out two weeks ago.”
Manhein is the owner/president of Asset Recycle, which shares a property line with Manda. Asset Recycle sells used and surplus turbo machinery, such as industrial gas turbines.
Manhein and his partner in Lincoln Park, Mike Bercute, a former Firestone plant manager, both have industrial backgrounds.
That led to their interest in using the new facility to foster the growth of fledgling industrial manufacturers.
“We like watching new technology grow,” Manhein said. “And if there are tenants that interest us, we may end up investing in them.”
The Baker processing plant handled ham, roast beef, turkey, corned beef, pastrami and hogs head cheese. It was shut down in spring 2013 after inspectors found that meat produced at the plant may have been contaminated with the bacterium that can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease that can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.
Since then, Manda has farmed out the processing of deli and specialty meats to a network of out-of-state plants, said Bobby Yarborough, the company’s CEO.
“These products continue to be made with the same quality ingredients and recipes unique to Manda,” Yarborough said. Manda is still making sausage at its Baton Rouge plant.