(Elmwood, La) — The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and Jefferson Parish celebrated the grand opening of the new Starr Textile Services facility in the Elmwood Business Park Thursday. The woman-owned company, which provides commercial laundry services to the regional hospitality industry, purchased the Jefferson Parish facility in April. Operations began out of the new facility last month.
JEDCO and Starr Textile Services worked closely for more than two years to secure the right site to host the expanding business. With the new building chosen and big plans for growth, Starr applied for an SBA 504 Loan. JEDCO’s finance team worked tirelessly to secure the loan, which was used for acquisition of land and building, new commercial laundry equipment and funding of building renovations. Of the $10.7 million investment, JEDCO financed over $4.3 million of it, making this the largest SBA 504 loan in JEDCO history.
The completion of the loan allowed the Louisiana plant to undertake additional customers in both the Louisiana and Mississippi markets. The new facility created 40 new jobs immediately. Another 25 people will be hired in the first year of operations. The expansion allowed Starr to increase its capacity to over 7,500 pounds of laundry per hour to service hotels, restaurants and condominium property management partners 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This is an exciting day for JEDCO,” said JEDCO Executive Director, Jerry Bologna. “This project has been a collaborative effort from the very beginning. I commend the JEDCO team, the Parish President and Parish Department directors for their unwavering commitment to Starr. We are confident that Starr Textile Services will find unprecedented success in Jefferson Parish. JEDCO remains dedicated to Starr and their team as they expand their operations in Louisiana.”
Starr partnered with Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company and sister company, Pellerin Milnor Corporation. The local laundry equipment manufacturing and sales companies, based out of Kenner, designed and equipped the new facility with products manufactured in Jefferson Parish.
“A partnership between Starr Textile Services, Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company and Pellerin Milnor Corporation is truly indicative of Jefferson Parish’s versatile business-base,” said Parish President John F. Young. “Not only did Starr find a new home in Jefferson Parish, where the company can expand and find success, but it also moved closer to a company that can service its equipment needs. Jefferson Parish businesses don’t have to look beyond the region to find what they need. What they need is right here in their own backyard.”
Sheila Hodges, Starr owner and SHE Inc. Chairman, added, “Pellerin and Starr make great partners because our business principles and high standards for customer service are aligned. The New Orleans area has been very good to us. Therefore, our commitment back to this area, and now to Jefferson Parish as well, is that we will continue to invest in the community. We will continue to train, improve and grow our workforce. We will continue to be the driving force in the advancement of our industry.”
“We are very proud to be partnering with Starr Textile Services on this state-of-the-art laundry facility,” said Scott McClure, Vice President of Sales of Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company, Inc. “In 2008, we designed and equipped Starr’s laundry facility in Foley, AL and are excited about their new facility to serve the Greater New Orleans market. This new laundry is be minutes away from our Kenner plant and will have some of the latest energy saving technology, including a Milnor PulseFlow® Wash System that will annually process millions of pounds of linen while utilizing less than half a gallon per pound. Considering that conventional washers can utilize up to 3.5 gallons per lb., this laundry will be one of the most efficient laundry facilities in the country.”
“Starr Textile Services’ decision to expand business in Jefferson Parish is another sign that our region is the right fit for companies looking to grow,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “Not only does Starr’s partnership with Pellerin Milnor highlight the unique opportunities for expansion that exist in our region, it’s also a sign of the strength of our tourism industry, one of the biggest employers in Greater New Orleans.”
About Starr Textiles: Starr Textile Services of Louisiana serves the commercial laundry, dry cleaning and textile rental needs of hospitality organizations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. For more information on Starr Textile Services of Louisiana, visit www.StarrTextileServices.com
About Pellerin: Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company, Inc. is located in Kenner, LA and is one of the country’s largest laundry equipment distributors. Pellerin and its sister company, Pellerin Milnor Corporation employ approximately 600 employees in Jefferson Parish. Pellerin has been selling and servicing laundry equipment in the Southeastern United States since 1921 and Pellerin Milnor has been manufacturing industrial laundry products since 1947. Pellerin’s territory consists of seven states – Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Western Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle. Louisiana Made and Louisiana Proud – the Pellerin Family pride themselves in supplying their customers with durable, efficient and Made in the USA products.