Mills processing plant at Bouctouche, New Brunswick. (Photo: Street View -Google)
Seafood processing plant resumes operations, with new owner
Saturday, August 12, 2017, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
Seafood processing plant Mills Seafood, located in Bouctouche, New Brunswick, has resumed operations after finding a new owner.
The plant’s new owner, Norm LeBlanc, made the purchase offer around late April, after it had closed suddenly in September 2016, putting more than a hundred people out of work.
LeBlanc, who is president of Captain Dan's Seafood — and opened the popular Pointe-du-Chêne restaurant Captain Dan's before eventually selling it — told CBC he was hoping to begin operations earlier in the season, but had to wait to receive his operating licence from government, which only happened this week.
"This particular operation has been in the community in Bouctouche for close to 50 years," said LeBlanc.
About 40 of the employees who had lost their jobs when Mills suddenly closed were hired back. The others have since found work elsewhere, and LeBlanc said he's actively looking to at least double his staff.
The plant processes seafood, and although LeBlanc said clams only represents about 10 per cent of his production volume, the reopening was welcome news for all in the clam industry.
Many who sell the product, including some take-out restaurants, were worried earlier this season about where they would get their supply.
There are only a handful of clam suppliers in the province, and Mills is by far the largest.
LeBlanc said he supplies some of the local restaurants and stores, but that a large share of his production goes towards exports, with the United States and Asia being where the demand is highest.