ASPA Member Feature: Bayou Shrimp Processors, Inc.

March 18, 2022

The history of Bayou Shrimp Processors located in Delcambre, Louisiana, is a rich novel that draws upon a seafood heritage dating back to multiple generations. Although a handful of owners have come and gone over the years since the plant was built in 1995, the operation is full of valued long-term employees who embrace the shrimp industry with an unparalleled measure of loyalty.

When brothers-in-law Shep Baumer, president, and Kory Eschlard, vice president, bought the plant in 2005, they were not only attracted to the convenience of it being centrally positioned on the Gulf of Mexico, the key selling point for them was the workers already in place who carried a genuine appreciation for the town’s seafood legacy.

Shep says when scouting plant locations for purchase, they were attracted to the area because of the work ethic already firmly established: “These people are the salt of the earth,” he says. “Most of the people that work here grew up in this shrimping town, and they take a lot of pride in everything they do. The shrimp packers want to pack shrimp better than anyone else. The people that are picking pieces out of the shrimp want to pick pieces better than anyone else. They take pride in every aspect of their job, and that reflects in their work.”

The commitment is impressive as most of Bayou Shrimp’s full-time employees each have over 20 years of loyal service. Roland Esponge has worked for the company as a physical plant manager for years, but he also helped the original owners design and build the plant in 1995.

Roland grew up in Delcambre (pronounced Del-come), and he is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all the history of the industry. The lineage of fishermen, including his father, who navigated Bayou Carlin in a town perfectly nestled in the Cajun heartland of the state, has secured a strong reputation of abundant shrimp harvests for decades. And Roland can tell you all about it.

He has watched the industry transition significantly over the years from eight plants down to two or three, but he remembers every detail, especially since he accompanied his father on fishing trips and helped worked his family’s dock. Roland can tell you where the old ice house used to be, where every dock operation was located, how plants have come and gone, who was involved in the industry, where certain boats were tied up on the water, and can even point out where all the bars used to be that past fishermen once frequented after long trips on the Gulf.

Want to learn more about Bayou Shrimp Processors, Inc.? Be sure to visit their Member Page for more information!