The former home of The Houma Courier has new life in a very different business.
The building at 3030 Barrow St. in Houma is now the home to Courier Labs, the premier bulk manufacturer of hemp products. Courier Labs has locations in California and Colorado in addition to one here in Houma.
Courier Labs President Joshua Camp said that by the end of the month construction on the laboratory portion of the building will be complete and full production will start soon after in the building. Currently the location has 10 employees, but they are planning to add 26 more for research and development, Camp said.
TTMK Holdings of Houma purchased the property at 3030 Barrow St. for $3.6 million in 2019, according to parish records. TTMK is a holding company for several businesses, whose directors include Timmy Thompson and his children, Todd, Tyler, Mike and Kate
“I’ve always been a fan of this building,” Todd Thompson said, just after the sale in 2019. “My uncle Troy Thompson, of Thompson Construction, actually constructed the building in 1983 and 1984. My grandfather provided the steel for the building, Dale Thompson did all the mechanical engineering. I just got a wild hair one day and decided to see if they’d be interested in selling.”
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Camp said it was important for the Thompsons, to establish a branch of the company in Houma as their hometown.
“There’s a legacy with the Courier building that our local partners wanted to take advantage of,” Camp said.
While Houma has been heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry, Camp said this was an opportunity for the company to bring in a new industry into the area.
“We’re able to take a lot of the skill sets that are abundant in the area with oil and gas and apply to this incredible, sustainable industry that’s still in its infancy,” he said.
During a tour of the building, Camp pointed out the infrastructure being installed from air lock doors, walls designed to be frequently scrubbed and washed and manufacturing integrated room to room with custom equipment. There are also windows installed in the facility so viewers can watch how raw hemp product turns into cannabidiol (CBD) isolate, broad and full spectrum CBD, water soluble CBD and other blends that can be applied to different uses.
“The most challenging thing has been with weather. Accounting for needed redundancies in infrastructure, and COVID created a severe supply chain delay for everything from our custom equipment to some of the specialized materials needed for a facility of this quality,” Camp said, “But it’s always satisfying to get into unforeseen challenges and then overcome.”
As the company expands operations, they look forward to working with Louisiana hemp farmers. Hemp is cannabis grown specifically for industrial use. Over 25,000 products can be derived from it, from cosmetics to gummies to tinctures.
Lab Manager Christopher Olson said he loves working in a startup environment and working to create end products instead of just wholesale.
“It’s pretty awesome, there’s great leadership and I enjoy learning and growing with the company,” Olson said.
Courier Labs currently serves over a dozen national brands with their oils and isolate-based products.
“We don’t produce standard, dime-a-dozen products. Our formulations are all custom and purposefully designed for the end consumer to be the highest quality, and most effective in the market” Camp said, “We want to make products that change the world.”
Read More: Courier Labs, manufacturer of hemp products, is growing in Houma