NEW ORLEANS — Savory Simon is now set to make his long-awaited return to store shelves.
According to the governor's office and the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), Hubig's Pies could soon be removed from the "Ain't Dere No More" list in New Orleans.
"As somebody who grew up on a steady diet Hubig's pie, this is an exciting day," JEDCO President and CEO Jerry Bologna said.
Bologna added Hubig's plans to re-launch production of its famous fruit pies at a yet-to-be-determined manufacturing facility in Jefferson Parish.
Hubig's historic bakery in the Marigny, burned to the ground nearly seven years ago.
The Ramsey family that owns the brand has been vowing to return since the fire.
Hubig's is now poised to make a comeback thanks in part to state and local incentives and loan guarantees.
"The Ramsey family is trying identify that site and finalize that site right now," Bologna said. "That's why we hope they can be in production for 2020."
The face of the company Drew Ramsey was not available for an interview.
But, he did speak briefly with Times Picayune - New Orleans Advocate food writer Ian Mcnulty.
"They don't want to promise too much, too soon is the impression that I got because they know they're talking about something close to the hearts of a lot of New Orleans people," McNulty said. "
McNulty added, it's been a long time since there's been any news about Hubig's.
"There hasn't been much information about their future prospects," McNulty said. "This is the first blip of good news we've heard. It's natural people are getting really excited about it."
Hubig's fried hand pies hold a special place in the food lore of the city and surrounding community.
"Think about beignets," McNulty said. "They are famous around the world. These days, lots of people know about King Cakes. But, Hubig's Pies, that was something New Orleans kept for itself."
There is no denying the city's pent up yearning for the taste of Hubig's apple, sweet potato, coconut, chocolate, peach, lemon and other fruit flavored pies.
"I'm excited to get that first lemon pie," Bologna said.
The project is expected to create 30 full time direct and indirect jobs.
"No one embraces traditions and good food like the people of Louisiana," Gov. Edwards said in a statement sent to news outlets early Thursday. "Hubig's pies are as unique to Louisiana as Mardi Gras, and we welcome the return of this iconic local brand with open arms and empty stomachs. We're happy to help support Hubig's Pies as it revives a great culinary tradition and creates new career opportunities in Louisiana's rich culinary heritage."
The governor's press release said that Hubig's plans to begin production in 2020 with such classic flavors as apple, cherry, lemon, peach and chocolate.
The news release from the governor's office did not specify a location in Jefferson Parish but said Hubig's will jump start its production with a $1.37 million capital investment in a manufacturing facility. The project initially will create 14 full-time jobs, the governor's office said.
"Real estate solutions in Jefferson Parish are being finalized now, and Hubig’s LLC secured a small business loan guaranty today from the Louisiana Economic Development Corp. board that will assist the company in securing financing from Hancock Whitney Bank," said the statement. The state also offered economic incentives to Hubig's owners, including a small business loan and the state's Industrial Tax Exemption and Enterprise Zone programs.
Hubig's, familiar for its Savory Simon character who adorned packaging and the company logo, was founded in 1922 in Fort Worth, Texas and came to New Orleans later that year, eventually spreading to nine cities. When the bakery burned in 2012, there was an outpouring of support for the beloved brand.
“We’re looking forward to our relaunch and being able to announce a more detailed timeline soon,” Ramsey said. “We’ve been a New Orleans company since the 1920s. We buy local, hire local, and our main market is Louisiana. We are eager to get Hubig's Pies back into the hands of our loyal customers. We appreciate their patience and support.”