Gonzales is the Birthplace of Texas Revolution and the Proud Home of U.S. Manufacturing Companies
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Gonzales, Texas was the site of the first shot fired in the Texas Revolution - the battle that eventually led to the United States formally acquiring Texas, New Mexico and California. Home to the famous “Come and Take It” cannon, Gonzales has never forgotten its roots as a community proud of its U.S. heritage. That same pride is evident in the community’s support of the U.S. manufacturing and agricultural industry. Adams Extract moved to Texas in 1905 and companies like Kitchen Pride joined them in the decades to follow. Graham Land & Cattle Co., is another company in the agricultural and food industry in Gonzales. They, and others, have made Gonzales County the #2 calf and cattle producer in Texas. Whether companies are in manufacturing or agriculture, they benefit from the tremendous support the community provides.
Gonzales Offers Access
Manufacturing, distribution and agricultural companies will benefit from the access Gonzales provides, without the big city congestion and traffic. Being within an hour of San Antonio and Austin, and near Houston, is convenient for businesses looking to develop a great local customer base and the community’s infrastructure provides for that connectivity. For example, the I-10 Corridor is an important transportation highway for the food manufacturing companies located here. Adams Extract has cited access to the corridor, along with proximity to other food manufacturing and grocery businesses, as one of the reasons they chose to move to Gonzales from Austin in 2002.
No one understands the importance of moving fresh ingredients quickly like Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms Inc.. They grow between 250,000-280,000 pounds per week of fresh mushrooms for the Texas market. “The community is located close to a good distribution system where all of the large Texas markets can be served with daily routes. It has been the perfect community to live and grow our business,” said Greg McLain, Co-Founder of Kitchen Pride.
“One of the biggest advantages to this area, for our business, is how easy it is for trucks to get in and out of our facility. That’s important for our business since we have around twenty trucks moving cattle and commodities in and out on a daily basis. And our business does just a portion of the transportation that the local poultry industry does to feed and transport their 6 million chickens. Still – there are no traffic jams that slow down operations because the infrastructure here works quite well,” said Josh Gray of Graham Land & Cattle.
For those looking for more than the interstate Gonzales, TX area offers multimodal transportation via rail, air, and easy access to marine transportation. Texas Gonzales and Northern Railway (TXGN) offers rail transport and shipping across Texas’ central heartland. Running between Harwood and Gonzales, TXGN interchanges with the Union Pacific Railroad to ship freight anywhere, including the three nearby ports. Two international airports are nearby, and I-10, the southernmost interstate, runs across Texas at its widest and connects Gonzales to Houston and San Antonio.
Employers Benefit from a Skilled Workforce
Gonzales boasts of an available workforce with manufacturing and agricultural skills - essential for the existing industry and new businesses looking to move to the area. The Gonzales Laborshed includes over 323,000 from Gonzales and 12 neighboring counties, and there are five educational institutions to train them. “The available workforce in the area has made it easy for us to staff up and continue to grow as our business expanded. Being able to quickly hire skilled workers has been a valuable benefit of locating in Gonzales, making it possible for us to remain responsive to consumer demands for our products,” said Annie Ortega, Director of Marketing and Brands for Adams Extract.
“Kitchen Pride has a great group of employees that work hard to make this business a success,” said McLain.
“We hear of companies outside of our area struggling to find labor. We don’t have that problem because Gonzales and Seguin have plenty to offer families, in addition to the jobs we and other companies provide,” said Gray.
Support for Businesses
The Gonzales Economic Development Corporation and the City of Gonzales offer several local incentive programs to aid in community and economic development including the Business Incentive Grant Program, Chapter 380 Agreements and Hotel Tax Funding. They also offer workforce development support.
Greg McLain, Co-Founder of Kitchen Pride, said that one of the reasons they selected Gonzales is that it had a history as an agricultural community. “The financial institutions understand agriculture.” He added, “Initially, the Gonzales Area Development Corporation aided in site selection, provided some loan assistance, and brought the local banks together to fund our FMHA BI loan. We were the first business in the county to receive funds from the Texas Department of Commerce through a Community development block grant. After our loan repayment, these funds helped establish the current county revolving loan fund. In 1996, Kitchen Pride and the county were successful in applying for a grant to help pay for paving the county road that comes to the facility,” said McLain.
Affordability & Available Sites
Gonzales offers another clear benefit - affordability. Sites and existing buildings cost less here than in nearby Austin and San Antonio - creating an opportunity for relocating businesses to save. Utilities, provided by GVEC, are offered at very competitive rates because of the cooperative’s mission to support its members. The combination of affordable sites and reliable electricity is attractive to manufacturing and distribution companies needing a larger footprint at a reasonable cost.
Retail Opportunities Exist - Come and Take It!
Retail Strategies provided retail market data and identified growth opportunities within Gonzales’ trade area. The data shows there are more than 37,000 people living in the retail trade area and that is expected to grow by 3.6% over the next five years. A gap analysis demonstrates approximately $101,711,041 in leakage. There are clear opportunities for retailers to grow in Gonzales, along with sites to support them.
Consider Gonzales for Your Expansion Project
You can learn more about Gonzales by watching this video of the Huckabee Show. For information on available sites and buildings, contact the Gonzales Texas Economic Development Corporation.