Week in Review, July 12-16: Breeze Debuts, Barracuda Expands

NEW ORLEANS – Here are the week’s top business stories:

Breeze Airways, the new U.S. carrier from JetBlue founder David Neeleman, has launched from New Orleans to 10 destinations. The low-cost startup, headquartered in Utah, will focus on flights between smaller U.S. cities that don’t have direct service from larger carriers. In total, it will offer 39 nonstop routes between 16 cities. Louis Armstrong International Airport will be an operations base, along with airports in Tampa, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va. The 10 cities Breeze will serve from New Orleans are Charleston; Akron/Canton, Ohio; Bentonville/Fayetteville, Ark.; Huntsville, Ala.; Louisville, Ky.; Norfolk ; Oklahoma, Okla.; Richmond, Va.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Columbus, Ohio. All stops are new or underserved destinations for MSY. …

A New Orleans-area film and TV studio plans to expand into a building that opened in 1923 as an assembly plant for Model T Fords. The Ranch Film Studios didn’t say what it paid for the 225,000-square-foot (21,000-square-meter) building in Arabi. But the company said it is looking for partners and plans to raise $35 million to complete the historic restoration and $35 million to create film stages and spaces for tech, gaming, and film related companies. (AP) … 

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Edwin Washington Edwards died Monday. He was a high-living, quick-witted four-term governor who reshaped Louisiana’s oil revenues and dominated the state’s politics for decades. That run was all but overshadowed by scandal and eight years in federal prison. He was 93. Edwards died of respiratory problems with family and friends by his bedside, family spokesman Leo Honeycutt said, days after entering hospice care at his home in Gonzales, near the Louisiana capital. “I have lived a good life, had better breaks than most, had some bad breaks, too, but that’s all part of it. I tried to help as many people as I could and I hope I did that, and I hope, if I did, that they will help others, too. I love Louisiana and I always will,” Edwards said in some of his last words, according to Honeycutt’s statement. (AP) …

Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana’s Fresh Food Factor is expanding its portfolio of services by announcing its expansion into co-packing services for both local and national bands, under the Fresh Food Factor Packing and Creative Concepts name. The headquarters of Fresh Food Factor is an 8,500 square foot commercial kitchen located in the historic Lykes Steamship District in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District, and currently has 48 full-time employees. This new development is an extension of the organization’s experience in the food and beverage industry sector, having provided nutritious meals to area school children in both Orleans and Jefferson parishes since 2013. …

Officials celebrated the opening of NOLA Detox and Recovery Center, a 36-bed addiction treatment facility, at a Monday ribbon cutting ceremony in Algiers. “Louisiana is at the center of the opioid crisis; people are dying from overdoses more than anywhere else in the country,” said Dan Forman, co-founder and chief executive officer at NOLA Detox, in a release. “We got together and knew we had to do something to make an impact and start to save more lives. Our vision is that we can show folks how to live a full and abundant life in recovery.” …

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Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

Barracuda has opened a second location at 446 Pelican Avenue in Algiers Point. In a press release, Barracuda founder Brett Jones said he was attracted to the location across the river because of the area’s “strong sense of community and storied history.” Located near Confetti Park, the new Barracuda location will offer walk-up counter service, covered patio seating, cocktails, and a takeaway menu that includes family-style meals, packaged flour tortillas, and fresh salsas. 

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