Expansion Adds New Museum, Greenhouse, Exhibits and Restaurant to Tour Stops
In celebration of nearly 150 years on Avery Island, McIlhenny Company, the maker of Tabasco® brand Pepper Sauce, has started construction to expand its current visitors center.
With the newly renovated center and expanded tour opening in early 2016, and the restaurant officially opened, visitors to Avery Island will experience a behind-the-scenes look into how McIlhenny Company’s famous hot sauce is made like never before.
Rare family artifacts
The centerpiece of the new addition will be a museum featuring rare family artifacts and video installations illustrating the origins and generations of the McIlhenny family and the brand’s heritage, dating back to the 1800’s. These installations will also highlight Avery Island’s history as well as the company’s stewardship of the Island and surrounding environment.
From seed to plate
For the first time ever visitors will also be able to experience firsthand the company’s production process from seed to plate.
The newly expanded tours will include the greenhouse, mash warehouse and processing, guiding visitors from planting tabasco peppers to aging pepper mash in oak barrels for up to three years, and finally the processing and bottling of Tabasco Sauce.
Are you hungry yet?
Visitors can enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine at 1868, a new creole-cottage cafeteria-style restaurant, which offers regional Louisiana favorites including crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, crawfish corn maque choux and boudin as well as Tabasco’s signature hot sauce ice cream.
Visitors can also embark on a Tabasco Food to savor the flavor of Iberia Parish and the surrounding area and experience Cajun food at six hot spots while enjoying authentic Cajun culture.
“We are proud of our company’s rich heritage and are eager to bring that history to life in the newly expanded visitors center,” said Tony Simmons, McIlhenny Company president and CEO and fifth-generation family member. “The visitors center will serve to strengthen our connection to our home on Avery Island, and to our visiting fans and loyal customers.”
McIlhenny Company plans to complete the expansion project by early 2016 and looks forward to the new tourism it will bring to South Louisiana. Current factory and Jungle Garden tours on Avery Island will continue to be offered during construction.
In the future Jungle Gardens will also be making its trek more interactive with new signage and custom birding tours currently offered. Call ahead for reservations at (337) 369-6243.
For the latest updates on Avery Island and Iberia Parish subscribe to the Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau’s newsletter. For more information about visiting the home of Tabasco, call 337-365-1540 or visit IberiaTravel.com.