May 29, 2014

Sriracha maker doesn't want to move

Sriracha maker doesn't want to moveAfter a debate with the Irwindale City Council, Sriracha hot sauce maker Huy Fong Foods, said it wants to remain in California. According to National Public Radio (NPR), the factory allegedly produces smells that harm its neighbors, leading to suggestions of legal action and the possibility of the factory relocating.

David Tran is the Chief Executive Office of Huy Fong and said he moved to the community nearly 35 years ago to get away from Vietnam’s communist government.

“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference,” Tran told the source.

The health of residents has become a major concern, especially for those who suffer from asthma. According to CBS, residents say the smells are causing nosebleeds and sore throats, making them feel like they can’t breathe.

Sriracha was voted a favorite food by Bon Appetit in 2013, and many people were upset at the suggestion of Huy Fong no longer making the product, NPR reported. the hot sauce is an $80 million business in a 600,000-square-foot facility. The self-sufficient plant grinds the peppers and stores them in plastic tubs on-site. The sauce is also mixed and bottled in the factory as well, according to NPR.

Tran told the source he does not want to relocate the factory as he has called the Irwindale community home for more than 30 years. NPR reported that city attorney Fred Galante wants to fix the problem without Huy Fong moving out of state.

Lawmakers tour Sriracha plant
Threats to Huy Fong surfaced after the continued debate with city officials, and an order was issued in October 2013 that required the plant to temporarily stop making the product. According to the Los Angeles Times, Texas state Representative Jason Villalba visited the factory to encourage Tran to move the plant.

“For many years now, Texas has demonstrated it is the premiere state for economic development, expansion, and relocation,” Villalba said in a statement to the LA Times.

Representative Villalba was recently successful in attracting Toyota to the Lone Star State. However, the visit was only to introduce the idea of a relocation to Texas. In addition to Texas, officials from 10 states and numerous municipalities also offered Huy Fong the opportunity to move its operations.