Will Sriracha Leave California?
Nearby states begging for hot sauce
In an announcement on Wednesday, Huy Fong Foods owner David Tran said he was seriously considering moving his Sriracha production plant to another location. After months of complaints and battles with the city of Irwindale, California, regarding the factory’s odor, Tran will explore moving the Sriracha production to another city in California, or even another state.
Let the wooing begin. Many state and city officials publicly welcomed Huy Fong Foods following Tran’s statement on Wednesday. Alabama, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kansas, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Arizona, New Mexico, and West Virginia have already offered to host the factory, according to the famous hot sauce maker.
Moving from California would be no easy task for Huy Fong Foods. Production is closely tied to a single pepper grower in Ventura, California, which has supplied the business for years. Part of the Sriracha magic is that the peppers must be ground on the day they are harvested, meaning a move from California would require finding a new grower.
“I have had the bad luck to move into a city with a government that acts like a local king,” Tran explained, referring to the Irwindale city council. In October 2013, Irwindale filed suit against Huy Fong Foods claiming the factory’s odor was a public nuisance. Just last week, the California town formally declared the Sriracha plant a public nuisance despite Huy Fong Foods’ promise to fix the odor issues by June 1.
Irwindale officials claim they don’t want the successful business to leave, but they are still waiting for an action plan from Tran.