Sriracha Creator Talks About Moving, Invites Texas Politician For Tour
When we heard Texas politicians making overtures toward the embattled Sriracha factory, we initially brushed them aside. This just sounded like Texas' way of making a point that California is more in love with its red tape than its red rooster sauce. Huy Fong Foods would never leave the Golden State where its chilies come from, right?
But it looks like the company is seriously consider some of those overtures. Today creator David Tran invited a Texas lawmaker to check out the factory, according to the Pasadena Star-News. Tran wrote to Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas:
“(I) would first like to cordially invite you to come visit (the) facility in Irwindale so you can observe firsthand our operations as well as to assess whether there is any potential issues that may affect your residences before the company considers moving to Texas."
It not just about Texas. Tran has gotten invites from all over the country: Alabama, Philadelphia, Louisiana, Kansas, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Arizona, New Mexico, West Virginia and Washington have all opened their arms to the trademark hot sauce. And there's still plenty of love for the sauce in Southern California, too. San Fernando Valley Congressman Tony Cardenas promised to work with the company and San Gabriel Valley politicians would love to keep the sauce in the SGV.
Today Tran came right out and told the Los Angeles Times that he's thinking about moving. He would prefer to keep the factory in Irwindale but he's considering moving given the regulatory headaches he's dealing with. Just last week the city declared the factory a public nuisance. Tran told the Times, "[City officials] tell you one thing, but think another. I don't want to sit here and wait to die."
The problem is that nearby residents complain that the factory's odors are so strong that they're causing watery eyes and respiratory issues. Tran has promised to fix the problem by June 1, but he has a bad feeling that city officials will end up rejecting his plans no matter what. (He has said he got an uneasy feeling from officials long before the lawsuits began.)
Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante seemed baffled by Tran's actions. He said the city wants an action plan that will fix the problem but so far Tran hasn't submitted anything. Galante told the Times, "This seems very extreme. It's disappointing given that [air quality officials] have explained that there are readily available solutions."
The Times points out that Huy Fong Foods would have to drastically change its operations if they decide to move far. Right now the plant relies on a single grower in Ventura County for its supply of chilies.