The owner of the famous Sriracha hot sauce, David Tran, declared on Monday that he has no plans of moving the plant from Irwindale, California. However, there are talks of expansion in Texas, the Lone Star State. That is if they can produce the same Southern California-grown hot peppers that are used for the sauce.
Talks of moving the Sriracha plant arose when some of the officials from Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods, maker of the hot sauce, as there were residents complaining of eye and throat irritations, and headaches resulting from peppery fumes from the manufacturing of Sriracha.
A month after the complaint, a judge from the Los Angeles Superior court demanded Tran to get rid of the emissions from the plant. This was a better solution that shutting down the hot sauce operations, which was the request of Irwindale residents.
Following the news of Sriracha plant’s shutdown, Huy Fong Foods said that it has received offers from several communities and towns to move their hot sauce factory there. However, Tran, a Chinese-Vietnamese farmer who founded the company in 1980 in California, said that he has no plans of moving the Sriracha plant from California to another location. Instead, he is welcoming the possibility of expanding.
According to Dallas News, Representative Jason Vilalba and State Senator Carlos Uresti from Texas toured the hot sauce plant on Monday. Afterwards, the two Texas lawmakers held a conference where they stated the advantages of expanding Sriracha to the Lone Star State. “We’re not here to offer any specific incentives, but just to let it be known there are incentives,” Uresti said. They also noted one of the main benefits of doing business in Texas – no personal income tax.
Although Tran wants to maintain the business in California, the final say will come from Irwindale. According to Reuters, Irwindale’s city council members are slated for a vote to come up with an ordinance and declare the hot sauce factory a public nuisance. However, a spokesman said that they will probably postpone the voting until the two sides find a better solution.
Moving the Sriracha plant will be difficult for the business, since they have worked with pepper growers and vinegar producers in California for several years. When the business moves, these main components of the operations will not be able to move with the plant.
The Irwindale City Council will be holding a meeting regarding the issue on Wednesday, and Tran said that he has no plans of attending. He, however, said that he still gets support from some Irwindale citizens. Some of them who meet him tell him that they want the hot sauce plant to stay. A couple even toured the facility with their baby and said that the smells did not bother them.
Tran said that he will be willing to expand his Sriracha business if he finds a location where the soil and weather conditions are suitable for the hybrid peppers he uses for the hot sauce. Vilalba and Uresti said that Texas’ agriculture officials will be researching the conditions in Texas.
[Images via Huffington Post / ABC News]