Californian Restrictions May Drive a Hot Company to Texas

The anti-business government policies and practices of California are forcing hot sauce company, Huy Fong Foods, to consider packing up its peppers and moving to Texas.  The City of Irwindale, California has declared the company, its factory and up to two-hundred employees to be a nuisance.

For months, the City of Irwindale has been harassing the company, which produces Sriracha hot sauce, in regards to spicy odor complaints.  Now the city may take unilateral action against the company owned by David Tran, creator of the popular hot sauce.  After designating the company as a public nuisance, the city may now enter the factory and force installation of smell-mitigating technology if changes deemed appropriate by the city are not installed within 90 days according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Tran told the Times he fears the city will reject any solution he proposes and he is therefore considering relocating the operations to Texas.

Tran is concerned that even after installation of smell-mitigation technology, complaints from neighbors could continue the expensive legal problems his company has been facing. City officials "tell you one thing, but think another," Tran said in an interview at Huy Fong Foods. "I don't want to sit here and wait to die.”

Irwindale’s city attorney expressed confusion about Tran’s reaction to the government’s harassment of his company. “This seems very extreme,” City Attorney Fred Galante said. “It's disappointing given that [air quality officials] have explained that there are readily available solutions.”

As many as ten states--including Texas--and numerous cities in California are vying for the company’s attention and prospective employment opportunities. Tran said his first choice is to stay in Irwindale, but the city government’s actions have created an uncertain business climate.  Such uncertainty of business climate has led a number of California Companies to relocate to Texas. Texas Governor Rick Perry has initiated interstate campaigns to invite companies to the Lone Star State.

The move to any other location would be difficult for Huy Fong Foods.  The company has a very integrated relationship with a nearby farm which grows the peppers needed for the Sriracha hot sauce. The local harvesting processes and product preparation procedures are designed specifically for Tran’s company.

Tran’s company also faces additional lawsuits from the City of Irwindale which are currently working their way through the Los Angeles Superior Court system.  These lawsuits could completely jeopardize the pepper crop that is worth tens of millions of dollars according to Tran.

“I have had the bad luck to move into a city with a government that acts like a local king,” Tran said. Texas just might provide the freedom and opportunity for growth and a stable business climate that Tran seeks for his company’s future.

Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX


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