Texas Officials Tour Sriracha Plant In Attempt To Woo Hot Sauce Maker
IRWINDALE (CBSLA.com/AP) — Officials from Texas Monday toured the Sriracha plant in Irwindale in an attempt to lure the business to the Lone Star state.
Sriracha CEO, David Tran, has been battling the city over its odor that some residents claim makes them sick. According to public records, the complaints have come from four households.
The Irwindale City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on whether the hot sauce plant is officially a public nuisance. The agenda does include a recommendation to postpone a decision until May 28.
Irwindale sued Huy Fong Foods last October, asking a judge to halt production at the company’s factory, saying residents downwind complained that fumes from the grinding of red hot chili peppers was stinging their eyes and giving them headaches and coughing fits.
In November, a judge ordered the company to stop producing the annoying odors, but by then, the annual pepper-grinding season, which runs from August through October, had ended.
Trans says the Air Quality Management District recommended the insulation of a new filtration system but he says the city wouldn’t go for it.
“You have a friend in us. Texas is here for you,” Texas State Rep. Jason Villalba told Tran while touring the plant.
He said he’d have low tax rates and fewer regulations.
“In a place like Texas we know someone like Mr. Tran can expand, not relocate, but expand his operations,” Villalba said.
It’s unclear when or if Tran will decide to move Huy Fong Foods, Inc. If he does, Sriracha will join Toyota as the second Southland corporation to relocate to Texas.
Tran says he still need to conduct studies to figure out whether his chili peppers can be grown in Texas.
“If we have chili, then we can build a plant. Without chili, we cannot build a plant,” Tran said.
So far, Tran says he’s only had serious talks with Texas and says he’d never consider moving his operations outside of the U.S.
Huy Fong Foods moved to Irwindale two years ago, opening a new $40 million plant in the largely industrial city of 1,400 residents.
The company employs about 200 workers during the pepper-grinding season and 60 year-round.
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