While Eater reports a posse of Texas politicians are having a meeting at the embattled Irwindale, California, headquarters of sriracha-maker Huy Fong Foods today, company founder David Tran tells NPR he’s not planning on leaving. Irwindale’s city attorney says the city is still hopeful some kind of solution can be brokered regarding what neighbors say are foul and astringent hot sauce emissions coming from the factory, while Tran says his recent run-ins with the law have reminded him of his native Vietnam, from which he escaped 35 years ago. “Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference,” he says.
At the center of the controversy is Huy Fong’s $40 million, 655,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, which Tran had built to his specifications in 2010. He calls the complex, where the peppers are processed, fermented into sauce, then bottled, his “loved one.”
While Huy Fong has fielded offers from prospective hot-sauce hosts in Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and probably every other state, Tran says his California roots are just too strong. That doesn’t mean, however, the $80 million company isn’t looking to expand: “[H]e might open another site, outside Southern California,” NPR notes, adding that Tran wants to safeguard the business “in case climate change threatens his current supply.” There’s hope for you yet, Colorado.