In January, we told you about Texas state representative Jason Villalba and his quest to convince Huy Fong Foods, Inc. to move to our fair state. At that time, complaints from the city of Irwindale, California, where the plant that makes Sriracha is located, threatened to force the company to halt production of the addictive red hot sauce because of the fumes that were purportedly affecting citizens in the community.
Villalba got wind (so to speak) of the issue, and sent a letter to David Tran, chief executive officer of Huy Fong Foods, Inc., inviting him to move the plant to Texas: "As a public official and a corporate attorney for small businesses, I am extremely troubled by excessive government interference in the operations of private, job-creating businesses like Huy Fong Foods. You have worked too hard and have helped too many people to let government bureaucrats shut down your thriving business."
Huy Fong, Sriracha and Villalba are back in the news this week, as the Irwindale City Council passed a resolution deeming Huy Fong Foods "a public nuisance."
Villalba, Sriracha crusader that he is, has issued the following statement in response to the Irwindale City Council's decree:
I am astonished and dismayed by the recent actions of the Irwindale City Council to further hinder the operations of local small business, Huy Fong Foods. As a long-time fan of Sriracha, I am deeply troubled that one of the fastest growing and universally beloved condiments in the world - made right here in the USA - could face such blatant obstructionism by a local city government.
The evidence that the factory is emitting fumes that reach the level of a public nuisance is limited at best. The city council has issued its proclamations based on only a handful of residents' complaints - not widespread irritation. Most disconcerting is the news that the first person to file a formal complaint is actually a relative of a city official.
Simply put, this would not happen in Texas. I implore the Tran Family: just meet with us. Let us tell you what is possible by moving your operations to Texas. You will not be disappointed.
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Back in January, Villalba laid out a number of reasons he felt Huy Fong Foods, Inc. should move its operations to Texas, and even offered to send a "delegation of Texas dignitaries" to California to discuss the move with representatives of Huy Fong.
According to this week's press release, Villalba "now remains even more committed to meeting with the Trans about the company's potential relocation to Texas." It is anticipated that the Irwindale City Council will make the nuisance designation official sometime next month, which means the plant will have 90 days after that to contain the supposed smell or cease production.
Here at the Houston Press, we'd just like to add that we once again second this notion of moving Huy Fong to Texas, and furthermore, we'd like to invite Huy Fong to share our offices in exchange for unlimited Sriracha.
We'd also like to note that Villalba is based in Dallas, so these are your tax dollars at work, Big D.