The first thing you want to do to make people roll their eyes is comparing one thing to a historically controversial thing. Comparing a President to Hitler is a perfect example. California thinks Sriracha plants cause a lot of pollution and could be dangerous to surrounding areas, so Huy Fong Foods CEO David Tran has compared California to Communist Vietnam, naturally. Via NPR:
David Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong, says he escaped from Vietnam almost 35 years ago to be free of the communist government there and its many intrusions.
“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference,” Tran says.
Yes, being the CEO of a huge company with a product that everyone loves is just like being in a Communist nation where you probably can’t start your own company without the Government looking at it and saying, “Yeah, all that is ours, bro.”
The Huy Fong stuff is now an $80 million business, made in a 600,000-square-foot plant.
$80 million. Phew, if that is what it’s like in Vietnam, it’s time to hitch a ride and start a sauce business. But, there’s a possibility that Tran may move or set up a location that is a magical and lively place to where pollution isn’t looked at reasonably, or at all.
But he might open another site, outside Southern California. An additional location would allow him to keep up with the ever-growing demand for Sriracha and develop an added source for peppers, in case climate change threatens his current supply.
There is also the allure of less regulation.
On Monday, Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba is visiting with a contingent of business and agricultural people to urge Tran to consider expanding to the Lone Star state. Soon they will be countered by Rep. Tony Cardenas, who’d like to keep the business in Southern California, if not his San Fernando Valley district — all promising to do right by Tran’s loved one.
It’s almost always Texas. Either way, none of this is going to make me stop buying Sriracha.