Another California town tries to lure ‘nuisance’ Sriracha plant

Red jalapenos for Sriracha
Red jalapenos for Sriracha

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CNN) – After months of battling with the City of Irwindale, California, the founder of a popular hot sauce now says he is considering moving his factory.

The city council passed a public nuisance resolution against the Sriracha factory after several complaints about the strong smell.

Lucky for the company, it has several other areas clamoring for its business.

“There were complaints even when the grinding was not occurring so if the perception is out there, will the complaints go away?” David Tran, Sriracha Sauce creator said.

The company uses spicy red jalapeño peppers for their sauce which are grown mostly in Moor Park, Ventura County. About 600 acres of the peppers are also grown here in Kern County at Underwood Farms.

The factory location needs to be within two hours drive time of where the peppers are grown.

“We do the fresh one, the best one, the cheapest one,” Tran said. “You don’t want the peppers to sit for long periods of time before they grind them. With drive times and everything we know that we’re within a 2 hour drive of that facility.”

Aside from Kern County, officials from several other California cities and even various other states are looking at ways to entice Huy Fong Foods, where Sriracha is made, to relocate to their area.

Richard Chapman with the Kern Economic Development Corporation wants to prove Kern could be a great location.

“You don’t have to leave the state if you want to be in a competitive market,” Chapman said. “We have several food processing operations that have been built in the last few years.”

Kern County boasts the fastest growing economy in the united states since 2001. The hot sauce has also grown in popularity.

“Sriracha is all the rage now. We went from ketchup to salsa to now we’re at Sriracha as being the number one condiment,” Champman said.

Huy Fong Foods sold $60 million dollars worth of the sauce last year, big business that would bring jobs and more growth to Kern County.

Huy Fong Foods won’t comment about the potential move. It could take several months before a decision is made.

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