Philadelphia City Councilman Pleads With Sriracha Makers To Relocate Factory There

With the makers of Sriracha chili sauce feeling the heat from folks in Irwindale, CA, who say the Huy Fong factory is releasing a smelly, stinging odor into the neighborhood, one Philadelphia City Council member is calling on the company to relocate its saucy operation to the City of Brotherly Love.

In a letter to Huy Fong CEO David Tran, Philadelphia City Councilman James Kenney makes his case for why the Pennsylvania city (that I just happen to call home) is a better fit for the company.

“Philadelphians are pretty tough, so forgive me for not understanding why Irwindale city officials would cave into pressure from a few nearby residents who
can’t handle the fragrant aroma emanating from your factory there,” writes Kenney.

While he gives some ill-advised attempts at humor in his plea to Huy Fong, Kenney does bring up some relevant points, like the fact that Philadelphia has “a bountiful selection of inexpensive commercial real estate located far away from residential areas, so you never have to worry about upsetting your neighbors again.” He also points to Philly’s position on the densely populated I-95 corridor that (sort of) connects D.C. to NYC and beyond:

“To the north, your hot sauce has brought shockingly bland New England dishes back to life. To the west you have Pennsylvania, the agricultural powerhouse of the region where you could dramatically expand your limited fresh supply of chilies. To the south, Maryland crab and Carolina barbecue hasn’t
tasted the same since your beautiful red and green-capped rooster bottles started lining local grocery store shelves.
“And here in Philadelphia, known around the world for our unique and proud tradition of wrapping meat and cheese with bread, even Philly Cheeseteak purists admit loving the Sriracha on their beloved sandwich.”

While the folks in Irwindale had hoped for an immediate shutdown of the Huy Fong plant pending the outcome of their lawsuit, the judge in the case ruled that the plant can stay open at least until a Nov. 22 hearing on the matter.

[via Philly.com]

Read Comments6

Edit Your Comment

  1. janetscholl says:

    I am sure Michigan would love this factory, too. Can’t smell a 10th as bad as the sugar beet processing place up near Bay City. And we grow good peppers here, too!

  2. CommonC3nts says:

    Sounds like Irwindale, CA has too many jobs.
    They wont want to move to philedelphia due to shipping costs. Being on the west coast gives them the cheapest shipping rate to asian countries.
    The news reporter says she did not smell anything outside of the plant. A resident said it only smells outside when they cook the sauce.
    “The odor is only there for about three months, during the California jalapeno pepper harvest season, which stretches from August to about the end of October or first week of November.”

    Either way this odor can be stopped by mechanical means if there really is one.
    Filters, air/dust scrubbers, or taller air vent stacks.
    It says they are already using carbon filters on their vent stacks which I would think would be enough.

    Either way this problem can be solved with an active scrubber that would cost about $50K per vent including installation. Its not unreasonable for the company to do that to make locals happy.
    But again even the lady who owns a store accross the street from the plant says he never smells anything. Also the california smog officials did testing and said they found no odors and no violations.
    It may be in residents heads or there may be a real problem. Its hard to say unless I can go there an smell it myself.

    • hominygrit says:

      According to what I read, this company has not raised the price of its product in a number of years, while its costs have increased. So, it’s in a bind that way.

  3. indianajoel says:

    They just ned to move the plant to the San Joaquin Valley where they grow the peppers and avoid this whole problem. Any town in the Central Valley would jump at the opportunity to have few extra jobs…

  4. hominygrit says:

    According to something I just read, this company can’t move because their founder, owner, and visionary insists on creating his product as close to the source of his FRESH chili peppers as possible. Once they start harvesting his peppers, they crank out their sauce for the entire year.

  5. CerneV2 says:

    In addition to all the other logistical reasons mentioned in the comments, there is no way Huy fong is going to relocate after just doing so less than a year a go.

    I have no idea if the residents’ complaints are legitimate, I also don’t care. If some people I don’t know have to suffer for me to have my Sriracha I’m fine with that.