Vol 32, Issue 12 Print Issue

Lawmaker to Sriracha Maker: Texas is Here for You

Bottle of Sriracha Sauce, made in California
Bottle of Sriracha Sauce, made in California

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, has an idea for how to save Sriracha: The company that makes the spicy sauce should ditch California and move to Texas. 

Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods Inc. has faced two recent setbacks in California, sparking a fiery panic among connoisseurs of the condiment that comes in a rooster-adorned squeeze bottle. First, the city of Irwindale, Calif., sued the company over eye-burning odors, and then the state health department imposed a 30-day hold on the product, delaying sauce shipments until mid-January.

In a recent letter to Huy Fong Foods CEO David Tran, Villalba suggests that Texas would welcome the company with open arms. His selling points include the Lone Star State's lack of an income tax and its practice of supporting business owners.

"I am extremely troubled by excessive government interference in the operations of private, job-creating businesses like Huy Fong Foods," Villalba says in the letter.

"Mr. Tran, Texas is here for you," Villalba continues.

 

Villalba isn't the first Texas politician to reach out to the Sriracha maker. Denton City Councilman Kevin Roden has argued that the company should relocate to that city, and state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, in November made a case on Twitter for his city.

"Hey #Sriracha move your factory to Houston, Texas. Huge Asian & Foodie population," Wu tweeted.

Gov. Rick Perry, who has not been shy in his efforts to poach companies from California and other states, used similar arguments as Villalba's when he sought to lure a Connecticut gun manufacturer following the passage of a tough gun-control law in that state. 

Villalba, who describes himself in a Tuesday news release as a "long-time fan of Sriracha," just Monday night put the condiment on lasagna, according to his office.

"As a pho connoisseur, I couldn't stand by and let California over-regulation jeopardize my favorite Vietnamese soup," Villalba tweeted on Tuesday.