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Hopes dashed for a hot time in Philly as nuisance suit settles

6/5/2014 | Real Estate Blog

Philadelphia Councilman at-Large Jim Kenney may have been disappointed last week to hear that Huy Fong Inc., the manufacturer of the immensely popular Sriracha sauce, will not be moving here any time soon. Kenney had contacted the company to offer Philly as a new location when he heard about Huy Fong’s dispute with its neighbors. The controversy has taken a dramatic turn or two in the months since we first wrote about it (see here), but Huy Fong and the city of Irwindale, California, announced last week that they have settled their differences.

At least, they hope so.

The key ingredient in Sriracha sauce is red jalapeno peppers. The peppers are especially hot and somewhat rare. Huy Fong has just one supplier, a farm not far from the factory that is able to deliver the peppers as soon as they are ripe — generally, at the end of August. As soon as the peppers arrive at the facility, Huy Fong kicks into high gear, grinding them 24 hours a day, seven days a week until they’re done.

The 2013 grinding season was apparently the first the company had gone through since its move to Irwindale. Shortly after the process started up, residents of neighborhoods near the plant began to complain of burning eyes and pungent odors that prompted coughing, even gagging. It was so bad that some families kept their children inside for the duration.

The Irwindale city council filed a lawsuit and moved to declare Huy Fong a public nuisance. The council also asked a judge for an injunction to force Huy Fong to stop producing Sriracha. Things didn’t quite go as planned.

We’ll continue this in our next post.


Huffington Post, “Sriracha Battle Ends As California City Votes To Drop Nuisance Declaration, Lawsuit Against Huy Fong Foods,” The Associated Press, May 29, 2014

New York Times, “Sriracha Factory Irritates Some California Noses, but Entices Politicians,” Ian Lovett, May 13, 2014