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Could new troubles fire up Sriracha maker’s move to Philly? p4

12/23/2013 | Real Estate Blog

We are finishing up our discussion of the California-based Sriracha manufacturer that has recently run up against its neighbors and state regulators. The problem is, you have to crush some chilis to make Sriracha, and the fumes from the Huy Fong Foods Inc. plant posed a public nuisance to the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

A court ordered a partial shutdown in November after the city sued the company on behalf of residents who complained about the smells. A couple of weeks later, the state ordered Huy Fong to hold off on shipping its products for 30 days. State law requires the delay to make sure the sauces, which are made fresh and shipped uncooked, are safe for consumption.

Philadelphia entered the picture when Commissioner at-Large Jim Kenney wrote a letter to Huy Fong inviting the company to relocate to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. When Kenney initially contacted Huy Fong, though, neither the court nor the state had acted. The game has changed, and Kenney is reportedly looking for potential sites, edging his invitation a little closer to reality.

Kenney was also encouraged by a letter from Huy Fong. When we first wrote about Kenney’s invitation (see here), the company had not responded. In mid-November he received a reply.

Huy Fong was grateful for the invitation, the letter said, but there were important details to research before the company could even consider such a move. The company would need to know about things like how Pennsylvania regulations handle “acidized foods.”

Kenney’s office is researching that question. He is also looking for a site that would meet the company’s needs and be an appropriate distance from residential neighborhoods.

Philadelphia is not the only city offering a safe harbor — figuratively and literally — to Huy Fong. So, between the company’s legal and regulatory issues and just how complicated a move would be, any decision on Kenney’s invitation is probably months away.


Philadelphia Business Journal, “Sriracha plant to Philadelphia gaining momentum,” Jared Shelly, Dec. 2, 2013

Pasadena Star-News, “Defiant Sriracha CEO David Tran says ‘we don’t make tear gas,’ ruling could lead to 200,000 less bottles a day,” Sarah Favot, Nov. 27, 2013

Los Angeles Times, “Sriracha maker ordered to halt shipping until mid-January,” Frank Shyong, Dec. 11, 2013