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One city’s ‘chili’ reception could mean a hot deal for Philly

11/16/2013 | Real Estate Blog

If city officials are worried about attracting new businesses, especially new manufacturers, to Philadelphia, they should be relieved to know that Councilman at-Large Jim Kenney has a hot prospect: the company that manufactures Sriracha sauce, the extremely popular chili sauce. The company has run into trouble in its current location, and Kenney believes that relocating to Philly would solve everyone’s problems.

That trouble is a lawsuit filed against Asian hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods Inc. by its home city. The city claims that the odor from mashing hot peppers is a public nuisance and has been since the facility opened in 2010.

Huy Fong’s neighbors have complained to city officials that the “offensive” odors from the production facility have forced residents to stay inside and, in some cases, to leave their homes altogether. They say they suffer from eye, nose and throat irritation during the two months every year (usually in the fall) that Huy Fong mashes chili peppers.

The city wants the court to shut production down until a solution is found. The court, however, thought that a “very radical step,” especially on such short notice. There will be another hearing later this month, at which the judge will consider a preliminary injunction. Apparently, Huy Fong has failed to respond to the neighbors’ complaints and has yet to respond or make public comment about the lawsuit.

Back in Philly, Kenney got wind of the lawsuit, as well as the rumor that Sriracha production would come to a grinding halt. The thought of a nationwide shortage of Sriracha prompted Kenney to write to Huy Fong CEO David Tran, inviting him to move his operations here.

We’ll continue this in our next post.


NBC 10 Philadelphia, “Politician Makes Plea to Get Stinky Hot Sauce Factory in Philly,” Dan Stamm, Nov. 6, 2013

KCET, “Complaints Against Sriracha Factory Increase,” City News Service, Nov. 6, 2013