Sriracha CEO Compares California to Communist Vietnam



David Tran is the founder and CEO of Huy Fong Foods, the maker of the famously tasty Sriracha hot sauce. Grappling for months with regulators and politicians in southern California about the spicy scents that his factory emits, Tran recently compared meddlesome government to that of a communist country.

It might sound hyperbolic, but he does know a thing or two about living under the nightmarish bureaucracy of a red utopia. NPR explains that Tran "escaped" Socialist Republic of Vietnam and "its many intrusions" three decades ago to start a new life in The Land of the Free.

"Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference," Tran said on Monday from his factory outside of Los Angeles.

It's not the first time he's spoken out about the issue. He previously accused the local government of hating him and wanting to shut him down and said that the Irwindale City Council acts like a "local king."

Last month the city council deemed the $80 million business a "public nuisance" for giving off a peppery odor. In 2013, the city sued Tran (despite lobbying to get him to move Huy Fong Foods there in the first place) and California's health regulators shut down the factory for thirty days based on specious claims.

Tran has received offers from public officials throughout the country that want to court Huy Fong Foods. Texas, which is far more business-friendly than California, has made the biggest push. But, because his peppers are grown locally, Tran said he won't move the current operation. He did indicate that he may open another factory elsewhere to meet the growing demand for the sauce. 

Check out Reason TV's coverage of this saucy situation here: