In April 2013, I wrote a profile of Sriracha creater and CEO of Huy Fong Foods David Tran that was one of latimes.com’s most shared stories in history, touching off a wave of media coverage for a notoriously secretive sauce maker.
Later that year, residents near the factory began to complain about a spicy smell that they compared to teargas. The city of Irwindale took action.
Thus began the Great Sriracha Panic 0f 2013 and now, 2014. I led the coverage for the Los Angeles Times and broke several stories. A few are selected and gathered below.
Some neighbors say Sriracha factory’s smell is creating headaches (I stuck my head in a smokestack spewing spicy air for this one)
The CEO tells me that Sriracha hot sauce price may jump if factory shuts down.
I revealed that the source of the complaints originated with a city councilman’s son.
A judge awarded the city of Irwindale a preliminary injunction.
Sriracha shipping was halted until mid-January by state regulators.
The city of Irwindale tries to declare the Sriracha factory a public nuisance.
Sriracha fights back and reaches out to the public, offering tours of the factory.
The CEO tells me that he’s considering moving. 10 states offer berths.
Analysis: Sriracha actually becomes a political issue and GOP darling