Even though a judge ordered the makers of Sriracha to stop stinking up its neighborhood in the San Gabriel Valley city of Irwindale, the ruling might not affect production -- at least for the time being.
In an open letter earlier this month, company CEO David D. Tran remained defiant and suggested that the city was miffed over a public loan that his Huy Fong Foods paid off early.
"We don't make tear gas here," he wrote, in an updated statement.
Tran insinuated that the stink made about his factory's funk was all about an "interest-only" loan that the city of Irwindale made to Huy Fong three years ago to get the company to move to the town from its original base of Rosemead.
The deal was that the company would pay $250,000 a year in interest (sort of like rent) to the city, and buy the property outright, with a balloon payment due in 10 years, Tran said.
But Huy Fong jumped the gun last year following an initial round of odor complaints, after Tran says he got an "odd feeling" about the situation. So Huy Fong secured a loan from East West Bank, he wrote, and paid the whole property amount early, ostensibly denying the city its $250,000-a-year rent.
The CEO continued to say:
I believe President Obama and I are on the same page -- we both
believe in creating more jobs for the American people and making USA-made products.
So then, if that's true, why are local City or any agencies acting contrary to what the
President is speaking about.
... Needless to say, we give thanks this Thanksgiving to all our Sriracha friends and
Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien yesterday ordered the factory to stop stinking up the place after the city of Irwindale asked for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the company from using the property altogether.
The ruling doesn't go that far.
It simply tells Huy Fong to stop "emitting anything that causes odors or are odors in themselves."
The request to shut down Huy Fong completely was denied.
And that appears to mean that Sriracha will continue to be bottled, since the company's three-month chili-crushing season, the cause of the stink, is over for now.
The preliminary injunction won't go into effect until next Wednesday, a lawyer for the city told us. She appeared to believe that production will carry on for now because the chili crushing is done for the year.