Kalifornia's Red Tape, Err . . . Hot Sauce

Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - 12:37am

I was going to post something about the JPM patent application regarding crypto currencies, comparing two contrasting viewpoints, here and here, but this newest act of idiocy demanded my immediate attention.

For any one who likes their food hot and spicy, like me, Sriracha, the spicy concoction known also as Red Rooster hot sauce, is a sure fire fix:

It is good on and in everything. I've had it drizzled over Oreo cookies, it is that good. I wonder if it would be good drizzled over a bowl of vanilla ice cream, with chocolate chips? Who knows? I do know what is a certain cold remedy: just a squirt of the goodness mixed into a plain ol' bowl of chicken soup, this stuff clears up the nasal passage better than any pharmaceutical, for sure. This stuff makes my mouth water just looking at the bottles of the delicious, spicy hot sauce. A close second is the King Taco red hot sauce:

I almost wrote about Mr. Martinez's passing, but I did not want to burden the community with a sad story as we near Christmas.

But, I digress . . .

So, what the hell does this have to do with anything?

Well, the hint comes from the title of the post.

The story is here: https://www.sbsun.com/lifestyle/20131211/


If anyone has not read the story on this company, a humble, immigrant start up operation in the ethnic streets of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, a grumpy old judge, far too mean and ornery and enamored of his power as a black-robe wearing king of his little courtroom, [who I know personally having had cases before him], decided that a group of people who don't want the hot sauce made in their town, never mind that the sauce has been made there for decades without incident or complaint, and as such, the company got shut down.

Appeals are certain to ensue, with enormous legal fees and costs for all sides, not to mention the disaster unfolding for the company that now faces a slew of lawsuits from the sudden stoppage of its business.

Is it any wonder why businesses are fleeing Kalifornia?

Is there any politician with any sanity left who can protect a productive business from predators all around? If the state keeps taxing productive companies, the businesses flee. If the state does not protect the productive businesses from idiot judges like this one, the businesses flee. What is next?

Anyhow, just some food for thought.

I often wonder out loud if it may be better in the long run to adopt a strategy of no resistance at all to the progressive movement advance? Instead of delaying the inevitable, incremental marginal advance of increasing central planning and government control, perhaps it is better to step out of the way entirely and let them accelerate without impedance towards their ultimate destination of collapse?

If anyone in another business friendly state wants to take on a winner, then an easy victory would be to reach out to Huy Fong Foods and offer to help them relocate to a business friendly locale.

Just saying . . .

About the Author


Dec 12, 2013 - 12:58am


first first sorry couldn't resist

Dec 12, 2013 - 1:05am

cal hot sauce

I was introduced to said hot sauce in Vietnamese pho shops in the Bay Area. Good stuff. Might as well shut them down- I mean who wants to see success? I wonder who felt that they could benefit? Follow the money?

On the PM front it certainly seems like the normal signs of despair are popping up. Eric Sprotts demotion, for one. See Trader Dan's comments tonight.

Dec 12, 2013 - 1:18am


I saw that article on Sprott. I wondered out loud as well the significance of why that article was written right now? Is this a sign that the capitulation bottom is in?

Good thing my stack is deep beneath the surface of Lake Jenks. Otherwise, I would have to sell the worthless stuff, since I would most certainly be better off holding paper bankster notes . . .

As for who would benefit from the shutdown order, that my friend is a great question! Sriracha was a market leader, ubiquitous here in So. Cal. I have no idea.

I can tell you that Judge O'Brien is an a-hole. He should have been run off the bench years ago for having a nasty, intemperate disposition. Oh well. Sriracha's lawyers should have exercised a peremptory challenge, now the case just gets expensive either on lawyers or compliance, or the good old graft and kickback to the city official who will approve their re-opening permit . . .

Dec 12, 2013 - 3:09am

This is the daily staple of software engineers everywhere

If there is a cause custom-made for going viral and generating uproar from geeks everywhere -- this might very well be it.

In the meantime, this story has layers --

- a poor choice in relocating the facility to a new plant?

"Previously the spicy condiment had been manufactured for 30 years in Rosemead."

Or rather, vindictive and disapproving locals in the new city of Irwindale? There is more detail on the move, the owner and the manufacturing operation here. A local business, employing local people, using locally grown produce?! Travesty! Heresy! MUST...BE...STAMPED...OUT!!!

"The company harvests all its chilies -- which last year was more than 50,000 tons -- from one farm, Underwood Family Farms in Ventura, once a year around the third week of August."

- State regulators are piling on, and have caused a (IMHO) completely unnecessary 'hold' of 30 days to be put on any hot sauce produced to 'wait and see if any harmful bacteria develop'. No one has bothered to look up the biological effects of capsaicic acid, it seems. Also, it seems we are now operating under Louis Pasteur rules of food production -- lets leave stuff lying around for a little while, and see what develops. You couldn't make this stuff up:

"Because Sriracha is not cooked, only mashed and blended, Huy Fong needs to make sure its bottles won’t harbor dangerous bacteria."

In defense of the ratchety old judge:

"Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O'Brien ruled Tuesday that the plant must cease any operations that cause the noxious fumes and make quick changes to make sure that smells from production of the sauce are limited in the future.

Irwindale city residents, east of Los Angeles, sued Huy Fong in October alleging the company refused to do enough to stop the fumes, which they said were strong enough to irritate eyes and throats.

Judge O'Brien denied a request that all operations be shut down. Instead, his order is an interim measure while the court considers the lawsuit from residents."

All in all, it looks to me like Mr. Tran and his colleagues ran afoul of the crime of 'operating a business while NOT paying massive (enough) bribes'. It CERTAINLY looks to me like whoever is involved in the local lawsuit was able to pull some strings at the state DoH level. Extortion of 'protection money' is underway, along with an example being set for any successful small business who wants to try to set up shop in the town/area.

This really pisses me off, and this is not even my favorite hot sauce.

More history/backstory:

David Tran, founder/owner -- how the sauce's name came about, where he's from, etc.

LA Times profile, from earlier in the year: https://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/12/business/la-fi-himi-tran-20130414

The latter was almost surely instrumental in convincing some people to throw a lawsuit at him. Hard-working, self-made businessman? CANNOT have that in our neighborhood, no sirree.

Dec 12, 2013 - 3:18am

Thank God I'm a country boy!

......that doesn't live in the hell hole called The Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia !!!


Even if the stuff has a few bacteria in it, they are no doubt blistered and burned all to hell and so sick that they are no threat to anybody. If the locals think the plant smells bad, let them visit the town in Oregon where they make horseradish souse and the people wear gas mask.

Dec 12, 2013 - 4:25am

We love it too

Looks pretty obvious why they shut them down. According to the Times article that JY linked.

1) they have kept it the same price for years 2) They refused to sell out to the big boy conglomerates and then 3) they refused to let Wall Street take them public.

In this case it seems the reason for the shut down is " who doesn't profit from their business".

I guess this is an obvious observation. Back to sleep.

Dec 12, 2013 - 4:52am

Documentary about Sriracha

What you don't know about Sriracha: 11 fun facts from a documentary -- LA Times


Kickstarter project from earlier this year, seeded with ca. $20K.

murphy, I am sad to say you are probably right. There are many levels of enterprises engaged in the racketeering business -- I could well have been looking too low on the totem pole.

But can you imagine what a marketing push it would give the sauce if a neighboring city/state were to adopt the business and help it relocate? I suppose we would find out what level of the racket is involved...

Dec 12, 2013 - 5:59am

Oh no, not another

twinky type story. Looks like I'll have to load up tomorrow. Been using prolific amounts of Sriricha for over half a decade, even gave up Sambal Oeleck when Sriricha came along...not sure if I can go back.

Gold Dog
Dec 12, 2013 - 6:25am

A California Tale

We had a warehouse and office in City of Industry in the 80's and 90's, subsequently moved it for the obvious reasons.

The "Head of House" and I were talking one day and he indicated that he wanted to hire a part time person to come in and do the filing on Wednesdays. I told him to let it rip, they were swamped because business was so strong.

Perhaps a month later I asked him how the search was going. He informed me that they had had some difficulty coming up with a suitable person but did share the story of a close one.

A young lady came in to interview and Bill said that she was perfect and the interview was going along just great and he had decided to hire her.

He started telling her about the companies' history and what the job would entail, she seemed amenable to all of that and was ready to get going. Then he hit a little snag, she asked a question....

"Do I have to come to work EVERY Wednesday?"

Poor thing, she didn't get the job! (But this phrase made it into company lore and is quoted about two or three times a year when we are splitting up the task list.)

Your friend,


PS- Time to make the donuts.

PPS- Thanks Cal, I had my wife buy five bottles as soon as the news broke.

Dec 12, 2013 - 6:47am

Well Hey, if you can't have local hot sauce...

...at least you can have chicken processed in China!

Do you know what is in your chicken nuggets? Thanks to Barack Obama, that is going to be a more important question than ever. At the end of August, the Obama administration quietly decided to start allowing Chinese poultry processors to ship processed chicken into the United States. For now, the meat must originate either in the United States or in another country where the poultry population has been certified to be safe. What that means is that chickens from the United States will be shipped all the way over to China, processed in plants over there, and then shipped back across the Pacific Ocean for us to eat.



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