Saucy: Sriracha makers consider Alamo City for new factory

Available land, proximity to customers puts city high on list

It's the delicious red sauce that many Americans just can't seem to get enough of.
It's the delicious red sauce that many Americans just can't seem to get enough of.

Huy Fong Foods Inc., the makers of Sriracha Hot Sauce, are considering San Antonio to be the home of their new factory.

"Look at the location advantages in San Antonio -- proximity to raw product, the chilies that are down in south Texas, proximity to customers, HEB is here," said San Antonio Economic Development Foundation President Mario Hernandez.

Hernandez was one of several SAEDF officials to recently tour the company's Irwindale, Calif., factory.

He said the city's abundance of land is appealing for Huy Fong Foods executives, and putting the factory in a place that is isolated from residential areas will likely be a key component to the city's proposal.

The sauce company is currently in the middle of a lawsuit filed by the city or Irwindale claiming that the smell of peppers being crushed at the factory irritates the eyes, nose, and throats of nearby residents.

The city will vote in the coming weeks on whether the factory is a public nuisance, but Hernandez believes such an issue would not arise in San Antonio.

"We're very confident that we could identify numerous locations for the company, when the company is ready, that not only will have the infrastructure and advantages they're looking for, but (also) the correct zoning," he said.

The city's ability to court Asian companies is no secret.

Toyota has a major campus in the Alamo City and Maruchan, the ramen noodle maker, recently opened a factory.

While Huy Fong Foods is not a large corporation, the president of the Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Elva Adams, said San Antonio is becoming increasingly popular in Asia among companies of all sizes.

"It doesn't matter what size, from small to medium to large, corporations come to San Antonio. I think one of the benefits is that we have resources, we have an abundance of land available for the company to consider, and also infrastructure is already in place," Adams said.

A state delegation is scheduled to tour the company's factory on May 12. It's unknown when the company plans to make its decision.