Dallas State Rep. Jason Villalba Makes a Play for Sriracha

Categories: Dish, Legislature

JasonVillalbaEggSandwich.jpg
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Jason Villalba's egg sandwich just wouldn't be the same without Sriracha.
When Denton City Councilman Kevin Roden first made his pitch to bring Sriracha to North Texas last October, it seemed like an impossible long shot. What chance did a lone municipal official, bearing no tax breaks or economic development incentives, have of convincing the manufacturer of the most delicious condiment on the planet to come to town?

But the momentum is building, people.

Less than two months after Huy Fong Foods was forced to shutter the Irwindale, California factory where it manufactures the spicy, Asian-style chile sauce with the instantly recognizable rooster label, luring the company has entered the realm of state politics.

On Tuesday afternoon, Republican State Representative Jason Villalba of Dallas sent a letter to the company's CEO urging him to abandon regulation-heavy California and relocate to the friendlier environs of North Texas.

See also: A Denton Councilman Says He's Trying to Lure the Sriracha Factory and its Lawsuit-inducing Scent to North Texas

"As a public official and a corporate attorney for small businesses, I am extremely troubled by excessive government interference in the operations of private, job-creating businesses like Huy Fong Foods," he wrote. "You have worked too hard and have helped too many people to let government bureaucrats shut down your thriving business."

For Villalba, the stakes are personal. He is a long-time Sriracha fan who puts the sauce on "everything from egg sandwiches to lasagna," he told The Dallas Morning News. "It's something that's pretty important to my dietary requirements."

Villalba's passion for Sriracha is hardly unique, even among state legislators. So powerful is the sauce that it's inspired a rare instance of bipartisan agreement. State Representative Gene Wu, a Democrat, has also attempted to woo Sriracha, though he says Houston is a "far better home" than Dallas.

In a way, Wu has a point. The smell that inspired the California shutdown would be overpowered by the generalized stench of Houston.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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18 comments
bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Leave it to Republicans to lure in a company whose "food" product has ZERO value as a source of nutrition.

It's like they're trying to make Texas into a cheap knock-off of China - except that in China, when companies screw up, the leadership is held accountable.  Republicans have an advantage there - because they don't hold corporate leadership responsible for ANYTHING.


oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Alliance airport is a short truck trip from Denton moving a harvest by a Jumbo Cargo Jet might be a workable solution and not add a lot to the cost of the product 

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

According to am article I read last year, sriracha is made with peppers within 24 hours of harvest for freshness. So unless they're planning to set aside land to grow peppers this is a pipe dream.

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

If you put Sriracha over everything, as the representative says he does, his palate is shot and he has no clue what he's eating because it all tastes like hot sauce.

cactusflinthead
cactusflinthead

Unless there are sections of land devoted to peppers planted in the land near here that factory isn't moving. They just spent 40 million on it. I expect they will manage to figure out how to scrub the exhaust. The main reason for the plant's location is its proximity to the main ingredient. I could imagine a potential expansion into the RGV where the pepper crops are available on both sides of the border but they aren't gonna move to DFW. This is grandstanding by Rs to highlight the differences in regulations. Unlike the folks near plants in Stinkadena the Cali folks can bitch and something happens.

ruddski
ruddski

Irwindale is 90% Latino, and they couldn't take the spicy smells?

Ever been in a majority-Latino apartment building at dinner time?

Something's not adding up, but maybe they'll locate upwind from a non-Latino neighborhood and all will be groovy.

rusknative
rusknative

@bvckvsI bet you HATE chewing gum manufacturers.  Hey, the gays have proven that everything you put into your mouth does not have to have nutritional value.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@oakclifftownieAlliance also has one of the best truck-to rail transport facilities anywhere. Be a lot cheaper to move that hot stuff by train.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@oakclifftownie 


I worked in this field (literally) for years. If you think it's just that simple you would be mistaken. 

ruddski
ruddski

They'll come in from all over, by rail.

And when those peppers start exploding, were in trouble.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@ruddski All it takes is for one Indian family to move in, and it puts it all back into perspective.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@tdkisok@oakclifftownie  Didn't say simple I said it might be workable. More than likely is workable  Figure it out there might be a Bonus in it for you . Fresh / Perishables fly all the time .

ruddski
ruddski

This sounds like the kind of diverse neighborhood even I could live in.

rusknative
rusknative

@ruddskiYEAH, why can't every neighborhood smell like there is a Mrs. Bairds Bread Bakery nearby. 

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