And so the plan to convince Huy Fong Foods to move the Sriracha mothership from California to Texas marches on: The Texas Tribune reports that a "sriracha delegation" of Texas politicians is touring the factory and meeting with founder David Tran this morning. Per a press release from State Rep. Jason Villalba's office (Villalba has been quite vocal in his desire to bring the Sriracha factory to Texas), the delegates were selected for their ability to contribute "to the discussion of why relocation and/or expansion of the Huy Fong Foods operations to Texas would be preferable to maintaining sole operations in Irwindale, Calif."
It should be noted that this delegation is not the same as the group of politicians from Denton, Texas that have also secured a meeting with Huy Fong officials. Reps for Villalba tell Eater via email: "Our delegation did a great deal of research and had talks with members of the Texas Department of Agriculture (a member is attending the meeting as well), and learned that South and Southwest Texas are most ideal for pepper growing." (Denton is in North Texas).
While Texas is prepared to make its case for the move, it might be a bit of an uphill battle to convince Tran to uproot his factory. As previously reported, a move would mean relocating or replacing some 200 employees and finding a new pepper grower. Tran also expressed his reservations about moving to Eater recently saying, "Why should I move? ... I'm a citizen. The USA is my country. This building belongs to me." Below, the press release:
Rep. Jason Villalba Announces Final Sriracha Delegation, Media Logistics
Announcement includes attendees, logistics for media coverage
DALLAS – Today Rep. Jason Villalba (District 114) announced the complete delegation traveling to California to meet with David Tran, Chief Executive Officer of Huy Fong Foods, Inc., and tour the facility where they produce the iconic hot sauce, Sriracha. These delegates were selected for the specific knowledge and specialized experience each contributes to the discussion of why relocation and/or expansion of the Huy Fong Foods operations to Texas would be preferable to maintaining sole operations in Irwindale, Calif.
• Jason Villalba, Texas State Representative District 114 (Delegation Leader)
• Carlos I. Uresti, Texas State Senator District 19
• Hubert Vo, Texas State Representative District 149
• Jose Romano, Director of Business Development for Governor Rick Perry's Economic Development & Tourism Office
• Daniel Hodge, First Assistant Attorney General
• Bryan Daniel, Chief Administrator for Trade and Business Development, Texas Department of Agriculture
"For many years now, Texas has demonstrated it is the premiere state for economic development, expansion, and relocation," said Rep. Villalba. "Each member of this delegation was carefully selected for their unique areas of expertise. I am confident this group will be able to communicate to Mr. Tran and his colleagues at Huy Fong Foods the benefit of conducting business in the Lone Star State where frivolous litigation is not businesses as usual and we work with companies to create jobs and opportunity for all."
Rep. Villalba holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor. Rep. Villalba worked as a financial analyst before becoming a practicing business attorney. Now a partner at the prestigious law firms of Haynes and Boone, his practice focuses on the areas of public and private securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate law. He serves on both the Business & Industry and Environmental Regulation Committees.
Sen. Uresti is vice chair of the Senate Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Homeland Security Committee and represents areas of South Texas that are perfectly suited for growing peppers, including the Winter Garden Region. Sen. Uresti has worked diligently to encourage economic development, including the Toyota manufacturing plant, the revitalization of Brooks City-Base, Port San Antonio, the Texas A&M University campus in South San Antonio, and the South Texas Regional Training Center in Hondo.
Rep. Hubert Vo is the Vice Chair of the Economic and Small Business Development Committee as well as a successful businessman, real estate developer and entrepreneur in the Houston area. Vo is an advocate for economic development and is fluent in Vietnamese, Spanish, French, and English.
Jose Romano is the Director of Business Development for Governor Rick Perry's Economic Development & Tourism Office (EDT). The EDT pursues business expansion and relocation prospects, with the goal of developing job creation and export opportunities for Texas.
Daniel Hodge is the First Assistant Attorney General. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has taken a keen interest in promoting economic development in Texas. Hodge oversees the operations of the Attorney General's Office and serves as the senior policy advisor to the Attorney General and his staff.
Bryan Daniel is the Senior Administrator for Trade and Business Development at the Texas Department of Agriculture. Daniel has dedicated his professional career to working with agricultural and rural issues, which has given him a solid understanding of production agriculture in Texas, consumer protection issues, economic development and regulatory affairs.
IMPORTANT NEWS MEDIA LOGISTICS:
The local network affiliates for ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC have all RSVPed as attending the event. Due to logistical constraints the tour with the delegation is not open to the press. However, a press pool video camera and photographer have been selected to accompany the group.
Immediately following the tour at approximately 11 a.m. the delegation will meet with Huy Fong Foods executives in a closed-door meeting. During this time both the video and photography will be available to those members of the media on-site.
· Bipartisan "Sriracha Delegation" Heads to CA [Texas Tribune]
· Is California's Sriracha Factory Considering a Texas Move? [-E-]
· All Sriracha Coverage on Eater [-E-]