After the United States accepted Tran as a refugee when no other countries would, he started right away doing what he did best -- making hot sauce. So in 1980, he started his chili legacy in a 5,000 sq foot building nestled near Chinatown in Los Angeles. His creations included his Pepper Sa-te Sauce, Sambal Oelek, Chili Garlic, Sambal Badjak and Sriracha Hot Sauce.
He was quite content just to sell whatever he could produce each day and deliver them to Asian restaurants and markets in his blue Chevy van - often driving as far as San Francisco and even San Diego. Believe it or not, Tran actually hand painted his first hot sauce logos onto that blue Chevy van himself! At that time, little did Tran realize his delectable sauces, particularly the iconic Sriracha Hot Sauce, made from just fresh jalapeño chili peppers, would spread like HOT wild fire...
On the Horizon
Sriracha during this time had taken off like a hot unstoppable chili pepper missile. Tran saw the horizon and it was indeed bright and optimistic. In 1996, Huy Fong was once again faced with space limitations, but as luck would have it, Tran was able to purchase the old Whamo facility just two doors down from the Rosemead facility. In a place where hula hoops and Frisbees once ruled, Huy Fong transformed that 170,000 sq. ft. building to a chili-grinding, hot sauce storing powerhouse, where all you can see was isles and isles of 55 gallon blue drums filled with freshly ground red chili peppers. At last, Tran had enough room to house his chili empire... so he thought.
In 2009, Tran, reading his Sriracha future like a fortune teller, saw demands continuing to increase while warehouse space continued to decrease. His Sriracha had gained popularity throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and over ten different countries -- Huy Fong was becoming well -known worldwide for its hot chili sauces! Tran forecasted that within a few years, he would have depleted all his available warehouse space, thus forcing him to either plateau in sales or to embark in search for yet another facility.
"I couldn't have succeeded without my hard-working employees working as a team to make the company what it has become."
- David Tran