"My American dream was never to become a billionaire," Tran said… [View all]
Sriracha hot sauce purveyor turns up the heat
David Tran introduced Sriracha to the U.S. in the 1980s, and it quickly caught on. His company sells more than $60 million of it a year.
April 12, 2013|By Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times
The gig: David Tran, 68, founded hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods Inc. in Chinatown in 1980 and a few years later introduced Sriracha sauce to the U.S.
His Sriracha, a version of a hot sauce originating in Si Racha, Thailand, quickly spread through the San Gabriel Valley and eventually the nation. The fiery red concoction in the clear bottle with the distinctive green cap and rooster logo has since gone mainstream: Google "Sriracha" and you'll find such things as cookbooks, water bottles, iPhone cases and T-shirts.
Huy Fong Foods, which is still privately owned, sold more than $60 million worth of sauce last year, office manager Donna Lam said.
Refugee: When North Vietnam's communists took power in South Vietnam, Tran, a major in the South Vietnamese army, fled with his family to the U.S. After settling in Los Angeles, Tran couldn't find a job — or a hot sauce to his liking.