After receiving our hairnets and tickets for our freebies, I stopped before entering the factory to meet the man himself, founder David Tran.
|My boyfriend and I with founder, David Tran.|
Employees greeted us at different stops and were quite friendly in answering our questions. We first stepped into the distribution warehouse. The distribution warehouse itself was the grand ballroom of warehouses with conveyor belts and pallets where one could get lost and end up in Narnia.
I have never seen so many red chili peppers in my entire life. According to the tour brochure, a 21 ton truck (about 30-40 truckloads a week) would roll the peppers into a container called a hopper to be sorted, washed, and rinsed. The peppers are sourced from a local Californian grower.
The peppers will be grounded and be processed into the base sauce. We were also able to take a chili sample! I was not able to take photos in the chili processing room only because I was trying to hold back any sneezes or coughs. The chili smell along with the extra ingredients was more overwhelming than I thought but it did make me crave the Sriracha sauce.
After processing the chilies and magically turning them into chili base, they are filled into gigantic blue barrels. The blue barrels would wait to be sorted into which chili sauce they will be turned into.
After exiting the factory, the newly opened gift shop offers T-shirts, tanks, and other novelty items for visitors. An ice cream truck awaits outside to serve chocolate and vanilla Sriracha swirl ice cream.
The ice cream itself was not too spicy but did produce that little taste bud kick. We also received a complimentary and commemorative T-shirt celebrating the 34 years that Huy Fong Foods has been in business. After visiting the factory, learning about the company's history, and reading/hearing about the recent controversy, I believe that Huy Fong Foods is an example of achieving the American Dream. It has turned a family recipe into a beloved condiment staple. If you are interested in touring the factory, tour dates run every Saturday until October 25th. Please click here to sign up. As always, thank you for reading.