David Tran is the man to thank for the Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce you douse your scrambled eggs with every morning. You know the stuff. Red bottle with a green cap and a rooster on the front—plus five languages on the bottle—this simple sauce connects people from different cultures and backgrounds. “It never occurred to me that our hot sauce could get so much attention and acceptance from different people," said Tran. Today, Tran oversees a hot sauce empire, but he comes from humble beginnings. He arrived in the United States from Vietnam 40 years ago as a refugee. So how did the founder of Huy Fong Foods turn his fresh, homemade hot sauce into an internationally-recognized brand and household staple? We visited his factory in Irwindale, California, to learn the secret to his sauce.
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"Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go."