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Third victim of Boston marathon bombing named by her devastated father in China as 23-year-old Lü Lingzi
She was an only child whose parents were immensely proud she was able to study in America
The graduate student at Boston University, from Shenyang in north-east China, was at the race with two friends
Her social media accounts reveal her to be an enthusiast; a dog-loving foodie who enjoyed cooking and eating out
One friend, Zhou Danling, was badly injured in the attack – although she has reportedly regained consciousness
The other two fatalities are eight-year-old Martin Richard and 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell
Series of candlelit vigils held throughout the city and beyond as hundreds of people honor the dead and injured
Investigators sift through 2,000 tips as FBI says Saudi ‘person of interest’ has been ruled out
Authorities say Boston commuters will be subject to random searches as transport chiefs help FBI investigation
David Tran’s company, Huy Fong Foods Inc., is moving to a $40-million, 655,000-square-foot facility in Irwindale that could triple its production capacity. (Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times / March 25, 2013)
By Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times
April 12, 2013, 11:56 p.m.
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.
So he made his own by hand in a bucket, bottled it and drove it to customers in a van. He named his company Huy Fong Foods after the Taiwanese freighter that carried him out of Vietnam.
Packing heat: Early on, one of Tran’s packaging suppliers told him, “Your product is too spicy. How can you sell it?” Add a tomato base, some friends counseled. Sweeten the flavor to pair it better with chicken, others said. But Tran stood firm.
“Hot sauce must be hot. If you don’t like it hot, use less,” he said. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.”
Pricing it right: Tran had just one guiding business principle: “Make a rich man’s sauce at a poor man’s price.” In more than two decades of operation, Tran has kept the wholesale price of his sauce constant, but he would not disclose it. A 28-ounce bottle goes for about $4, depending on the retailer.
“My American dream was never to become a billionaire,” Tran said. “We started this because we like fresh, spicy chili sauce.”
That means cranking up the chili content of each bottle and making sure each pepper is as hot as possible, Tran said. As the company grew, Huy Fong Foods developed a relationship with a supplier in Ventura County and carefully monitored the entire growing process from seed to harvest.
Now, each chili is processed within a day of harvesting to ensure peak spiciness.
Production strained: In 2007, the company oversold its sauces and ran out of the peppers with three months left in the year. Stores marked up their prices and many started to hoard the sauce, Lam said.
Under immense pressure from customers, Tran considered his possibilities. He could buy supermarket jalapenos, but that left no way to predict the heat of the sauce. Brined peppers were also out of the question — who knew how those had been grown?
So, Huy Fong Foods went to each of its customers and asked them to wait — and they did. “We didn’t lose any customers,” Lam said.
Now the company sets a monthly production quota for each sauce. Every bottle of sauce produced already has been sold, Lam said.
Competition: The popularity of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha sauce has spurred many copycats and competitors. Because the sauce is named for the Thai city, the company cannot trademark the name.
Roland Foods in New York makes its own variety, Sriracha Chili Sauce, in a similarly shaped yellow-capped bottle featuring two dragons instead of a rooster. Frito-Lay is testing a Sriracha-flavored potato chip, and Subway is experimenting with a creamy Sriracha sauce for sandwiches.
But Tran said he’s not bothered by the fact that others are trying to capitalize on the market his sauce created.
“We just do our own thing and try to keep the price low,” Tran said.
Revenue grows about 20% a year even with all the competition. Huy Fong Foods has never spent a dollar on advertising.
Family business: Tran has no interest in branching out beyond making Sriracha and two other hot sauces, Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek. All the Sriracha-branded products online are made by others. He spends hours Googling “Sriracha” and chuckling over fans’ creations.
He’s turned down multiple lucrative offers to sell his company, fearing his vision would be compromised.
“This company, she is like a loved one to me, like family. Why would I share my loved one with someone else?” Tran said.
He intends to keep it a family business: His son is the president, and his daughter is vice president.
He has repeatedly rejected pleas to sell stock in the company and turned down financiers who offer him money to increase production significantly.
“If our product is still welcomed by the customer, then we will keep growing,” Tran said.
New quarters: Huy Fong Foods has operated out of two buildings in Rosemead since the late 1980s, but it’s moving to a $40-million, 655,000-square-foot factory and headquarters in Irwindale that could triple its production capacity. The company expects to complete the transition by June.
“Who knows where the company will go? We just always try to make the best sauce possible,” Tran said.
Getting personal: Tran and his wife, Ada, live in Arcadia. They have two children.
Friends: I’m looking for great, high energy music to feature in my new show, ROLL MODELS! If you are an artist that owns 100% of your own music and wants to have it featured on this show, please contact me!
Eddie Huang, host of the Vice.com Fresh off the Boat series and author of the newly released (also titled) Fresh Off The Boat memoir, recently visited his alma mater Rollins College on Tuesday March 19, 2013 for a “reading” of his new book.
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If you want to get into business school, be a young Australian physicist
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) just released two reports (pdfs here and here) on who exactly is taking the GMAT, the make-or-break exam for admission into business schools worldwide—and its findings should relieve business school administrators. While the last few years have seen around the same number of test-takers 28,000 more people took the… – Gwynn Guilford
Aside from uploading three to 10 nail art photos of your best work in the online application, it also requires a three- to four-minute video of yourself answering the question: Why are you NAILS Next Top Nail Artist? That’s where things get interesting. As part of the weekly elimination challenges that require uploading photos of your amazing nail art, some challenges may require you to upload videos or to use various aspects of social media. The great thing about this is you get to design and create in the comfort of your own home/salon without having to spend money on air travel or hotel.
The top 16 will be chosen on May 31st based on the applications. The top eight will compete in weekly elimination challenges starting on September 14th. The top two finalists will be flown in, airfare (up to $500) and two-night stay paid for by NAILS, to attend ISSE Long Beach 2014 and compete in a live finale! The winner will be announced at the beauty show and will win a $2,000 cash prize.
This is no ordinary nail art contest. Some dedication and time commitment will be necessary to complete the weekly challenges as well as working knowledge of social media and knowing your way around a camera/video camera. If you’re an awesome artist but don’t know much about technology, don’t let this stop you! The editors and I would be more than happy to help with any video or photographing tips.
This contest is set for licensed nail techs who are not currently working as an educator for any nail companies. You do qualify if you have been an educator in the past. International nail artists can apply as well!
I hope this contest will bring forth some great artists. I also hope there will be at least a couple competitors of Vietnamese descent. Although Vietnamese nail techs make up nearly half of the nail industry in the U.S., I can only count a handful of competitors past and present (Trang Nguyen, Joseph Pham, Amy Oung, Robert Nguyen, Vu Nguyen, Trina Ngo, Christine Tran).
Complete the online application by Apr. 27. If you register by Apr. 12 you will be automatically entered into an early bird raffle.
Visit http://www.nailsmag.com/nexttopnailartist for more information and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Or leave your questions in the comment section and I will find the answers for you.
Let me know if you’re interested, the Next Top Nail Artist could be you!
thao: in the past year I started feeling the desire to be an active part of my life, instead of just watching it pass by. I wanted to try to actually be a real live person, rather than just singing songs about them.
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