Immigrant David Tran, a former officer in the South Vietnamese army, founded hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods Inc. in 1980 - naming it after the ship that brought him to the United States.
A few years later, he introduced Sriracha sauce to America. He made the fiery red hot sauce at home and sold it out of his van.
More than $60 million worth of sauce was sold last year, a company official told the Los Angeles Times for a profile of Tran. The company is preparing to ramp up production.
When early critics mentioned that it was too hot, 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."