To Top

The Incredible Story Of David Tran: From A Vietnamese Refugee To An American Billionaire

Some four decades ago, a Vietnamese refugee named David Tran, left his country and arrived in Los Angeles, California. It was 1978 when the then 33 years old David Tran fled his country with the dream of building a billion-dollar worth of hot sauce business in the United States. As he left his homeland, the Vietnamese refugee only had 100 ounces of gold.

By then, these assets translate into a mere $20,000. Not that much money to move to the U.S. for sure. But David Tran had dreams! So, he made it all the way from Vietnam and Hong Kong to the U.S. in 1978 – all through freighters. In Hong Kong, he spends at least 7 months in refugee camps before reaching the U.S. When he made it to the U.S., he first moved to Boston Texas, before getting settled in Los Angeles, California.

Quora / In 1978, when David Tran fled his homeland, he only had 100 ounces of gold – worth $20,000 by then.

As he settled in LA, which was one of the most developed cities in the U.S. back then, David Tran sold some of his owned gold. Early reports tell us that his sold gold earned him $15,000. The entrepreneur-minded David used this money to buy a building in Chinatown – that contained 2500 square feet building. He then kickstarted his sauce business named Huy Fong. The Vietnamese refugee turned entrepreneur named his business after the freighter that he took while traveling to the U.S.

As the business kickstarted, the Vietnamese refugee – who was all set to be an American billionaire – noticed that he lacks a budget. The lack of resources and unfamiliarity with the English made his journey more troublesome. But guess what? The entrepreneur-minded David Tran never thought of quitting. Instead, he continued his tiny little business operation in Chinatown.

Twitter / After settling in LA, David Tran sold his gold and kickstarted his sauce business in Chinatown, named Huy Fung.

David Tran has this view of making spicy and yummy sauce. So, he stayed committed to his unattained dreams and continued to make hot sauces that he called Sriracha. Essentially, the term refers to a special food that is popular in Thailand.

Fast forward to 2023, some 4 decades after David’s brave move of his life, Sriracha is one of the leading sauce businesses in the U.S. The company brings billions of dollars in revenue and Sriracha is one of the favorite sauces of every American today.

Business Insider / Sriracha, originally named Huy Fung, the brainchild of David Tran, is one of the leading sauce businesses in the U.S. today.

As he reflects on his journey – from being a Vietnamese refugee to an American billionaire, David Tran is glad that he made the bold move back in the 70s. He recalls that his wealth and fame today are nothing more or less than the fruits that he sow some 4 decades ago.

In an interview with Forbes, David Trans suggests that no dream is worth dwelling on. He recalls his early days of struggle as he enjoys a lavish and opulent lifestyle in LA today. Long story short, the Srirach that you enjoy on your dinner table has a surprisingly heartwarming story behind it. The maker of this yummy and spicy sauce is none other than David Tran – who was once a refugee in Hong Kong.

More in money and fame

You must be logged in to post a comment Login