Mambo Sauce: Turning a D.C. Cult Obsession into a Family Business

Feb. 7, 2018 | Business Stories
My boss has been pouring pools of mambo sauce onto the back of his hand and slurping it off for the last half hour.

The sauce was created by the husband and wife foodies sitting across the table from us. Arsha and Charles Jones first went into business seven years ago, selling an old favorite from home to Maryland consumers. Today, they’re in over 100 stores across the Maryland/D.C. area – and growing.

People like it.

Our CEO can’t stop eating it. While Arsha leans forward, retelling their story excitedly, he picks up the bottle again and again, pouring new servings onto his hand, which he quickly laps up.

Our Document Control Specialist gives him a look. “What?” he says. “It’s good.” Then he gets more.

A Uniquely D.C. Taste

Washington D.C. is known for many things. What people might not know about the nation’s capital is that the locals have a little obsession – and it’s called Mambo (or, sometimes, mumbo) sauce.

Among the native population, it’s more than a condiment, it’s an identity. For those who have moved out of the capital, it’s a reminder of their childhood, their roots. It tastes like home.

It even has a band named after it.

So, what is this enigmatic orange-red sauce?