Photo Credit: Photo by Alvin C. Jacobs
Wingzza Is The Black-Owned Business That Wants The World To Fall In Love With Mambo Sauce
PG County, Maryland native (Lanham to be exact) Larry Swayne is DMV to his bones. After graduating from Morgan State University, he relocated to Charlotte to work in marketing consulting.
His job allowed him to travel all over, and in his travels, he found that one thing remained the same- there was always food. Swayne made it a point to always find the best pizza and wings in every city he visited because these were two of his favorites.
The one thing that many of these places lacked though, was mambo sauce. A sauce that was made popular by residents in and around the D.C. and Maryland area.
Rather than continuously being let down, Swayne decided to create his own brand of sauce with an accompanying food truck that he named Wingzza.
Wingzza was introduced to the Charlotte area in 2010, a time when food trucks weren’t as popular as they are now. It was a pizza and wings truck that brought a piece of DMV culture to NC, with the added flare of Mambo.
“I thought of myself as the “Kendrick Lamar” of food trucks during that time,” Swayne told Travel Noire.
The business quickly took off because Charlotte residents couldn’t get enough of the taste, while DMV transplants were reminded of home.
The Food Network caught wind of Swayne’s popularity and he was asked to participate on a season of Food Court Wars. He ended up winning and his prize was a storefront where he was able to sell his sauce.
After running the truck and store simultaneously, he came to a point where he had to make a tough decision to focus on his family.
“I closed the storefront after the lease was up and I closed down the food truck, to be able to spend more time with my family.”
But, what he didn’t let go of was his mambo sauce brand. Swayne took the Wingzza sauce online and soon began forming relationships with restaurants in the area to get the sauce on their menus.
Now, there are more than 15 Charlotte-area restaurants featuring menu items that incorporate the Wingzza sauce.
“I’m proudly representing PG County around the world,” Swayne said. “My goal is to expand it into restaurants everywhere, so we never lose the culture of Black D.C. and Maryland.”