About Barbaro Mojo
¡Qué bárbaro! = Spanish for “Amazing,” “Fantastic,” “Tremendous,” “Savage”
Serial entrepreneur Mario Cruz hosts an annual Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) pig roast for friends and family. On Noche Buena in 2015, his son Kevin wanted to add more heat to their meal. A traditional Cuban pork roast uses a marinade known as mojo which usually contains sour orange, garlic, and other spices. Kevin believed they could use their family’s mojo recipe as a base for a killer hot sauce. So that same day, while the pig cooked in the caja china, the duo began cooking up what would be the first unofficial batch of Bárabro Mojo Cuban Hot Sauce. They poured the first batch into an empty soda bottle for anyone who wanted to eat spicy pork!
The results were amazing! People raved about the taste of the roast and inquired about the secret ingredients. Instead of spilling the beans, he began making a few bottles of his signature sauce every Noche Buena and noticed that every year supplies vanished, often before the end of the meal.
People loved the spicy kick in the “mojo” based hot sauce! On Noche Buena of 2019 (just before COVID-19 hit), they made a tiny batch of 100 bottles and gave them out as gifts on Noche Buena.
When COVID-19 finally hit, while people were stuck at home cooking for themselves, friends started to ask for refills of the Christmas gift they had given them. While quarantined, Mario enlisted his wife to start a business around sharing his newfound passion with the rest of the world. The lockdown also gave them extra time to build and plant their very own pepper garden which is where the base of his amazing sauces came from.
With Mario’s background in tech, he quickly made a website and began taking orders. The process of developing new recipes went on for several years after that. Three more flavors were developed, using different peppers and levels of heat.
The name Bárbaro comes from Mario’s date of birth and the traditional Cuban celebration that occurs on that day, the feast of Santa Barbarba. The label with Mario’s face on the bottle began as a joke, but eventually evolved into a branding tool that his kids would not let him change.
Jump to today, Bárbaro Mojo is now in a regional grocery store and a few restaurants while continuing to sell online. Mario and Kevin hope that their tasty Cuban hot sauces gives a kick to any dish you are bold enough to prepare and maybe, just maybe, you can hear Qué Bárbaro! after your guests have taken a few bites.