The history of Mumbo® Sauce is an old fashion pull-yourself-up by the boot straps story. It's a story of a young man who left the south and headed for the big city in pursuit of the American Dream.
In the early 1940's after serving in the U.S. Navy, Argia B. Collins landed in Chicago, on the city's west side, where he worked for his older brothers who had opened a local grocery store a few years earlier. All six Collins brothers had a competitive entrepreneurial spirit. Eventually, each one staked out prime spots in different parts of the city and opened rib joints that would make this band of brothers famous across Chicago.
Argia B., as he was affectionately called, staked his claim on Chicago's south side, opening his first restaurant in the renowned Bronzeville area in 1950. He eventually relocated his flagship store to 78th & Halsted in Chicago and later opened a second location in South Shore at 71st & Yates and then a third restaurant in Gary, Indiana at 11th Avenue & Taft.
A perfectionist when it came to his restaurants, Argia B. was not satisfied with the bland, watered-downed sauces served in other establishments or the tart, over-powering national brands sold by restaurant supply houses. He decided that he'd create a signature sauce that would do justice to the succulent ribs and juicy fried chicken that he served to his growing cliental. His restaurant became the test kitchen for the many brews that he concocted while trying to create the perfect sauce. Drawing on his southern roots, he wanted to create a sauce with the savory flavors reminiscent of the homemade Sunday dinners that he had enjoyed on his family's farm.
Before long, restaurant customers began asking Collins for extra dollops of his delicious sauce as he prepared their favorite entrée from the carry-out menu. Then, they started bringing in jars asking if they could purchase some of his sauce to take home. Collins realized that he had a winner!