Washington, D.C., is mourning the loss of a culinary tastemaker.
“He was like my wingman. When I didn’t have anything to say, he was right there to jump in,” his wife and business partner Arsha Jones told the outlet. “So, now, it’s just kinda on me, but I’m hoping that we’re gonna make him proud.”
The power couple launched Capital City Mambo Sauce in 2011, simmering the savory condiment in their home kitchen. From there, they continued to grow their brand, all while raising four sons. The pair are credited with helping the D.C. staple sauce gain popularity nationwide.
According to FOX 5 DC, the tangy topping originated in the city’s African-American community decades ago and has since become a big huge hit at Asian takeout restaurants.
“We felt like Washington, D.C., deserved the same respect as, you know, a New York cheesecake, or a New York bagel, or a Philadelphia cheesesteak, or even a Old Bay from Maryland,” Arsha Jones said.
Their sauces now sit on the shelves on several major stores across the U.S., including Walmart, Shoprite and Wegmans.
Tragedy struck last Friday when Charles was on a college tour with the couple’s eldest son in Atlanta. He suffered a heart attack and later died at a hospital.
Together, Charles and Arsha Jones built Capital City Mambo Sauce into a million-dollar company. Arsha said none of it would’ve been possible without the support of her business partner and best friend.
“I couldn’t be standing here if he didn’t give me his shoulders to be able to rest on,” said Arsha Jones of her late husband. We are going to keep pushing until D.C. is on the map and everyone knows about our culture. It’s what Charles would have wanted.”
Watch more in the video below.