One creative company from Botswana is fighting to change the world. Well, more like cooking to change the world. The company is Maungo Craft, and they are doing this one incredibly delicious hot sauce at a time.
Co-founder Bonolo Monthe recently graduated from the Master of Business Creation, a program offered at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. She participated virtually from Africa.
This vegan fruity, spicy, and smoky hot sauce has started getting traction in the USA and rightfully so. It is now available on Amazon with a five-star rating and glowing reviews. It is also available at niche stores in Salt Lake City.
Maungo Craft owes its mission to one fruit that grows in abundance in Botswana’s semi-arid desert environment. The marula fruit tree is the ancient grandfather of the apricot and produces fruit in abundance.
The seed oil extracted from the marula fruit is quickly becoming an international commodity for its cosmetic properties. The fruit, however, is incredibly underused.
“It takes roughly 300 tons of marula fruit pulp to get 12 tons of marula cosmetic oil. The rest of the fruit typically goes underutilized,” Monthe said. “So, we thought to ourselves, we know what happens with the oil, but what happens to all that fruit?”
In 2017 Monthe, her sister Abigail Monthe, co-founder Aganga, and friend Motseoeme Taunyane started making preserves with an effort to save the fruit. They have since introduced sauces and syrups to their range. Maungo Craft has gone on to achieve many firsts in their country. They have had products endorsed by Martha Stewart and received Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Foods. They now supply hospitality, restaurants, gifting, and retail with their unique range. Maungo Craft has won 13 awards, locally, regionally, and internationally and, according to Monthe, is the first food company from Botswana to sell on Amazon.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.