April 15, 2024

Since 2010 local African small-scale farmers and producers have enjoyed the sourcing support of Black Mamba which manufactures a range of chili sauces, pesto, pickles, chutneys, and jams, all of which are made from natural, fresh ingredients without artificial flavors or preservatives. 

Black Mamba not only creates world-class food products, but also market access and income for local farmers, who are mostly female, increasing food security for many rural families. A win-win situation all around.

Joe Castellanos and Claudia Castellanos started Black Mamba because they were nuts about chilies and wanted to do something that would bring a positive impact on the world. 

They both had the tropical temperatures of the Southern Hemisphere in their blood. 

After remixing their African recipe with a dash of Latino flavor, they launched their first bottles of Black Mamba at Bushfire, Eswatini’s internationally acclaimed music and arts festival, in 2010. 

All 400 bottles sold out right away and within months they went from employing one woman to stir a pot on their patio, to having their workshop, and today, a fully-fledged factory, where they make the dangerously tasty products that they bring to Chilliheads and Ethical Foodies around the world.

From the beginning, Claudia and the team at Black Mamba knew that the work they did must not only have a social, but also an environmental impact: the farmers are trained in permaculture and regenerative farming practices that are good for the planet, and the company is also committed to foster sustainability through their packaging. 

Black Mamba Foods makes products that are good for you, good for the earth, and good for the rural communities they work with, and to achieve this they source their fresh ingredients from Guba, a local permaculture training organization.

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Guba manages a growing network of over 50 smallholder farmers who grow fresh organic herbs and chilies for Black Mamba’s products. The direct positive impact of this partnership reaches over 1,000 individuals in Eswatini.

Additionally, Black Mamba Foods aims to become a cult brand connecting food lovers across the world to generations of growers, proving that the planet and people matter and showing the world that Africa can provide first-world products while keeping a strong social and environmental ethos.

Black Mamba Foods gets organically grown ingredients, the farmers get a sustainable income, and the local ecosystems get restored with the use of regenerative agriculture methods. 

How it Works

Sustainable and ethically produced 

Black Mamba Foods creates a range of products, from chili sauces, pesto, pickles, chutneys, jams, and more which are made without artificial flavoring or preservatives.

Supporting small-scale local farmers, who are majority women, Black Mamba Foods has created market access and income for local farmers. 

In addition, through its relations with local farmers, the company directly increases food security for several rural families.

To ensure that their product is sustainably farmed, all farmers are provided training in permaculture and regenerative farming practices, upskilling local farmers and positively contributing to the environment. 

Market Size

Black Mamba Foods is a social business that manufactures and distributes good-for-you, good-for-the-planet gourmet food products, including chili sauces, pesto, chutneys, and jams, all made with organically grown ingredients and no added nonsense. 

Through a partnership with the local NGO Guba, Black Mamba trains smallholders in permaculture and organic farming and buys fresh produce from them to make the products. 

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To date, 60 farmers are part of the value chain, and the positive impact reaches over 1,000 individuals in Eswatini. 

Additionally, the use of regenerative farming practices has improved the soil quality, water use, and biodiversity of the land used by the smallholders.

Black Mamba currently exports products to several countries around the world including the US, UK, Germany, Taiwan, Norway, and South Africa.


Claudia Castellanos

claudia castellanos

Claudia Castellanos is the current Co-founder and CEO of Black Mamba Foods.

Claudia has professional experience in marketing management and strategic planning, as well as the management of social businesses. 

Additionally, her main goal for the upcoming years is to work for sustainable development and a greener planet, using her experience and skills to improve social businesses and promote the environmental agenda in developing countries, starting in Africa.

Claudia Castellanos attended Esade.

Joe Castellanos

Joe Castellanos is the Founder of Black Mamba.

Investors & Funding Rounds

Enygma Ventures

Enygma Ventures

 Black Mamba Foods has secured R9.2 million in funding from the US venture capital (VC) fund Enygma Ventures. 

As an ethical producer of specialty foods, Black Mamba Foods will utilize the funding received to upscale its business.

The financial and strategic support will allow the team to scale Black Mamba exponentially and validate the business model, based on building a fun and modern African brand of high-quality food products while promoting the inclusiveness of rural communities and green agriculture.

Enygma Ventures is an investment fund for female entrepreneurs and women founders in southern Africa. The R9.2m Black Mamba investment further strengthens the R100m VC fund’s growing portfolio of women-owned African businesses.

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Main Competitors

Real Foods: This is a South African multi-brand food group at the forefront of health & wellness.

Sendme: It is using social commerce and artificial intelligence to meet the animal protein demands of Nigerian households and businesses at excellent prices.

Food Bundles: The company optimizes the distribution of fresh Food for people living in cities.


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