When you think of hockey, there are a lot of associations—the sound of the skates on the ice, the puck hitting the glass, and the cheer of the crowd. But for many hockey players and families, the heartbeat of hockey is the life-long bonds of the hockey families they gather with week after week, who in a way, become family thanks to the game.
At any “family” gathering, the party is centered around -- what else? --, great food. For Minnesota native and Assistant Hockey Coach at Park High School in Cottage Grove Wayne Kemper and his friends Tim Roche and Tony Ullman, the love of hockey runs deep. Not only because they love the game, but because of the memories of gathering at each others’ homes in high school to bond over food. As they got older, they all played “old-man hockey,” where they’d play and then gather with their families for food and drinks.
It was at these gatherings that Tony started bringing some of
his homemade salsa for the guys and their families to try and it was an instant hit, with many commenting, “this stuff is so
good you should sell it!” And so JoMomma’s Salsa was born. They even have a pending trademark for the tagline,
“The Official Salsa of Hockey ™.”
from one tub
to every rink
What started out as one tub of homemade salsa to share, turned into entire weekends making hundreds of batches of salsa in a one-gallon Ninja blender to take to hockey rinks, where players and their families would voraciously devour bowl after bowl. Even people who didn’t like other salsa were pledging their undying loyalty to the addictive combination ingredients. Seeing the popularity of the salsa, the team of friends took the leap and started making JoMomma’s on larger scale (and with a bigger blender!) so that other hockey fans, and salsa lovers, could get that same sense of fun and togetherness as they gather with
great friends and JoMomma’s salsa. They first moved to producing it out of Tim’s pizza shop in Cottage Grove, and
then to a commercial kitchen in Hudson, Wisc., where it’s manufactured today.
Named after Tony’s mom Josephine, JoMomma’s represents what’s at the heart of most youth-sport families—the moms and dads who put in countless hours getting kids to practice and games, volunteering at events, and of course, hosting team gatherings. Tony’s mom, whom they lovingly called JoMomma, was always cooking something for the team to enjoy, which is why they felt it was important to name the salsa after her and to use the salsa to carry on the same traditions of the hockey families around the state.
While you can still find JoMomma’s Salsa at rinks across the state, now the “official salsa of hockey” has more momentum behind it than a slapshot from center ice. Twin Cities Cub, HyVee stores, Jerry’s Foods, County Markets, Festival Foods, Super One Foods, as well as other retailers, now carry the shelf-stable, restaurant-style condiment. You can also order it online at jomommas.com or find it at farmer’s markets. It’s also a popular staple with a foodservice company supplying regional prisons. JoMomma’s has customers in all 50 states, and is continuing to build distribution in Minnesota and beyond.
JoMomma’s Salsa comes in five varieties from mild to extra hot, including:
Momma’s Baby (mild)
Momma’s Original (medium)
Roasted Garlic Jalapeno (hot)
Pineapple Mango (hot)
Smokin’ Hot Momma (extra hot, made with ghost peppers)
Because JoMomma’s is all about creating great memories with friends and family, the company is also starting to roll out unique fundraising opportunities for teams, clubs and other groups. You can find out more and request information at JoMommas.com.