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June 15, 2024 20 mins

Two-time Emmy and Three-time NAACP Image Award-winning, television Executive Producer Rushion McDonald, interviews Jermaine Smith, a celebrity Soul Food Chef, who reveals Mumbo Sauce history in a new documentary.  Operates a popular restaurant in Washington, D.C.'s DMV called Henry's Soul Cafe. To serve the community, Jermaine launched a culinary institute designed to train young people. Jermaine finances and produces films such as Strange Love for Amazon Video, Trophy Wife, and Dave Chappelle's Legendary starring Earthquake for Netflix. In that same vein, he manages talent in the comedy space, is a successful real estate developer and investor, and consults for businesses across the globe. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Welcome to money Making Conversations.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
It's to show that she is the secrets of success
experience firsthand by marketing and Brandon expert Rashan McDonald. I
will know he's giving me advice on many occasions. And
in case you didn't notice, I'm not broke. You know
he'll be interviewing celebrity CEOs, entrepreneurs and industry.

Speaker 1 (00:20):
Decision make because it's what he likes to do. It's
what he likes to share.

Speaker 2 (00:24):
Now it's time to hear from my man, Rashan McDonald.
Money Making Conversations.

Speaker 1 (00:28):
Here we go. All right, welcome back to money Making
Conversation master classes. Rom Sean McDonald's speaking. You know you
hear the word or run us out man thrown out there.
You know people talking about different levels of income simultaneously.
Let me let me throw out something film production, talent manager,
restaurant tour, celebrity chef services, real estate development. That's my

(00:53):
next guest. His name is Jermaine Smith. Jermaine is a
visionary restaurant too and celebrity chef in Washington, DC. His
restaurant based there is called Henry's Soul Cafe. In an
effort to serve the community. So he hasn't forgot about
his community. Jermaine launched a culinary institute designed to train
young people. Jermaine finances and produces films such as Strange

(01:16):
Love for Amazon, Video, Trophy Wife, and Dave Chappelle's legendary
starring My Man Earthquake for Netflix. You and saw that
comedy special, please check it out. In that same vein,
he manages his talent in the comedy space as a
successful real estate developer and investor in consults for businesses
across the globe. If he's not a money making conversation, yes,

(01:38):
I don't know who is. Please walk with the money
making conversations masterclass. Jermaine Smith, how you doing, sir?

Speaker 3 (01:43):
Hey you my brother? How you doing? Man? Thanks for
having me. It's such a pleasure to be here.

Speaker 1 (01:47):
First of all, you know, I'm tell you how I
met Jermaine. I'm on the fall with Earthquake. Right. We
just talked about comedy dates, just comedy dates. Don't know
nothing about restaurant dot nothing about food. He ain't tell me.
He posts on social media because you know here, I
think I'm a baker now, mister Smith. You know I
put my little cookies on there and get my little thousand,
like you know, I'll be bragging. And then and then
I find out. Then I started doing my research on you.

(02:09):
I go, he do that, he do that, he do that.
You know, you need your own Wikipedia page. That's what
you need.

Speaker 3 (02:17):
That's what they've been telling me.

Speaker 1 (02:19):
So tell me how. Let's let's start with the restaurant.
Let's start with the culinary side, because that phone comes
from your father. That's the little legacy skill set. Right,
let's talk about this and all this is in the
DC area, correct.

Speaker 3 (02:33):
Yes, sir. When the Washington DC met's father, we called
it the DMV. We have restaurants in Maryland and DC.
We've been operating since nineteen sixty eight. My father started
the original location at seventeenth in U Street. We're still
operating that same address, same phone number, same good food

(02:53):
for fifty five years plus. And I ventured out, actually
I was to Howard University and UH in nineteen ninety seven.
I ventured out to expand the brand, you know, using
the education that I got, you know, from Howard and
and from you know, just being around people that were
smarter than me. I want to I wanted to take

(03:16):
take the restaurant to the next level. And so in
nineteen ninety seven I ventured out with my parkt Thenard Brooks,
and we just went on the path just to you know,
serve good soul food. That was the initial thing. I
was twenty three years old. I didn't know what I
was doing.

Speaker 1 (03:30):
But you, but you, but you wanted to do something.
And then you had your father laid the groundwork as
an entrepreneur. And that's what a lot of young African
Americans don't have. The mentors, your mentors right in your house.
It was your father and that's why. Is that the
reason behind the culinary institute that you set up.

Speaker 3 (03:48):
Well, you know, my dad always had a heart to
give right right, and so it trickled down to me.
You know, when I was a young kid, I didn't
understand how how you know, he had so many people
that we had like a credit board, and these people
would come in and they didn't have to pay. They
kind of just left their slip up there, and at

(04:09):
the end of the month, when they got paid or
got their texts or whatever have you, they would come
and give my father his money. Some of um never
gave him his money, but he still continued to serve
the public right. And so my dad was very humble,
you know, didn't didn't show off, as a matter of fact,
he didn't even carry business cards, but his vision for

(04:35):
people and his heart for people, and understanding that you know,
people need to be served, and you know, especially someone
like him coming from his humble beginnings. You know, my
dad picked cotton. He left South Carolina with eleventh grade education,
you know, coming here to make a better coming here
in Washington, d c. To make a better life, to

(04:57):
send money back to his family back in South Carolina.
So I saw those things as a young kid growing up,
so it kind of even though I didn't understand it then,
you know, once I got grown and entered into business myself,
I realized I had so many of his ways that
weren't taught. They were just I tell people this all

(05:19):
the time. Your kids are watching everything you do and
they emulate imitate everything you do a lot of times,
you don't have to hit them on the back of
the head. All you got to do is do the
right thing, and they're going to catch on to that.

Speaker 1 (05:33):
That's that's so important because I always tell people because
kids are born with a blank slate. You know, they
know nothing. All they know is love, and they asking
for love. And if you show them and you nurture them.
You know, my daughter, she's twenty six now, and people,
you know, I tell her I love her in front
of my employees. You know, it doesn't matter, she say,
And it's it's so it's so casual the way we

(05:54):
do it. People kind of look at us and go, wow,
is that normal? Yes, that's normal as normal if it's
something that you believe in you and she's used to
hearing it, and I'm used to getting it back from her.
And then when I listen to you what you're talking about,
you know, it kind of saddens because in our community,
all our young youth, especially black male youth, are just

(06:15):
looking for a dream to be achieved. You know, Athletics
and music tends to be the number one because it
feels reachable. Education doesn't feel reachable because timelines are tied
to it. But it feels reachable to go out there
and you know, cut a song, or score a touchdown,
or even sell drugs. It feels very reachable correctly.

Speaker 3 (06:36):
Right right, and well, I beg to differ slightly because
as I talk to our young youth, you know, and
I try to stay connected to the young youth. I
tell anybody I have more kids than any other black man.
I know fifteen and sixteen year old and they come

(06:58):
through not necessarily my program, but also my restaurant as
employees as their first job. And a lot of them
look at me, even when I was twenty three years old.
They were looking at me as a father singer. They
were looking at me. So I had to I had
to walk a certain walk, talk a certain talk also
to them. What I'm saying is that a lot of

(07:18):
times our youth today have lost their vision for a dream.

Speaker 4 (07:26):
Right.

Speaker 3 (07:26):
Most youth that I run into today and you ask them, well,
what do you want to be, what do you want
to do? What's your dream? What do you see for yourself?
Most of them will say they don't know, right. So
so a lot of times when when they do want
to become a rapper or a singer or an athlete,
it's based on the things that they see the other

(07:49):
rappers and athletes and artists have. They based on things
that they had, So the path is lost in understanding.
I can get all of those things, but I can
get them through the talent that God gave me. Because
God didn't give me the ability to sing, He didn't

(08:09):
give me the ability to play any sport. And I'll
tell you this, watch this. I was a good I
was a pretty good football player, but I didn't have
the heart for it. I didn't have the tenacity for it.
So therefore I knew that at the end of the day,
there was another way to get to what God has
for me. And you don't, you would be surprised. I

(08:33):
tell people all the time, it's not about the things
that you acquire, It's about the things that you can
make other people acquire.

Speaker 1 (08:41):
Yeah, talking to Jermaine Smith, film production that's him, Talent
management that's him. Restaurant tour, Henry Soul in the dm
DMZ right in the Washington, DC and Henry so for
Whole Soul Cafe. Just go online check out all that
great because I'm a website guy. Love to click the pigeons.

Speaker 5 (09:00):
Oh that looked good?

Speaker 1 (09:01):
Who that looks good?

Speaker 3 (09:02):
Look good?

Speaker 4 (09:03):
You know?

Speaker 1 (09:04):
But of all the things that you do, you know,
what what do you enjoy? Do you enjoy the talent
management side? Do you enjoy developing real estate? What are
the top two things that really go. Yeah, I like that.
Because you're talented in a lot of areas, you're successful
in a lot of areas.

Speaker 3 (09:20):
So so here's the thing. I never set out to
do anything in particular. I never set out to you know,
I became. So here was a funny thing. I was
sitting at I was at my at my catering facility
in DC, and my wife comes out and she says, hey,
you got a call from the own network. They want

(09:44):
you to do this television show called a Great Soul
Food Cookoff, right, okay, And I'm saying, okay, what's this about.
And so they say, well, they've identified you as one
of the eight top soul food chefs in the country.
Now watch this. I never set out to be on
any television show. I've never even classified myself as a chef.

(10:08):
I'm not classically trained. However, I can cook just about anything,
and of course soul food being my wheelhouse, you know,
it was it was fitting. So when I got the call,
I really thought it was stake and I really thought
that they had the wrong person. And they said, no,
we've kind of been watching you online, We've been to

(10:30):
your restaurant. Some of the judges from the restaurant. I mean,
some of the judges that are going to be on
the show have been to your restaurant, and we've watched
you from afar. I don't know what you're doing, and
we would we think that you would fit this show.
So we you know, we went through the interview processes
and they chose me as one of the eight top

(10:51):
soul food chefs in the country. And you know, and
I took it on my first show ever on that
side of the film of that on that side of
the camera, and you know, I liked it. But you know,
I always I can cook anything, but I like to
cook for people. I never cooked for myself, right right right.
And the next thing, you know, the next thing with

(11:11):
the with the talent. You know, as a as a
young guy growing up, I was always I don't drinking,
I don't smoke. I don't knock it, but I just
don't drink and I don't smoke myself. And so with
that being said, I was privy to be around a
lot of talent comedians first and then uh the heavyweight

(11:32):
champion of the world, Riddick Bow And it put me
in rooms. It put me in rooms that I wouldn't
have been in But because I wasn't the guy that
was in there just for the good time, and I
was trying to learn, they trusted, they trusted my opinion,
and they also trusted my vision on you know, what
they should be doing. And you know, I wasn't about
going to the club. And the next thing I know,

(11:54):
I was advising. The next thing I know, I was
sitting in rooms because I could talk to talk that
they couldn't most entertainers. Most entertainers aren't businessmen. And that's okay,
So why not have someone in the room that you trust,
like myself, and someone that's not there just for a check.

(12:15):
And I started being, Hey, that's my manager. Hey that's
my manager. And before I knew it, this was at
twenty two years old. You know, I had a very
lucrative career managing r and b artists and comedians, and
I had a communications company and not that those things.

Speaker 1 (12:32):
So twenty two you managing people. You're twenty three. You're
spreading your wings with your partner with in the restaurant business.
So the word I come out is you're not afraid,
and fear stops so many people. Youmain fear stops, so
many people, so many doubters. If you want to speak
to Jamain, please call us at four zero four eight
eight zero ninety two five five is four zero four

(12:53):
eight eight zero ninety two five five. When we come back,
Mumbo sauce does that ring a bell? Mister Smith does
that ring a bell?

Speaker 3 (13:01):
Mumbles?

Speaker 1 (13:04):
When we come back, We're gonna find out by mumbosof
you don't know what mumbo sauce is. When you come back,
You're gonna find out straight from Missus Smith. And since
I do have a culinary expert and in soul food,
you go tell me and my listeners what exactly is
soul food. Were right back with more money Making Conversations
master Classes.

Speaker 5 (13:25):
We'll be right back with more money Making Conversations Masterclass
with Rashaan McDonald. You are now tuned into the Money
Making Conversations Minute of Inspiration with Rashawn McDonald.

Speaker 1 (13:38):
Hi, I'm Rashan McDonald for Money Making Conversation master Class
with your daily Minute of Inspiration. During a conversation with
speaker Arthur and motivator Lisa Nichols, she talked about why
she pursues abundance versus wealth.

Speaker 4 (13:50):
I realize that there's a complete distinction between wealth. Wealth
is a unilateral conversation around money and possession. That's wealth,
and while that's an indicator of some level of success,
wealth is not the ultimate indicator of success. Abundance is abundance,
is not just the unilateral category called wealth, money and possessions.

(14:13):
Abundance is abundance in your relationships, abundant in having health
wealth abundant, and having spiritual wealth abundant, and having financial wealth.
It's one category of a very large picture.

Speaker 1 (14:26):
You can listen to this coll interview with Lisa Nichols.
It's available on money Making Conversations dot com. Soul has
picked up my TV version of this show called Money
Making Conversation Masterclass. It's going to air though. Thank you.
It's going to come in Janue. I want to bring
you back, man, I want to I want to reschedule.
You are a great storyteller and you are the type
of stars in this community that that's how that's what

(14:50):
the neighborhood, the world was built on you. It was
built on the stars in the community that hire people,
that motivate people, that build community, that let people know
you can be there person too. That's what you are.
You are a true Hoodie Awards winner, mister Jermaine. Now
before I go, you know, because I got a few
minutes left, I want to bring back the McDonald's documentary

(15:11):
on the origin of the Mumbo Sauce. Please please up updates,
all talk to us again.

Speaker 3 (15:19):
Just doing the right thing, man. I get a call
from McDonald's. I get a call from McDonald's. I'm in
the restaurant working, and.

Speaker 1 (15:27):
You should stand in at restaurant, Jermaine, because everything happens
when you're in that restaurant.

Speaker 3 (15:31):
I'm telling you, man, everything I've ever seen came from
came from the restaurant. Honestly, I swear to God. So
I'm in the restaurant and and my cash here. She
gives me a number. She was like, Hey, this lady's
been trying to she says, she's been trying to get
in touch with you, trying to call you, whatever case
to be. But she was trying to reach me through
social media and it was going to an area that
we don't check. So long story short, I don't take

(15:54):
any call like me, I don't ever know who I
didn't know who this person was. Anybody can call me
and I'm gonna take the call. I'm gonna answer the
call them and answer the question because I like to
be an open book. Long story short. I picked up
the phone and she says, yes, I'm such and such
for McDonald's. We've been trying to get in contact you,
in contact with you. Now we're doing we're rolling out
a sauce, a Mumbo sauce, our version of mumbo sauce.

(16:16):
Can you sign an NBA signed the NBA call it back.
She says, Okay, it's with McDonald's. We're doing the Mumbo sauce.
We're doing a rollout. But we were told that you
are a staple in the DC Washington, DC area, and
you sell I say, yes, we do have Mumbo sauce.
But here was the ironic piece, right. They didn't know

(16:37):
the history, and I was able to give them the
history of how mumbo sauce came to DC and how
it was originated. And lo and behold, Henry soul casfe
is the only black owned restaurant still standing that was
one of the originators of the soul food I mean, sorry,

(16:59):
of the mumbo sauce from the sixties. Wow, the other
black establishments that sold the mumbo sauce back in the
sixties has since you know, gone and you know they're
not in existence anymore. And so just to give you
a quick hat, my dad met this guy named mister Johnson.
Mister Johnson had a restaurant here in the DMV and

(17:23):
back in the early sixties he started making this sauce. Now,
back then, people would, you know, after the show, you'd go,
you would pay a dollar, you get three chicken wings
and some French fries and put it with some fright
and they would put you know, because that was that
was after the show. We're talking about, you know U Street,
the busting U Street, Lincoln Theater, Howard Theater. That's where
everybody came to perform. If you were a black artist,

(17:46):
you know, you couldn't go everywhere and perform. There were
only certain areas you could go. So that's where your
Bill Cosby's, your you know, your James Brown's, all them
came performing. We as black people, that's where we went
after the show. We went to go get us some
little chicken wings and they would back then, they would
put like ketch up or hot sauce and stuff like
that on them. So this guy mister Johnson. He formulated

(18:09):
the sauce was a little sweet, little tangy and he
started putting it on on the chicken wing and stuff.
So instead people getting hot sauce and ketchup, they got
his sauce. Now what he did with that sauce. People
started saying, man, I want that sauce. What's the name
of that sauce? And he mumbled, he also stuttered. He
mumbled a little bit and said, man, you know what,
We're just gonna call it the Mumbo sauce. We just

(18:30):
threw off Mumbo sauce, so you won't never tell us
the name. And through black dialect and you know things,
Mumbo came Mumbo and you were not a carry out
if you didn't have that Mumbo sauce here in the DMV.
And of course a lot of Asians own you know,
small you know carryouts and you know the listed us.

(18:53):
And so McDonald started was a Chinese thing until I
came along. McDonald started with you know, isolated to you know,
Chinese and isolated. And when I came along and gave
them the story, the history and what the saw should be,
how it should be, I gave them some depth to
what the sauce meant to us as a people, to

(19:14):
us as an area too right, and it bought. It
brought validity to what they were trying to produce to
the community.

Speaker 1 (19:21):
Wow, Jermaine outstanding. Thank you for calling my show long overdue.
I hope give me some time brother in January. Give
me some time, Jermaine. I know you're busy, You're probably
in that restaurant.

Speaker 3 (19:33):
All you got to do is tell me winning. I'm
right there for you.

Speaker 1 (19:36):
Thank you man, I'm so prem so appreciative the able
connected us for this interview again as Jermaine Smith Henry
Soul Cafe, Washington, DC area. Check it out and we
will check him out. So in twenty twenty four, thank
you for coming on Money Making Conversation Master Class, my friend.

Speaker 3 (19:52):
Thank you you have a great one.

Speaker 1 (19:53):
Cool again next week, another new show, another great time.
Happy holidays, and I always appreciate you when you listen
to my show show, money Making Conversations Master Clan. Bye bye.

Speaker 5 (20:07):
Money Making Conversations Masterclass continues online at Moneymakingconversations dot com
and follow Money Making Conversations Masterclass on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time you stop reading other people's
success stories and start writing your own.

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