Adoboloco founder Tim Parsons’ love for local flavors was the catalyst for his successful line of spicy sauces.
At the heart of every business is the desire to provide—to supply the communities that surround you with quality products that one day may become a household name; to ensure your family has enough to eat; to display a role-model persona that will one day act as a foundation for your children’s transition into adulthood.
And when all aspects of provision are present, the business can succeed beyond expectations. Th at concept is something Tim Parsons knows well. He has turned his business into a successful, profitable endeavor that benefits the community and educates his keiki on the ins and outs of owning a business.
Th e founder of the Adoboloco hot sauce brand got his culinary start in his mom’s kitchen, doing what 12-year-old boys do best—eating.
“Inspiration came from basically growing up and eating a lot of chicken and pork adobo,” he recalls. Mama Parsons also taught him how to create the iconic local dish, and during his time in Bend, Oregon, that trait truly came in handy.
But living on the Mainland also proved difficult for his adobo-loving palate. “Th ere was no Asian market or Filipino market,” he says. “So I started making more varieties of adobo and other foods.”
His passion for recreating Hawai’i’s local dishes led him to start adoboloco. com, which at the time was a blog platform for sharing adobo recipes from people all over the world. With so many variations on the dish, he was able to share and accumulate numerous recipes that reflect a hint of the tang and zest adobo possess.
An island boy at heart, Parsons returned home to Maui, where he and wife Summer started a family. Th ey began homeschooling their children, and one aspect of their education centered around an outdoor garden.
“The kids chose what they wanted to grow,” Parsons recalls. “We ended up with so many jalapeños. I couldn’t give them all away.”
With the wheels in his head turning, Parsons put together the sharp flavor of the peppers with the tart taste of adobo: “I had so many flavor profiles in my head,” he adds. “I made basically an adobo sauce, but it turned out to be a mild hot sauce variation.”
Th e immense positive responses from family members and friends eventually led him to brand and trademark Adoboloco in 2010.
“I didn’t want to start another business,” explains Parsons, who had a career as a freelance branding/design professional. “But my wife and I started talking, and we believed we could use it as part of the kids’ homeschooling, teaching them how to work in the business and learn to do everything.”
Th e family currently has a variety of trees and plants (of the non-chili pepper variety) on their property and utilize composting and permaculture methods for sustainable growing—something the Parsons kids are learning a lot about.
Th e schooling process was also an integral part for Tim and Summer, as neither had any background in food manufacturing. After countless hours and painstaking work, Adoboloco sold its first bottle of hot sauce at a swap meet in Maui.
Since then, Adoboloco has grown to include a variety of flavors in addition to
its Jalapeño Mild-Red and now includes Pineapple Habanero, Hamajang Smoked Ghost Pepper, Mangoes! Bumbye!, and Habanero. Ideas for new flavors always are in the works, and each goes through a rigorous (yet tasty) process.
“We’ll experiment,” says Parsons. “It usually ends up something coming out of just cooking at home with the family. We’ll make it, put it in a temporary bottle and leave it on the table to see how it goes…
“I wish I could just make products and bring them out as I think of them,” he adds. “I’m always coming up with ideas, and so are my wife and kids. We have to keep ourselves under control.”
Adoboloco owner Tim Parsons continues to brainstorm new hot sauce concoctions with his wife and children at their home on Maui.
PHOTOS COURTESY ADOBOLOCO