Although co-owner Erik Carmona is a first-generation Mexican-American, the inspiration for Carmona’s Chamoy (carmonaschamoy.com) came from an unlikely place: TikTok.
“I kept seeing it on TikTok, and I was like, what is this?” chef-owner Paley Carmona says.
Chamoy is sometimes referred to as Mexico’s favorite condiment and is most often used in Mexican candies. It is made from tamarind, which is turned into a paste, and a mix of spices such as chili powder, salt, sugar and lemon juice.
After tweaking the TikTok recipe, the Prairie Village couple brought their homemade goodies back for a family event where, Paley recalls with a giggle, and her relatives started eating the chamoy “straight out of the container.”
Now, Carmona’s Chamoy comes in the original tamarind flavor, along with mango, watermelon and, their specialty, hibiscus. Paley considers this their unique standout. “We’re the only one with the hibiscus flavor of chamoy, so it makes Carmona’s stick out just a little bit more.” The bestselling mango is a bit spicier than the others, with a familiar mouth-puckering sourness.
Paley and Erik plan to start a mobile bar this year, with eventual plans to open a brick-and-mortar store. “I come from an immigrant family, so my parents came here with nothing—not a cent to their name,” Erik says. “Now it has been fifteen years since they started their company. I always tell myself, ‘If they started with nothing, why can’t I do something with all of my resources?’”