Maria Rae’s salsa has been a staple on shelves in Enid grocery stores for the past 30 years.
“I’ll see people in the checkout line, and they’ll have Maria Rae’s in their cart, and I’ll go, 'Thank you for buying my salsa,' I love that,” said Mary Buthman , founder of Maria Rae’s Gourmet Foods.
But after three successful decades of growing the company, Mary and her family were looking to sell. And they did, to a man who used to operate in a very different ring.
Johnny Cafarella is one of the founders of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, or GLOW, that glammed it up in the 80’s and inspired a Netflix series.
“It was pretty crazy; I was a young guy. The next thing you know, you’re walking through the airport and people recognize you," said Cafarella.
Johnny first tried Maria Rae’s salsa while in Oklahoma City promoting GLOW for Netflix. When the show wasn’t picked up for a 4th season and the entertainment industry uncertain, he started looking for other business opportunities.
“It’s really poised to be a national brand. And that’s our goal, is to expand it to a national brand," said Cafarella.
“I just think it’s going to take someone that understands how to promote a business, and that’s what Johnny knows how to do," said Buthman.
From GLOW to gourmet, it’s been quite a career for Cafarella.
“You just never know where life’s going to take you. I never would have thought I would have been on television with Glow, I would never have thought it would become a huge hit on Netflix. You just have to be open to what the next new thing is going to be.”