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    Zephyrhills couple uses hot sauce success to expand into sandwich shop

    By Robert Boyd,

    24 days ago

    ABC Action News first met Matthew and Jillian Zambrana last year when we profiled their hot sauce business, Rhino Smash.

    Fast-forward one year, and they have transitioned from flavor in a bottle to flavor on a bun.

    “Well, shortly after it aired, we kind of became like the talk of the town as far as our brand name went, so pretty much anytime we went somewhere, they were like, ‘We saw you guys on TV. It was great we didn’t know you owned the hot sauce company,’” said Matthew.

    This year, the Zambranas have added a sandwich shop to their manufacturing facility called Savory Rhino.

    “The story behind the rhino is because of my size and I tend to be a little on the clumsy side. I tend to break things that aren’t supposed to be broken, so I earned the nickname of being the rhino,” said Matthew.

    Matthew and Jillian said the community's response has been great. They’ve even added three additional staff members to keep up with the lunch crowd.

    “Love what they are doing, would promote anybody opening up a small business and doing something that you’ve never done before,” said customer Robert Winters.

    “After going through that time frame of everybody struggling and panicking with the pandemic, ‘Hey, new sandwich shop, hey, Zephyrhills is still growing, Zephyrhills still has something to offer out there,’” said Matthew.

    The hot sauce remains a key ingredient for some of their sandwiches, which Mathew likes to boast about being the biggest in town.

    “A typical chain restaurant, they might give you a foot-long sub, but they are only going to put like four or five ounces of meat on it at most. Some places are a little bit more generous, but our largest subs have 12 ounces of meat on them,” said Matthew.

    They have even introduced a mascot—named Smash, of course—who has been wildly popular among the kids.

    “Everybody that comes in here, they are always happy to see us, we’re always happy to see them and I love putting a smile on people’s faces,” said Matthew.

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