The Team

The Pronto Mama family consists of a passionate 10-strong team of cooks, a driver and a sales whiz, who is involved in every step of the creation process.

The Pronto Mama Team


Heather Ryan

OWNER / CHEF

Cape Town-born Heather is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies, which means she has been accustomed to good, simple food using the best possible ingredients from an early age. Her sauce-creating career almost became a pixel-pushing one when she decided to study graphic design after school. After spending some time working in London she returned to Cape Town in search of a new adventure. Here, she made a too-amazing sandwich, which turned into a platter, which morphed into a cocktail party for 50. Through word of mouth it soon became the highly successful Ryan Catering, which supplied delicious lunches to corporate and film companies. One serendipitous day, she played around with a supply of cherry tomatoes, and Pronto Mama was born. The rest is sauce history!

When she’s not building her Pronto Mama brand, she’s mom to rowing champ Amber, enjoys cooking, reading and the odd glass of wine, and dreams of one day living on a tropical island.


Carl Josias

CUSTOMER LIAISON & DRIVER

Carl is a man with a very busy day and a myriad of tasks on his plate, from handling customer queries and sourcing new business to checking on orders and overseeing the production process along with Heather. He is passionate about the brand and dreams big dreams for it to soon go global.

When he’s not spending time at the factory, driving around town or meeting with clients, this Capetonian local loves to explore new restaurants with his best friend or hanging out with partner Andy.


Lilyosa Wadzanayi Kangara

HEAD OF KITCHEN

Lilyosa has been running the Pronto Mama kitchen with a kind but firm hand for 5 years, ensuring that each jar and bottle that leaves our factory adheres to our very high standards. She oversees a team of cooks who chop, peel, grate, roast and cook the very best ingredients until they become our delicious sauces.

Bottling and labelling days are pretty stressful for her, when she keeps a beady eye on every pinch of salt and every shake of the spice bottle to make sure that “everything’s perfect”. She also dreams for Pronto Mama to become loved around the world and win new generations of fans. Born in Murewa, a village in Zimbabwe, she is married to Wellington and besotted with baby daughter, Tinotenda.


Sonia Mitole

ASSISTANT HEAD OF KITCHEN

Sonia is Lilyosa’s right hand, keeping the Pronto Mama kitchen running smoothly and that all-important tomato supply up at all times. She’s also a market and show veteran, often helping Heather sell Pronto Mama products at events. When bottling and labelling is done on the same day, Sonia really has to have her wits about her, as it’s a particularly intense time.

Born in Zimbabwe, she spent her teenage years near the beautiful lake Malawi, until moving to South Africa in 2010. When she’s not running a tight ship at the Pronto Mama kitchen, Sonia enjoys shopping, reading, partying with friends and playing with her dog, Snowy.