Ramba Mamba Jamba brings the party to you

With warmer weather right around the corner, it could be expected that a local business catering to out-of-town visitors would be ramping up for the busy tourist season. But Ramba Mamba Jamba, a Sandusky-based party bus business, hasn’t been as seasonal an operation as you might think.

Launched in 2022, Ramba Mamba Jamba is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Racquel Pace. Her original plan was to operate the party bus, which transports groups from area hotels to local bars and restaurants, primarily from May through October to coincide with Cedar Point’s seasonal schedule.

But, oddly enough, the idea didn’t catch on until November, the “offseason.”

“It was really weird,” Pace says. “That was when I did most of my bookings with the pre-planned tours I was doing. The very first year, the winter of 2022, I probably ran three times a month from November to March. In the cold. It was the strangest thing.”

It’s strange in part because the idea for the business originated in a much warmer climate.

How it started: In 2019, Pace went on a family vacation to Aruba. While planning the trip, she researched party-bus experiences available on the Caribbean island. The leader in the bar-hopping industry in Aruba was Kooku Kunuku, which transports visitors from their hotels to local hotspots, providing each passenger with a necklace shot glass that entitles them to a complimentary shot at each local nightspot along a pre-planned route.

Ramba Mamba Jamba can transport 38 passengers on pre-planned tours as well as provide safe rides to private parties who plan their own destination.Pace realized that she could copy the idea and bring it to the Sandusky area.

“We got on the Kooku Kunuku, and it was fabulous. We had a wonderful time,” Pace says. “When we got home, COVID hit shortly thereafter, so that kind of threw my plans of trying the business out the window at that time. When I felt like COVID had let up a little bit, somewhere around the end of 2021, beginning of 2022, I said ‘well, if COVID’s going to be here, we’re going to just have to operate around it and give this business a try.’ ”

Pace bought an old school bus, renovated it, and now Ramba Mamba Jamba can transport up to 38 passengers on pre-planned tours as well as provide safe rides to private parties who plan their own destinations. Between stops, patrons can participate in onboard karaoke.

What’s new: Ramba Mamba Jamba has expanded to include transportation to Port Clinton to catch Jet Express ferries to the islands, for which a schedule will be released in the next month or so.

Also, there are now party bus experiences for kids. They don’t get the shot glasses grownups receive, but the bus will take them place-to-place for a meal, cake and ice cream, and even a bounce-house experience Pace has partnered with.

Also of importance: Pace is a Black woman, and Ramba Mamba Jamba is a minority-owned business.

“The typical business is not minority-owned. All of the major restaurants, businesses from construction to beauty salons, most of them are not minority-owned.” Pace says. “So it is important to let people know it’s a minority-owned business because there are people who particularly like to patronize minority-led businesses because they know that they’re probably a struggling business.”

How to get involved: For information regarding the new ferry scheduling, as well as the general summer schedule, and private rental availability, visit Ramba Mamba Jamba’s website and Facebook page.