“I make sure that whatever I put out doesn’t seem like a kid put it out,” says Burton, who is wrapping up his junior year as a high school student in Upper Marlboro.
Unofficially, Andy Factory dates back to 2008, when a 5-year-old Burton ran a bake sale as a home-school project. When Burton was 12, he revived the endeavor by sharing his mother’s mumbo sauce — with some twists of his own — at a local fair. Two years ago, when his parents’ divorce brought about financial uncertainty, Burton decided to help fund the college educations of himself and his younger siblings by registering Andy Factory as an LLC with his older brother Nyles.
“Me and my brother sat down,” recalls Burton, the third of six children. “We thought about stuff, and we said, ‘Hey, let’s just bottle up this mumbo sauce — people love it, family and friends love it, strangers love it, and we can take it somewhere.’ That’s the start of it.”
Although Burton had aspired to be a pediatric anesthesiologist, he increasingly sees Andy Factory as his future. On his perfect day in the D.C. area, he’s joined by friends and family on a venture he says is defined by “food and nostalgia” — just like his company’s signature sauce.
I love “The Donnie Simpson Show” — I started listening back in April 2020 when I was doing deliveries. So I would start my morning by picking up Donnie Simpson, Ric Chill and Tony Perkins, and I’d want Ms. Pam [Simpson] there, too. We would go out for brunch to HalfSmoke, which is this really amazing restaurant. I would get the Classy But Ratchet [a flank steak with an egg, onion straws and home fries] or the Cash App Me, which is this cinnamon toast French toast. I would also get a milkshake — anything chocolate.
When we finish that up, I would love for Donnie to take me around the city and just show me what he likes to do. I want to experience D.C. through his eyes — have him tell me about what it was like back in the day, what he likes about it now and stuff like that. Then I would drop him off and head over to the National Building Museum with my 8-year-old brother, David. Ever since I was little, I always loved buildings, I always loved experimenting with stuff, and so did my brother. He wants to be an engineer, and we mess with Legos together, destroying stuff and building it back together.
Next, we’d head over to Crab Boss for a late lunch, not only to eat but also to cook with them. My mom is actually allergic to a lot of seafood and shellfish, so I don’t get to cook that a lot, and I’d definitely like to see how [chef Lenell Watson] cooks. Then we’d go to Great Falls with my friend Zovei and cousin Shania. I really love hanging out with them, and they definitely help me out with the stress of business, so to be able to relax with them would be awesome. This would have to be a fall day, which is my favorite time of the year.
Then I’d take my whole family to Queen Mother’s in Arlington to enjoy a nice meal, hang around and talk. I would get the spicy mumbo chicken sandwich — they serve my sauce, and they have this Virginia honey butter that is really, really the truth. That is one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had.
For some reason, I actually like driving around D.C., especially at night. There’s this one part on New York
Avenue over by the tunnel, going east out of D.C., where the music’s always good and the weather’s always good to have the windows down. I’ve never had a bad time driving through there. So I’d make that drive and be joined in the car by my friend Kijani and my brother Nyles, talking about what an amazing day we’d had.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Andy Burton as a student at Henry A. Wise Jr. High School. He previously attended Wise, and is now being home-schooled.