CLEARWATER, Fla. — The last two years have been tough for Florida businesses, but some entrepreneurs are seeing success despite the pandemic. Forbes Magazine recently named a Clearwater entrepreneur among the 30 under 30 in the United States. Forbes recognizes young professionals for their passion, creativity and contributions to the business world.
In 29-year-old David Habib’s case, it is a passion fueled by his mama that’s leading to success…even in the most challenging times.
The Clearwater native is happy with how much he’s grown his business in less than 5 years. He started his pasta sauce, condiment and salad dressing company from a simple concept.
“We just wanted something cleaner and fresher and ultimately that’s what your mom wanted for you, too, growing up,” he explained.
Habib bottled up his mom and grandma’s recipes to share with the world.
“No one makes better food than your own mama, so for us, our philosophy is if your mama doesn’t have the ingredients in her kitchen then it shouldn’t be in your items. Our sauces are free of preservatives, gums, fillers and added sugar,” he elaborated.
His company’s name, Yo Mama’s Foods, is a name that’s hard to forget.
“It’s always a good conversation starter. Where do you work? Yo Mama’s!” an employee told ABC Action News with a laugh.
Yo Mama’s also had a very humble beginning with Habib working from his childhood home in Clearwater from his parent’s kitchen table and garage.
He then grew his company into a storage unit. Now, he has 15 employees and a large warehouse where they package and ship Yo Mama’s sauce to 10,000 retail stores and Amazon. Locally, their products are found in Target, Publix, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Nature’s Food Patch and at Mazzaro’s Market in St. Petersburg.
Forbes Magazine just named Habib among the top 30 under 30 in their food and drink category. They mentioned how Habib is a first-generation American and was inspired by his mother’s ability to unite people of all cultures and backgrounds around the table through healthy and delicious food.
Habib quit his job and launched his company on Mother’s Day in 2017, and he hasn’t looked back since.
While the pandemic is impacting his company’s supplies, Habib says the global pandemic has actually helped them to get ahead.
“More customers are cooking at home and more and more customers are looking at what they’re eating so we were very fortunate for the pandemic having a reverse effect on us and it helping our food business,” he added.
Up next, Yo Mama’s hopes to ship their sauce to more countries, but continue to grow their business in Clearwater.
Habib says you should never underestimate the power of following your dreams…just like many of our mamas told us.
“Whatever you can do to power through. This year’s problems are going to be a piece of cake compared to next year’s problems. I would say resilience is the biggest muscle you can build,” he added with a smile.