Yo Mama’s Foods
The #1-selling Sauce on Amazon.com Belongs to a Clearwater Small Business
David Habib has grown Yo Mama’s Foods from a start-up business concept hatched in his parent’s garage, to a best-selling company based in Clearwater, FL with a range of products stocked by national retailers such as Whole Foods, sprouts, Public, Target, and Walmart.
It would not be an understatement to say that Yo Mama’s Foods has achieved small business success in Clearwater, Florida. Founder David Habib wouldn’t have it any other way. The company was recently celebrated as an Honoree in the 11th Annual GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch.
Raised in Clearwater, Habib felt very connected to the community and dedicated to building his business where he started it. After graduating with a Master’s Degree from University of Florida and a three-year stint in the corporate business world, Habib started his business in January of 2017 to blaze an entrepreneurial path, creating healthy, delicious sauces, dressings, and condiments that celebrate memories of family meals at home. “I was inspired by my mom. She doesn’t use excess sugars and salts, and I wanted to simplify those recipes to bring people together over food. Yo Mama’s sauces don’t have any excess sodium or artificial preservatives, and we use fresh tomatoes and clean ingredients. All our products are Keto and Paleo certified,” Habib explains.
Habib has since grown Yo Mama’s Foods from a start-up business concept hatched in his parent’s garage, to a best-selling range of products stocked by more than 10,000 sellers, including such notable names as Whole Foods, Sprouts, Publix, Target, Walmart, and Amazon. The company currently has the number one selling sauce on Amazon.com. It took hard work, determination, and some assistance from local organizations to grow Habib’s idea into a thriving business.
Finding some initial success with his start-up venture and wanting to move the business forward, Habib reached out to the City of Clearwater, founding partner of Clearwater Business SPARK, for assistance in finding a warehouse and obtaining the proper permits and certificate of occupancy. In 2019 he moved Yo Mama’s Foods into a large warehouse facility in the North Greenwood district of Clearwater.
“When David first contacted us, he planned to manufacture and distribute his products,” says Denise Sanderson, Director of the City of Clearwater’s Economic Development and Housing Department, “but he determined that distribution was really his niche and opted to outsource manufacturing. Focusing on distribution, we helped connect him to local manufacturers such as Monin, and we directed him to partners like Pinellas County Economic Development to explore more opportunities for growth.”
Working with Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED), Habib has explored opportunities to grow Yo Mama’s Foods internationally. PCED’s Brent Barkway, Business Development Manager, explains, “David had some export questions, and I provided him with information on Gold Key-Matchmaker Grants and trade show opportunities, and helped him with product distribution questions.” The connection expanded to include Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service, and ultimately resulted in an export marketing plan for Yo Mama’s Foods. “Through Brent’s contacts we were able to connect with distributors in Mexico and about 9 or 10 companies that in no way would we have been able to get connected with on our own,” explained Habib.
“The assistance and connections I’ve received from Clearwater Business SPARK, Pinellas County Economic Development, and Florida SBDC at USF has been invaluable to growing Yo Mama’s Foods,” attests Habib. “We currently have a staff of 15 employees in our warehouse and office, and plan to increase our number of jobs as sales continue to grow, and I’m excited about continuing that growth here in Clearwater.”
Continuing growth in Clearwater goes beyond his own company: as a member of the North Greenwood Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) steering committee, Habib is helping the city guide current and future redevelopment of a historically distressed neighborhood. The results of Habib’s investment are already starting to be seen in more small manufacturing businesses locating in the area.
“David Habib and Yo Mama’s Foods is exactly the kind of business success we want to foster and tell the world about,” says Dr. Cynthia Johnson, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development. “Pinellas County is a diverse, vibrant community that offers entrepreneurs opportunities to start, grow, and expand a business without ever leaving behind our excellent quality of life. We are thrilled to have been part of David’s journey in entrepreneurship and look forward to working with him and any future plans for Yo Mama’s Foods.”
Are you looking to start or grow a business in the City of Clearwater? Clearwater Business SPARK has the tools and resources to help – visit www.clearwaterbusinessspark.com to learn more.
To learn how Pinellas County Economic Development can help your company reach new milestones, visit PCED.org.
Pinellas County – The Ideal Business Climate
Pinellas County Economic Development (PCED) works with existing businesses to encourage expansion and seeks to attract new companies with high-wage careers to Central Florida’s Gulf Coast. Through investment tools, professional courses and business counseling sessions, trade missions to open new markets, as well as local, regional and statewide partnerships, PCED fosters a pro-business climate in Pinellas County, Florida.
Pinellas County Economic Development
The EpiCenter, 13805 58th Street North, Suite 1-200
Clearwater, Florida 33760
(727) 464-7332 direct
(888) 759-5627 outside of Florida
(727) 464-7053 fax