Today we’d like to introduce you to YaSin, Elaine, Millie and Najeeb Muhaimin.
We call him Big Ya! Yasin Muhaimin is the patriarch of the Muhaimin family and the inspiration behind Pride Road’s origin story. Born and raised in Zachary, Louisiana where farming was an essential part of life, one that would follow him to New Orleans where he would serve in the United States Air Force, marry Elaine Muhaimin, raise six children and serve as the New Orleans Parish School Board, Network Administrator. Unbeknown to Yasin, hurricane Katrina would be the catalyst that would return both he and Elaine to Zachary and re-igniting his passion for agriculture and birth of Yard Bird Farm, a small chicken farm on Port Hudson Pride Road in Zachary, LA. Thru Yard Bird Farm Yasin and Elaine partnered with Southern University and Louisiana State University and participated in farming seminars and opportunities to improve farming practices and increase diversification. Southern University offered Yasin Hibiscus seeds which he grew and transformed the Hibiscus Calyxes into flavorful jelly, chutney and loose leaf tea.
Yasin not only shared his passion for farming with his elder sons but his love of country. Yasin Ibn Muhaimin is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves and Najeeb Muhaimin is a Major in the Georgia Army National Guard. Yasin shared his artesian hibiscus products with family and friends drawing upon the diversity amongst his family. His daughter in-law Millie Muhaimin who is of West Indian and West Africa heritage was familiar with Hibiscus or Roselle as it’s known in the Caribbean and experimented with merging traditional southern tea brewing and Caribbean flavors to create an enjoyable Hibiscus and Citrus Tea.
Has it been a smooth road?
Somewhat smooth start, but like most small startups, we’ve had our rough spots. Some issues we expected but others were unplanned and new to everyone, I’m sure. Like many businesses, we were greatly impacted by the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. By adhering to the guidelines stipulated by Georgia we were unable to continue production nor were we able to access newly acquired markets. As more businesses began to reopen, we were able to slowly pick back up our production. We continue to make necessary adjustments to remain compliant and ensure the safety of our customers as well as ourselves.
As for the expected, the farming woes were erratic weather and labor intensive harvesting process. Hibiscus is a hardy plant but it is susceptible to harsh weather. Like most fruit, Hibiscus has a short shelf life once it comes off its vine. Most of our rough patches came when we lost portions of our crops to excessive rain and other times to early frost in the grow season. Harvesting Hibiscus is also a grueling manual process. Currently, there isn’t a mechanical method to gather and core the fruit while leaving it whole. The harvesting process requires each Hibiscus fruit to be handed picked, manually cored, and washed in order to prepare it for a stabled state (dehydrated or frozen). These struggles pushed us to develop more efficient harvesting practices and machinery that will aid in this process.
But fortunately, the items produced from the “fruit” of our labor are enjoyed by our customers. We take pride in our companies’ motto, “The Very Best Quality, Where It Matters Most” and growing the base ingredient for our products made it worth working through our rough spots to meet the demand of our small community of Pride Road Hibiscus lovers.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pride Road – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Pride Road is a family, veteran-owned and operated food manufacturing company that produces all-natural locally grown Hibiscus based products. Our company is a true example of seed to table. We grow our Hibiscus from seeds collected from previous season’s harvest, growing them in local Georgia farms, processing and bottling in our Lithonia GA facility. We take immense pride in our small processing plant.
This is one area we think sets us apart from other businesses. We control every aspect of products, from the seeds through the processing and packaging. Our initial goals were to be as independent as possible, no need or worries on where our main ingredients will come from, having unlimited access to a processing facility, and no worries of price changes for use of outside packaging companies.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As we continue to learn from previous years harvesting, production, and sales we plan on increasing our footprint on the fields. We want to grow more hibiscus in order to meet our current product demand as well as be in a position to offer locally grown “fresh” hibiscus to other businesses as well as consumers.
- Address: 2526 Stone Mountain Street, S. Lithonia, GA 30058
- Website: www.PrideRoad.com
- Phone: 404.423.1775
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @prideroadllc
- Facebook: @prideroadGA
1. The two Fresh Hibiscus photos and one Hibiscus photo with YaSin “Big Ya” Muhaimin in the field taken by Grizzly Photography @ www.MoGriz.com 2. Photo of (from left to right – Yasin Ibn Muhaimin; YaSin “Big Ya” Muhaimin; Najeeb Muhaimin) taken at 2018 Flavor of GA contest. Photo was taken by Sharon Dowdy 3. All others were cell phone photos by Najeeb Muhaimin