In celebration of National Mom and Pop Business Month, we had the pleasure of interviewing Yvette, the owner of Jim’s Rib Haven in North Omaha. The family-owned barbecue business has nourished the local community with delicious food for decades. Jim Rib Haven’s story is an inspiring example of the resilience, passion, and commitment that mom and pop businesses bring to their communities.
Yvette shared the origins of Rib Haven, reminiscing about how her father used to cook for family gatherings and church events. Eventually, her family decided to bring their love for a barbecue to Omaha, where they found an eager market for their mouth-watering recipes.
When asked what sets Jim’s Rib Haven apart from other barbecue restaurants, Yvette said, “I think it’s just the smoking and the hickory wood. The sauce recipe also sets us apart. And the peach cobbler.”
Family and friends have been integral to the success of Jim’s Rib Haven. Yvette explained that many of her employees are family members and that treating them well has been crucial in maintaining the business. The sense of community that Rib Haven fosters has helped it become a local favorite, attracting customers from out of town.
When asked about why she chose to stay in Omaha, Yvette mentioned her preference for raising her children in the city and the many positive connections she has made. She described a time when a woman entered the restaurant, asking for help feeding her children. Yvette gladly assisted, demonstrating the sense of community that is at the heart of Jim’s Rib Haven.
Yvette’s advice for other family-owned businesses is to remain steadfast in the face of adversity. She recounted when Jim’s Rib Haven experienced a fire and had to close down for three months. With determination and faith, Yvette managed to reopen the restaurant with the help of a loan from a local business leader. “If you have a dream, and there’s gonna be ups and downs, but you just have to have faith and keep on going,” she said.
The story of Jim’s Rib Haven exemplifies the importance of mom and pop businesses in our communities. Yvette’s passion for her family, employees, and customers has created a positive environment beyond serving food. It’s about fostering connections and making a difference in people’s lives. As Yvette put it, “It’s not just about making money. You know, it’s about building connections with people.”