3 veteran-owned businesses you should know

Following a passion for creating delicious food and drinks brought success to these small businesses

For more than one year, the NRF Foundation has partnered with Qurate Retail Group to highlight small businesses of diverse backgrounds. This year, Fire Grounds Coffee, Pride Road and Strong Family Bonds are among veteran-owned businesses chosen to be featured in the Small Business Spotlight.

Fire Grounds Coffee Co.
Fire Grounds Coffee Co.

Fire Grounds Coffee began as a passing comment made among colleagues while heading to a call in an ambulance. They’d been on 13 calls that night with no sleep in sight, and, thinking of the mediocre coffee back at the station, one lamented a need for a coffee company for first responders.

The notion stuck in founder Paul Clark’s head even as he was deployed to Iraq for nine months, where he built on the idea with fellow service members. Upon returning, Clark was able to bring his plan to life with the help of friends and family and now offers delicious coffee to first responders, veterans and civilians alike.

The product behind Strong Family Bonds began when Sergeant Ret Hart was stationed in Germany. Hart grew up in rural Alaska, where he spent time grilling, smoking, curing and drying meat with his family. These skills followed him to Germany, where he and his team barbequed so often that they ran out of sauce and Hart had to raid the pantry to create one from scratch.

Strong Family Bonds
Sergeant Ret Hart and family of Strong Family Bonds

It was a hit, and despite a 14-year hiatus when he returned stateside, Hart was able to recreate the sauce again for a barbeque competition. It became a favorite and SGT Hart’s BBQ Sauce was born, produced through Strong Family Bonds.

When Hurricane Katrina forced Air Force veteran Yasin Muhaimin and his wife Elaine to evacuate New Orleans, they could not have imagined the journey they were about to embark on. They started Yardbird Farms from their new home in Zachary, La., raising poultry and growing hibiscus on the side. Elaine began making tea from the tropical plant and selling it at local farmer’s markets.

Pride Road
Air Force veteran Yasin Muhaimin of Pride Road

Yasin and Elaine eventually joined their sons in Atlanta, where Pride Road now encompasses several plots and acres both in and outside the city. The hibiscus grown is made into tea, soda, chutney and jelly, and every part of the plant is used in one form or another, making the business sustainable with little waste.

Learn more about all the companies selected for the Small Business Spotlight.

Related content

NRF and Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight program
small business displaying USA flag
More than 150 businesses will have been featured by the end of 2021.
Read more
NRF and Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight Program Receives ‘Power of A’ Award
default image
NRF today announced that its Small Business Spotlight program is receiving a 2021 Gold Power of A Award
Read more
TikTok made me buy it: Small business edition
How small business owners are utilizing the app to reach consumers.
Read more