We had the good fortune of connecting with Mohammad Altawaha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mohammad, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In this business, you have to be open to taking risks. I just prefer to think of them as “opportunities” instead of risks. It sounds less scary that way. Honestly, my entire adult life (since I came to the United States from Jordan), has revolved around risk taking. Coming here and knowing very few people, deciding to stop my graduate studies to pursue my dream of owning my own business, all of it. My father is a business owner and a risk taker, so I guess you could say it’s in the DNA!
Please tell us more about your business. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
It definitely hasn’t been easy, but nothing makes me happier than hearing about our brand in new markets. When we announced our first location outside of Texas (we recently opened a truck in Tampa, FL), we received countless messages on social media from people all over the US who have heard about our food or tried it during a trip to Texas and they want us to open in their area. Growing a business like this is obviously filled with challenges, but it feels like it’s all worth it when we get to meet customers who have been waiting for us to come to their city.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Obviously, I’m a little biased, but I think the cuisine is the biggest perk to living in Houston. As a restaurateur, I’m always interested to check out new spots, but when it comes to visitors, I like to show them the best of the best and to me, there’s nothing more classic than Taste of Texas. It’s my personal favorite in the city and I can’t let a friend or family member leave Houston without checking it out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people have played a role in my success! Firstly, my dad. He was my first mentor and he really laid the foundation for my future by providing me with a roadmap for success. Once I came to the US, I met a local businessman who was able to give me first hand knowledge about the local market and he provided me with invaluable advice about timing, preparedness, etc. as well. I will always be grateful to him for his support in those early days. My wife also! In addition to her support, she has a lot of practical advice to offer because of her professional background in marketing and branding. I also have a close team of managers who have been with me since Abu Omar Halal was just a dream of mine. They are just as invested as I am in making our brand a success and seeing our company grow.
Other: TikTok: @abuomarhalal