The second generation is now leading the family-owned Mustard Seed Market & Café.

The company — with two natural and organic groceries in the Akron area and one in Solon — revealed Friday that co-founder Phil Nabors has handed down his CEO responsibilities to his son Gabe.

Abraham Nabors, Phil's other son, will continue his role as director of education and standards.

“The time has come for me to take a more supportive role in background and enjoy the passion that my sons have for the business,” Phil Nabors said in a prepared statement.

Margaret Nabors, wife of Phil, and mother of Gabe and Abraham, retired in 2012.

The business began in a single storefront in Akron’s Merriman Valley in 1981.

In 1989, Mustard Seed moved from that site to a new, much larger space in the Montrose area of Bath. In 1996, the Nabors family tripled that store’s space to more than 30,000 square feet. In 2011, store underwent a major remodeling.

The Solon store opened in 1999, and in 2015, the third Mustard Seed Market & Café debuted in Akron's Highland Square neighborhood.

Over the years, Mustard Seed has faced stiff competition, as consumer demand for natural/organic offerings has exploded and other natural/organic groceries have arrived on the scene. Traditional supermarkets, meanwhile, have expanded their natural/organic offerings.

U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $3.4 billion in 1997 to more than $45 billion in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Organic Trade Association.

Gabe Nabors began working at Mustard Seed in 2001. Previously, he was director of marketing and category management.

Abraham Nabors began his tenure in the family business in 1996, embracing the company's core mission of the business: “providing healthy food and education to support a healthy lifestyle,” Mustard Seed said.

Both of the sons received undergraduate degrees from Ohio University. Abraham majored in environmental geography and Gabe in finance business administration.

“Both Margaret and I have dreamed of our kids taking over the family business,” Phil Nabors said in the news release. “We are pleased and proud that they have both embraced this work. We are also pleased that they share our commitment to supporting our community. The parents are proud.”

 

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com.