It all began in Kazakhstan. Fred and Sarah Haberman started a business, that would eventually become the Haberman agency in 1996. In the early 90s, they went to the former Soviet republic to be part of the rush of western businesses opening a new market economy.
“We’d just gotten married and it’s a wonder we stayed married,” Sarah says. “I mean it was crazy!” But, nearly thirty years later, they aren’t just still married and living in Edina … they’re still starting new businesses together. Their most recent collaboration is Freak Flag Foods—a line of globally inspired organic sauces and condiments that they hope will be a catalyst to creative food-making.
“We want people to take our sauces and explore,” Fred Haberman says. “We’ve done the hard part, now you can take these sauces that are practical, easy to use and fun … and go wherever you want.”
“When you come home from work at the end of the day and you’re tired and hungry,” Sarah says, “these sauces give you a way to get a good, interesting meal together without a lot of work.”
The current Freak Flag lineup includes Smoky Red Mustard, Zesty Green Herb, Super Kale Pesto and Kick’n Curry Mole. All are organic and created in collaboration with local chef Mary Jane Miller. Could there be more in development? Well, of course. Creating is what the Habermans are all about.
Haberman is a full-service creative agency that handles everything from branding and advertising to PR and social media for well-known companies like Annie’s and Organic Valley. Ten years ago, Sarah and Fred started an organic garden they called Dude Ranch for Haberman employees. With so many clients involved in food and farming, it seemed like a good idea for their employees to have a better sense of what food production is really like.
“It was a good team building opportunity,” Sarah says. “It functions like a CSA (community sponsored agriculture) garden for our company community.”
It was also the spark that led to the creation of new business. As they learned more and more about food (“The first time I saw how Brussel sprouts grow, I thought they looked they were from Mars,” Fred says.”), they began to think about ways to make good, whole, healthy, organic food easier for the average cook. And, not to put too fine a point on it, they also thought there might be a good business idea hiding in the garden. It certainly wasn’t the first business they’d launched. They like to take a new idea and bring it to the marketplace.
“The Haberman agency is about storytelling,” Fred says. “We tell the stories of pioneers who are making a difference in the world. But we also want to be pioneers ourselves.”
So: Freak Flag Foods joined the list of other Haberman-created enterprises like the US Pond Hockey Championships, which is now owned by NBC Sports, and Urban Organics, which is now owned by Minneapolis-based Pentair. Both of those were ideas that became so successful that they were just too big for the Habermans to keep them going on their own.
Someday, Freak Flag Foods may need to leave the nest too, but for now, the sauces are available in the Twin Cities metro area at Lunds & Byerlys, Valley Natural Foods, Linden Hills Co-op, Lakewinds Co-op, the Wedge Co-op and both locations of the Seward Co-op. You can also buy them from the company’s website where you’ll also find recipes and ideas to help you whip up your own special creations.