“It’s amazing how you taste something and it reminds you of a time and place in your life. It’s that nostalgia, it brings you back. I wanted to share it with my family.”

                                              — David van Overeem

In 2016, while David van Overeem and his wife, Libby, prepared for the arrival of their daughter, David decided to quit his day job to be a stay-at-home dad. “We were thinking about who would take care of our daughter when we were working. We wanted good child care,” he says.

The couple spent the next several months at home with their new baby, Valencia. “It was beautiful,” says David. “We were barbequing, making sauces. I was still deciding what I was going to do next and was considering going back to school to be a coder.”

But when the day came to sign up for class, David changed his mind. “I pictured myself at a desk and realized I couldn’t do it,” he says. Instead, David began thinking seriously about developing his own hot sauce line and experimenting with recipes. “I’ve been a creative person my whole life,” he says. “I realized, between Libby and I, we could do it all ourselves.”

While developing the sauces that would become his four signature blends, David was inspired by memories of his mother, who passed away when he was twelve. “When I cook, I’m trying to get those memories back from when I was visiting my grandma with my mom. She was a Latina, so we had Mexican food all the time on that side of the family. It’s amazing how you taste something and it reminds you of a time and place in your life.”

After a year preparing HAB Sauce for market, David launched the products in January 2018; they are now offered by four local retailers and online.

David says, “I couldn’t have done any of this without my family’s support. I’m trying to ease into it and not grow too fast.” In the meantime, he continues to pursue other creative outlets, DJing part-time under the name DJ Klavical and making music with local bands, as well as working as a commission artist.  

Storyteller: Nicole Buchanan | Photos: Joshua James Huff | Published: April 2018