Texas Jasmine: Continually Striving for Excellence
Texas Jasmine was founded in 1992 on a few simple principles: give people what they want, give it to them at a great price, and do it with integrity. The company is a distributor of goods for convenience (c-store) and grocery stores in and around Houston, Texas, but it operates with a twist. Texas Jasmine operates on a members-only model, and valid businesses with state resale permits are able to shop online, as well as in the company’s expansive, cleanly laid-out facility.
When Texas Jasmine was started it was common for stores to have to go to five or six sources for all their products. The Momin family recognized there was a better way and launched the Texas Jasmine showroom to offer everything under one roof. The club store style was an immediate hit, and the Momin family has been leading the impressive growth of the company ever since.
Zee Momin, president and CEO of Texas Jasmine, and Moez Momin, chief business officer and purchasing officer, have been with the company continuously since it was launched. Their previous experience in the retail and customer-service industries helped establish the Texas Jasmine focus on friendly, efficient services. Aided by Barkat Khawaja, vice president and operations manager, Zee and Moez created a company that now provides quality, affordable products for retailers within a 60-mile radius of Houston, the Space City.
Texas Jasmine began operating out of a 20,000-square foot warehouse, and over the years the company has expanded both its facilities and reach, attracting over 4,000 independent customers with competitive pricing for over 8,000 products in over three-dozen categories. Texas Jasmine’s warehouse, located in southwest Houston, is now 150,000 square feet, and features a logically laid out variety of products and brands. The company offers something for everyone, whether it’s a client stocking up for a grocery, a gift/novelty/souvenir shop, a c-store, a pharmacy/drug store, a vending machine operation, a flea market booth or any operation looking to build a diverse inventory.
Along with expanding the company’s facilities, services, product lines and delivery area, Texas Jasmine expanded its executive management to include three more members of the Momin family. Zahir Momin, accounts and purchasing manager, Jamshed Momin, chief technology officer and personnel manager, and Zul Momin, marketing director, reinforce sales, logistics and IT.
Texas Jasmine’s unique structure offers added value. Qualified customers can become members for free, and membership offers benefits like deals on products and free delivery for orders over $1,000. Technology is also enhancing the B2B customer experience, using mobile e-commerce to replace old paper-and-fax methods of restocking. “We’re utilizing a unique system where our customers can scan a UPC with an iPhone,” says Zul, describing the codeREADr-powered system developed with Skycore LLC. “A tagging system identifies objects from the catalog, so our customers scan it and we’ll deliver it. This system is technologically advanced and it means companies never run out of supplies.”
Texas Jasmine has developed unique partnerships with suppliers, striking exclusive manufacturer agreements and offering bulk savings that the team can pass on to members. This successful business model has awarded the team growth opportunities. Texas Jasmine has made massive expansions to its staff (which totals 80 employees) and capabilities over the last two decades. The company’s present location on US Highway 59 between Bellaire & Hillcroft offers its expansive sales floor, a big parking lot and covered loading/unloading areas to assist in uninterrupted receiving and distribution.
Texas Jasmine has experienced 16-percent growth over the past three years, and the company’s expansion is particularly impressive because it has taken place during a challenging time for the country economically. However, the Momins realized they could succeed more by offering more, and since tripling the size of the company’s walk-in buying space and routing efficiency the Momins and their team have continued to expand products and merchandise based on customer feedback and market trends. And the Momins are looking to accomplish more, equipping staff with better resources and up-to-date technology that reinforces communication, marketing efforts and keeps improving customer service.
“We want to streamline our operations and keep up with technology with our walk-in business, as well as delivery, so we can sell more products to our customers,” says Zul. “They are always looking for new items, and they want to be able to walk in and get what they want. We produce flyers to promote these new items and show people that this is the place to go. We’re already a leader in the convenience industry.”
The team has already built a significant customer base, efficiently helping clients manage products for multiple locations, but the Momins are always looking to diversify. “We want to expand beyond the premium stores to mom-and-pop stores and flea markets and other areas that have great potential for growth,” says Zul. “People are very keen on gift and novelty items and they always want us to keep them coming. Our customers see a high profit margin there. They buy them from us for cheap and sell them for a higher price. We’re also looking into the Spanish and ethnic markets in Houston.”
To the Momins, growth does not stop at diversifying products and pulling in more customers. “We’re looking into outsourcing options to take it to the next level,” says Zul. “We’re building more buying power and we’ve set up a department of sales, marketing and promotion. We want to buy bigger, cheaper quantities. We want to diversify our mode of doing business, and not limit ourselves to the same options.”
Along with establishing new partnerships to continue expansion into addition locations in both Houston and other cities in the state, Texas Jasmine is active within the communities it services, contributing to positive social programs. The team is already active with the Houston food bank, community/humanitarian assistance programs and contributing and partnering with foundations and many minority-based programs. “The more you give, the more you grow,” says Zul. “We celebrated 20 years in 2012, but community involvement is more important than the anniversary for us. We don’t want to be the forefront. We’re all in this together.”
By balancing business and people, Texas Jasmine has established a platform for diverse success. The company has been recognized for unusual growth, as well as its position as one of Inc.’s Top 5000 businesses in the country (No. 4,675), one of the largest companies in the Houston Metro area (No. 93), and the fifth largest minority-owned company in Houston. The Momins and their team continue to promote quality products, convenient service and satisfying customer relations. The family is highly involved in the day-to-day operations, and promotes a culture of customer-friendly business across the board. Texas Jasmine continues to grow through positive networking, fair dealings and building on its many relationships with customers.