MaMa Jean's Natural Market
Susie Farbin and Diana Hicks opened the doors to MaMa Jean’s in December 2002, but the roots of the business go back more than 30 years from its opening day. In the late 70’s Susie’s mother, Jean Farbin, made a $300 investment and started selling bulk grains from her basement in Ava, Missouri. This was the beginning of Jean’s Healthway. When business grew and the staff expanded, Jean’s daughter Susie started working by her side. Over the next 14 years, with her mother as her mentor, Susie took a personal interest in both the business and the benefits of healthy living.
Then, in 1996, Susie met and became friends with Diana Hicks. Diana was already a pillar at O’Reilly Auto Parts at the time, working in internal communications. After seeing the need for a store like Jean’s in Springfield, they set their goal and went to work. A few years later, at 1727 S. Campbell, that goal became a reality and MaMa Jean’s opened for business. The name MaMa Jean’s pays tribute to both of the owner’s mothers, “MaMa” Loweta Hicks and Jean Farbin.
It only took a little over 5 years for MaMa Jean’s to become a Springfield landmark and one that was bursting at the seams. The need for a second location arose and by summer of 2008, the store on Republic Road opened in the first certified “Green Building” in the state. Shortly thereafter, MaMa Jean’s celebrated Diana’s retirement from 30 years at O’Reilly and her full-time addition to management. By early 2013, after expanding both existing locations, it was time for yet another store and MaMa Jean’s third and largest location opened on east Sunshine.
Today MaMa Jean’s is home to a flourishing, capable staff including both of Susie’s children. Her daughter Kelly is MaMa Jean’s General Manager and her son Jeff is their Grocery Manager.