This Randallstown company started with two salsas—one hot, one mild—almost 25 years ago. Now, Mama Vida produces more than seven varieties of salsa plus gourmet marinara sauces, tapenades, soups, and other food products (for a list, go to mamavida.com). Owners Toto and Miki Mechali were immigrants (he's from Morocco; she's from Israel) who followed other family members to Baltimore and founded a food-packaging plant. The company is named after Toto's mother, but Miki's mother, a Holocaust survivor, was an inspiration, too. "She really pushed them to open the business," says Toto and Miki's 32-year-old daughter, Nila Mechali, who is the company's director of marketing. "She felt that if you could do anything, you could do it in America." The all-natural products are available at several local shops, including Eddie's of Roland Park, Graul's markets, Wegmans, and Milk & Honey in Mt. Vernon.
Mama Vida grows into a gourmet food business.
Issue date: April, 2011