Remjoy Transportation and Medical Supply is a family-owned business that has been providing non-emergency medical transportation and services in Rochester for over a decade.
Meet the sisters
Sisters Saida Omar, CEO, and Sahra Omar, CFO, are the owners of Remjoy Transportation and Medical Supply. The Omars never expected to live in Minnesota, but now they could not imagine anywhere else as home. Saida and Sahra have been in the United States for over 30 years. In the 1980s, their father came to the U.S. with hopes of finding a better job to provide for his family. One by one, the family followed their father. “We literally did follow the duck,” jokes Sahra. The family lived in the Washington, D.C. area until one day when everything changed.
In February of 2007, during a rare winter ice storm, the Omars’ father suffered a stroke. No one is sure what caused it, but, focused on nursing him back to health, the family decided to seek treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. When they first came to the community, they were a bit skeptical about Minnesota. “Oh my goodness, I do not want to stay here. I’m not going to stay here. You all can stay here if you want!” Saida remembers thinking. Sahra encouraged Saida to give Rochester a chance. When they first came to the community, the Somali community was small. It became clear to the sisters that there was a need for non-medical transportation. They decided to help by creating Remjoy Transportation, which could serve vulnerable members of the population and employ minority residents who had a hard time finding jobs.
Renewal & Remjoy
As a woman- and minority-owned business, Remjoy Transportation has had its share of ups and downs. The sisters have been in business for nearly 13 years and are still hidden in the community. As a family-owned business, they have been able to rely on each other during tough times. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a lot of staff shortages. As Saida says, “I take off this hat (owner) and put on the driver hat.” Due to the staff shortages, the sisters have found themselves running the company as well as doing a lot of driving. In their former jobs, they used to be able to go to work and go home and that was it. However, as business owners, they take the employees, clients and everything else home, and it can overtake their free time. Thankfully they help each other handle the stress. When asked about self-care and how they cope with stress, Saida gleefully replies, “She (Sahra) is my stress relief!” and Sahra affirms that same sentiment.
Since they work with a vulnerable population, after each ride, they have to sanitize the vehicle and make sure it is safe for the next riders. With the shortage of staff, the sisters have found themselves cleaning vehicles, driving, working in the office and ensuring no appointments are missed and everything is completed in a timely manner.
The Omar sisters have been and are an integral part of our community. They have worked to strengthen it and help some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
They have been in business for over 13 years and hope to continue being here for another decade. Saida and Sahra may have been hesitant to call Minnesota home, but it is clear that this is exactly where they belong. ::