Wharton grad creates ‘Clove’ shoes for health care workers inspired by his wife

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Before the pandemic, a local entrepreneur and his wife, a nurse here in Philadelphia, saw the need for footwear that could meet the specific demands of our health care workers.

Right now, we all know how hard they are working. They are on their feet for hours, so they need something comfortable, but also footwear that’s easy to sanitize, especially in this crisis.

They call the company Clove.

“The inspiration actually came from my wife, Tamara, who’s a registered nurse here in Philly,” says Joe Ammon, the creator and CEO of Clove.

“I watched her buy four shoes in four months,” said Ammon.

So the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania grad set out to create the ultimate footwear for her, and all of our health care workers.

“We jokingly say if a sneaker and a clog had a baby, it would be Clove,” said Ammon.

They are protective, slip on, anti-odor and, most importantly, easy to sanitize.

“Of all the things that we’ve built into the shoe, that was our North Star,” Ammon says.

He designed something that is antibacterial and fluid repellent, and could be cleaned with hospital-grade wipes and bleach.

They launched just before the pandemic.

“Obviously when COVID-19 hit, that became such a huge focus, simply because they needed to keep their shoes clean as they were walking from hospital to home,” Ammon says.

To make sure Clove was up to the task, they sent them to the team at Penn Medicine.

“We put 2,000 hours of testing into the shoes here in Philly,” he says.

They’ve also donated more than $75,000 worth of products to our health care heroes.

Inside the shoes it reads, ‘You support them, We support you.'”

The name Clove is another nod.

“The name actually is a wink at medical shorthand. C with a line on top in medicine means ‘take with food.’ So health care professionals are reading our name, ‘C with love.’ That embodied why the company was started,” said Ammon.

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