We started with a small restaurant in Oakland, California in 1991. Since then we have delighted the palettes of bay area residents with our unique test of Ethiopian dishes. However around 2006, we experienced a major problem in securing quality products from Ethiopia. Supply became erratic, intermittent and very low quality. Our award-winning restaurant was virtually unable to serve customers due to lack of quality ingredients. Due to circumstances beyond our control, our restaurant business in the US was in the verge of collapse.
We decided to explore the unimaginable. We decided to take control of our supply chain and to start a small operation of spice production in Ethiopia. The first few years were hard as we moved in and out of numerous rental facilities mainly due to erratic rental prices. Throughout this ordeal we were able to setup small scale production that allowed us to produce what was needed for our restaurant. Furthermore we shared what is left with our web store and cooking class. These extra income allowed us to reinvest in developing new products and recipes. We now have the ability to produce and export our own spice and seasoning line.
We still want to stay true to our roots and we are committed to the preservation of centuries-old traditional spice blending practices in Ethiopia. As part of that commitment we recruited well known spice blenders to train our staff.
Around 2009, we decided to scale up and secure a permanent location and leased a land. We built a processing facility in Modjo, Ethiopia and decided to embarke on a large scale operation. We self financed this operation.
In 2015, we began operation and exported our first container.
The team has over 22 years’ experience in successful use of spices in an award winning restaurant. The team understands the challenges of the supply chain problem.
Meheret Maru, formerly our restaurant manager (in San Francisco Oakland, CA) moved back to Ethiopia in 2013 and is now the Deputy General Manager of the Modjo Facility. She has assembled a professional team of finance, production, inventory officer, quality control, and sanitation officer.
Fetlework Tefferi is the author of a one of a kind Ethiopian Spice Book with first-hand knowledge of spices, spices history and spice use.
Our Management team is 90% female and includes university graduates specializing in food technology and food export.
We also work closely with local consult to help us navigate the local terrain and provide us with valuable guidance and support.
We want to preserve the Art of Spice blending
We love what we do. We are committed to sustainable practices in agriculture, healthy heating and wellness.
We take it as our responsibility to help improve the lives of our staff and the community we work in. We strive to provide women and children access to health care and education.
We conduct our business with a high degree of organizational and personal commitment to excellence.