Business Interview

Teff-Riffic Ethiopian Business in Lansing  

Rahel Musa is the owner and operator of her family business Teff-Riffic. Teff-Riffic is an Ethiopian food stand inside the Allen Market Place consisting of healthy vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Teff, a tiny gluten-free whole grain that is a nutritional powerhouse is Musa’s signature ingredient as she preps her Ethiopian dishes and creates her teff flour. Musa’s native country Eritrea, located just north of Ethiopia, is well known for growing teff and has been a staple  of traditional Ethiopian cooking for thousands of years.  Musa is bringing that tradition to Lansing.

” I wanted to show the community in Lansing that they have a healthier choice that they can make by eating the traditional food that we have mainly made with teff flour “.

Musa moved to Lansing, MI with her family and began her cooking business in a warehouse. While teff is being grown mainly in the southern part of the United States by farmers, Musa attempted growing teff in Lansing.  The planting process  was a bit challenging, so for her convenience she purchases the teff grain from local farmers.

In June of 2015, she moved her business into the Allen Market and continues to still have her warehouse in Lansing.   “I was grinding the teff,  packaging it and selling it but it was not encouraging and slow. So I decided to make actual food and come to the Allen Market”.

This shift has helped her gain more exposure and a place for people to buy her signature packaged products. Musa gives her customers the experience to try her Teff-Riffiic flour in her Ethiopian dishes. “It’s mostly vegan, vegetarian and spicy chicken”,  says Musa. Her menu consist of samosa, alicha, tumtumo and zigni. One of her popular items served in her sampler combo is Injera: a spongy textured flat like bread. Customers enjoy her packaged pancake mix made from teff flour. Musa plans to add inoque with sweet potatoes to her menu.

Musa has a goal of having her own restaurant and having her teff products packaged and sold in many stores. While not spending time working with Teff-Riffic, Musa enjoys going to the Potter Park Zoo of Lansing and walking the trails in East Lansing.

About the Author

Ashlee Willis

Ashlee Willis is the founder and creator of Lansing Mosaic. Ashlee Willis created the Lansing Mosaic to help highlight more small businesses and minority entrepreneurs in the Lansing area through articles and video content. She currently resides on the Board of The Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of  Old News Boys of Greater Lasing, just to name a few. She enjoys her family, the beach and coffee!

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