Born out of a love for Teff and traditional Ethiopian cuisine, Tobia Teff started in 2008 and is run by Ethiopian-British husband and wife team Sefanit Sophie Sirak-Kebede & Meny Kebede. With a long and celebrated background in food and beverage management, Sefanit Sophie Sirak-Kebede was sent to school to the UK as a young student before embarking as a hotelier with Hilton International in Germany, Switzerland and England (Park Lane Hilton London). Transferred to Addis Ababa Hilton, Ethiopia. In her native Ethiopia, Sefanit Sophie Sirak-Kebede oversaw the opening of Jacaranda restaurant at Hilton Addis Ababa – an eatery that claimed an outstanding reputation throughout the Hilton franchise in the North and East African region.
In 2003, Sefanit Sophie Sirak-Kebede & Meny launched Tobia restaurant in London’s Hampstead area spending 5 years building and maintaining a cherished reputation as a truly authentic Ethiopian experience, staying true to centuries-old traditions like homemade traditional honey ‘Tej’ mead, vegan and fish dishes on Wednesdays and Fridays, and of course Teff only enjera (just like we have it back home!). Tobia enjoyed being among Time Out’s Top 50 Restaurants in London and “the prime ambassador for Ethiopian cuisine” and Restaurant Guide Among the top 100 restaurants in England.
As the demand for healthy grains grew, Sefanit Sophie Sirak-Kebede & Meny saw the benefits their native Teff could have for the rest of the world and so Tobia Teff was born! After being the first Ethiopian-British business to introduce Teff to the UK market, Tobia Teff’s experience and commitment to the integrity of our beloved grain has meant we actively avoid genetically modified versions of Teff and always welcome rigorous nutritional testing. This commitment has resulted in us being extremely proud suppliers of our nationalised health care sector – for Coeliac sufferers our Teff is available on prescription from your GP.
As a family-run business we stay true to our values of integrity and personalised service. All of our products are handmade and packed in our humble workshop in North West London. We also believe that sourcing healthy products should also keep our planet healthy so we use compostable and biodegradable packaging throughout our product line and are working towards a plastic-free environment at our London workshop.
Teff is truly an ancient grain. It is believed that it was grown by the people of Ethiopia over 6000 years ago, and they continue to eat it to this day as a vital part of their diet.
In the 21st century, the western world is slowly catching on to the numerous health benefits of teff, though it’s taken some time! The Tobia Teff team believe ardently in the nutritional value of this ancient grain, and the main purpose of our company is to make this remarkable product more readily available across the world.
A few years ago, the US National Research Council declared that teff had the potential to ‘boost nutrition’, in addition to supporting ‘sustainable landcare’. So what is it about this grain that offers such great health benefits?
Quite simply, teff is a true ‘super-food’. It contains calcium, iron and a multitude of other essential minerals, which all combine to help promote a healthier body. It also contains plenty of digestion-improving fibre and protein.
It’s also widely recognised as one of the best forms of bread for coeliac disease sufferers and for those with wheat intolerances, as it’s completely gluten free.