June 8, 2021

Building a Food Brand from Scratch to 70 Stores with Claire Smith, Founder of Teffola


What’s the first step to building a thriving business? Well, easy — getting started. 

But that can be scary. Whether it’s quitting your day job, putting up a website, or getting out there to find your first customer, just getting started requires being brave.

Here’s a secret, though.

You don’t need to be brave all of the time. Just the moments that matter. That’s how Claire Smith managed to quit her day job at a restaurant to start a granola company and grow it to over 70 stores.

Claire grew up as the 7th generation on a 2,300-acre family farm, vowing to move as far away from the farm as she could. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Neuroscience and minor in Classics, she moved to western Canada. Her parents decided to start pivoting the farm from corn and soybeans to alternative grains and seeds during this time.

Claire, acknowledging the irony, moved back to the farm to work with teff, an ancient grain native to Ethiopia. She created Teffola, or teff granola, and began selling to local grocery stores in January 2018. Since then, she's grown Teffola into 70 grocery stores and coffee shops across Michigan and is now branching into Chicago and Toledo, Ohio.

In this episode, Claire shares her business journey from late nights and farmer’s markets to building a customer-centric food brand that brings awareness to small farmers and ancient grains.

Connect with Teffola
Website: www.eatteffola.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/eatteffola
Instagram: www.instagram.com/eatteffola

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