Q+A with Teff Tribe founders, Sam + Sam

It was a casual chat with a chef friend about his ‘epic’ teff pancakes that was the defining moment for Teff Tribe Founders Sam Ellis & Sam Sloane. This chat triggered them to find out more about the relatively unknown ‘super’ grain – and after a little experimentation of their own, they were hooked. This was a small grain with a big future…


We sit down with the two Sam’s and find out a bit more about the story behind Teff Tribe.


This is quite the change for two boys from the financial sector…

SE: Ha ha, yeah it is. Moving from finance to the health food industry wasn’t exactly conventional, but living in the health-scene heartland of Bondi, we felt right at home. We’re surrounded by fit and active people and great new health-centred businesses are always popping up around us. It’s a real way of life here. So we jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back since.

SS: It’s been a pretty steep learning curve for us, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.


You seemed to stumble across teff by chance – what was it that made you pursue it as a business idea?

SS: Here was this unique product that is super versatile, tastes great and is incredibly good for you… yet no one knew about it. We were – and still are – confident that teff will become a pantry staple.

SE: …we just need to continue to get the secret out there / spread the love!


So what’s so great about teff?

SS: It’s naturally gluten free and just jam-packed with goodness like calcium, iron, protein, fibre and a whole number of other vitamins and minerals. It’s also incredibly versatile – from breakfast to baking, to salads, savoury dishes and sweet treats. It can be worked into just about any recipe to really up the ante in the nutrient stakes.


Do you follow any particular diet?

SE: In short, no. We try to steer clear of any particular diet ‘fads’ – we just share a really simple but genuine passion for healthy living. We describe it as ‘more of the good stuff’ and less of the refined, overly processed foods.


SS: We do advocate a ‘no nasties’ policy though. You won’t find any numbers or artificial ‘fillers’ in any of our products. Just natural, wholesome and delicious ingredients that are as good for you as they taste.


Are people slow to try new ingredients?

SE: Absolutely. Awareness of teff is definitely growing, but people do still hesitate to try something they’ve never cooked with before. So we’re focused on educating people and helping them take that step. Healthy eating shouldn’t be hard – and that’s what’s so great about teff – it’s super versatile and is such a great way to supercharge your daily diet. We just need to show people how quick and easy it is.


SS: We also know life is busy, and there isn’t always time to get creative in the kitchen. So we’re focused on developing a range of instant and ready to eat teff products that can work into everyday eating.


Favourite product?

SE: I still have a soft spot for the brown grain – which I use all the time… but I have to say those Teff Pancakes are a huge crowd pleaser in our household.

SS: Definitely porridges for me. They are such a quick and delicious breakfast – a great tummy filler that keeps me going til lunchtime.


Favourite recipe?

SE: Salmon with Teff Tabouli still my go-to meal when trying to impress people… {LINK?}

SS: Tough one, but my go-to dessert when entertaining is our fudgey cacao teff brownies. They’re so simple, and fresh out of the oven topped with vanilla bean ice cream, they’re hard to beat… {LINK?}


What’s next for the Tribe?

SE: We’ve been busy growing our product range and stockist family – and have a heap of exciting things in the pipeline that we look forward to sharing with you soon…


Any last thoughts?

To those who haven’t yet given teff a go, just try it…

We love our teff and we think you will too.