has been credited with helping raise the profile of Ethiopian cuisine across Arizona, and now the Tempe-based eatery named one of the “Top 10 Healthful Restaurants in Metro Phoenix” is about to increase its reach even further.
Café Lalibela, a family-owned and operated Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of Tempe, has been satisfying Valley diners at its brick-and-mortar location for two decades, and it’s now set to more than double its existing retail component by extending into 13 new Valley grocery and specialty stores.
What stores can you find Cafe Lalibela’s product line?
The eatery’s first official ready-to-eat retail line launched in May 2014, and it is available at Café Lalibela’s own restaurant and retail location and in 11 Whole Foods locations throughout the state. Within the month, the company’s red lentil wraps and lunch boxes, injera and other flavorful East African favorites will be available for purchase in the frozen section at 12 Natural Grocers
locations spanning the Phoenix metro area, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona. They’ll also be popping up on shelves at popular Phoenix health-food shop and cafe Luci’s Healthy Marketplace
Natural Grocers will carry the largest Café Lalibela retail product line yet, boasting new, instant hits including ground beef, chicken and green bean wraps. All items can be found in the stores’ frozen foods sections, and they are all ready for eating after about two or three minutes in the microwave.
Besides accumulating a considerable following of vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diners, Café Lalibela has opened many Valley residents to Ethiopian cuisine and its complex flavors, rich sauces and colorful combinations of meats, lentils and vegetables. Consuming the food by hand using a sponge-like bread called injera is a common Ethiopian eating practice, and those looking to get their hands on their own injera can soon find it at Luci’s, alongside the likes of red lentils and pre-made wraps.
“We saw the success of our first retail effort at Whole Foods, and we immediately thought about going bigger,” said Café Lalibela Owner and Manager Salem Beyene. “Our goal is to get East African food in the hands of everyone.”
Look for Café Lalibela’s retail products to hit store shelves in December.
89 W. University Drive | Tempe | 85281 | 480.829.1939
Monday through Thursday, 11am until 9pm
Friday, 11am until 10pm
Saturday, 12pm until 10pm
Sunday, 12pm until 9pm