The Austin Chronicle - Emily Beyda and Jessi Cape

Empowering the Syrian Refugee Community One Mediterranean Recipe at a Time - A mother's story of falafel and family

For Afia Foods founder Farrah Moussallati Sibai, spending time in the kitchen has always been intimately tied to a sense of home and her Syrian heritage. Her local food business, named for an Arabic word meaning "bon appétit" or "to your health," supports refugees through economic empowerment, community-building, and shared meals. "Our goal is to break bread with our neighbors from all backgrounds through Afia Foods, so they can enjoy our authentic Mediterranean cuisines, our heritage, and hopefully learn just how special our community is."

Fastcompany.  Ben Panther

The companies include mediterranean-inspired Afia Foods, an Austin-based company whose founder Farrah Moussallati makes frozen falafel and kibbeh from Halal-certified meat, and employs some family members who are Syrian refugees.

FoodBev. Jules Scully

Chobani’s new incubator is most diverse in programme’s history

Makers of high-protein falafel, gluten-free empanadas and frozen fruits are among the start-ups selected to take part in Chobani’s spring 2019 incubator.

Chobani said the class brings together a diverse mix of backgrounds, perspectives and culinary inspirations.

With eight start-ups taking part, the class is the most diverse cohort in the programme’s history, across genders, geographies, race and ethnicity, and country of origin.

Underrepresented minority founders make up 75% of the class, while 63% of brand founders or co-founders are female.

Austin360. Addie Broyles

The story of Afia Foods includes the Syrian civil war and a little black recipe book

At 33, Farrah Moussallati Sibai has lived through the loss of a child, the near-loss of another and an estrangement with the third.

The British-born Syrian has survived violence in her home and her family’s home country, but she found new love and life in Austin, where she is the owner of Afia Foods, a frozen food company that employs Syrian refugees and whose product recently hit the freezer section of about 200 H-E-B stores throughout Texas.


Quest for Texas Best finalist, Afia Foods is now in the freezer section at H-E-B!

Created from a family recipe, these delcious Mediterranean appetizers are full of flavor and perfect for sharing. Pick up some Kibbeh, a fried croquette filled with minced beef- or delicous Falafel, a deep fried chickpea patty flavored with garlic, onion and parsley.

We were so excited to share this moment with the Sibai family as they saw their creations on shelves at H-E-B for the first time! Be sure to check out these yummy appetizers and many more Quest for Texas Best winners, as your local H-E-B.

Click on the view more button to watch the HEB video of Afia Foods launch.

By Kyle R. Cotton  – Editorial Intern, San Antonio Business Journal | Jul 23, 2018, 3:03pm

H-E-B names finalists in Quest for Texas Best contest

H-E-B Grocery Co. has chosen 25 finalists in its fifth annual Quest for Texas Best competition after evaluating products by more than 700 entrepreneurs from nearly 140 cities across the state.


By Emma Freer   |  Community Impact |  2:21 pm July 23, 2018 CST

7 Austin entrepreneurs named finalists in H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best

Seven Austin artisans have been named finalists as part of H-E-B’s fifth annual Quest for Texas Best, a statewide search for new products to add to the San Antonio-based grocer’s shelves.

Out of nearly 700 entries, 25 entrepreneurs made it to the final round, which involves presenting their creations to a panel of judges, who will assess quality, marketability and product readiness.

By Addie Broyles | Food Blog Austin365 | July 25, 2018

H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best competition returns to Austin with 9 local finalists

Of more than 700 applicants this year, nine finalists in this year’s contest are from the Austin area. They’ll compete August 9 and 10 at the Central Texas Food Bank against 16 other food companies from around Texas for $70,000 in prize money and a spot on H-E-B shelves. The Central Texas businesses are Barbecue Wife, Pennymade, Afia Foods, Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation, Mmmpanadas, Pretty Thai, 38 Pecans, Tiny House Coffee in Buda and Sing and Shout Foods in Cedar Park

By WGB Staff | Winsight Grocery Business | Jul. 23, 2018

H-E-B Reveals Primo Picks Finalists

H-E-B’s quest for the most delectable creations from Lone Star state food makers has been narrowed to 25 finalists from the more than 700 submissions it received this year.

Entrepreneurs from nearly 140 cities and towns across Texas submitted entries in the San Antonio-based retailer’s annual culinary showdown. This year’s finalists will face off in the fifth annual Quest for Texas Best competition Aug. 9-10 at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin.

H-E-B Names Top 25 Contenders In ‘Texas Best’ Competition

H-E-B has scoured the Lone Star State in search of “the most delectable culinary creations from talented Texans with a flair for food” for its fifth annual Quest for Texas Best competition, selecting 25 finalists from more than 700 entrepreneurs from nearly 140 cities and towns across the state. The finalists will go head-to-head Aug. 9-10 at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin.

Austin foodmakers win big at H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best contest

Farrah and Yassin Sibai, owners of Afia Foods, explained how their Syrian relatives had to flee the country two years ago, and with them, they brought the family recipe book, which contained recipes for the frozen falafel and kibbeh that they now sell at local international markets, Farmhouse Delivery, Wheatsville and the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller.





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