Home » H-E-B Honors Afia Foods With 2019 Minority Supplier Of The Year Award
Frozen Food Home Page Slider Independent Store News Southwest Suppliers Women In The News

H-E-B Honors Afia Foods With 2019 Minority Supplier Of The Year Award

Afia Foods
Farrah Moussallati Sibai (center) receiving the Minority Supplier of the Year Award from H-E-B Director of Supplier Diversity James Harris (right) and Supplier Diversity Specialist Tessa Bernavides (left) on Sept. 6.

Majority-woman-owned, minority-owned Afia Foods received H-E-B’s 2019 Minority Supplier of the Year Award. Filling a gap in the frozen food sector with Mediterranean food, Afia employs members of Austin’s refugee community in its production facility.

After losing two of her children and virtually everything her family had in Syria before and during the war, Farrah Moussallati Sibai was starting over. Her desire to help people in similar situations was one of the reasons she started Afia Foods. The recipes in her mother-in-law’s handwritten family cookbook were the basis for the company.

After winning H-E-B’s Quest for Texas, Afia Foods launched its frozen Mediterranean line in H-E-B stores in March 2019 with their Original Falafel, Spicy Falafel with Turmeric, Original Kibbeh, and Texas-Style Kibbeh with Jalapeño.

Moussallati Sibai says, “I grew up eating this style of food. For me, it is comfort food. I saw more and more Mediterranean restaurants popping up and becoming popular in the community and not just with people of Mediterranean backgrounds. It made sense to me that people would also want to eat Mediterranean food at home, but until our products hit the shelf, I wasn’t sure. We are very grateful that H-E-B gave us a chance to show that these are products and flavors everyone enjoys when they are made accessible.”

“I suspected that one reason that people didn’t make Mediterranean food at home is that it is unfamiliar and often time consuming. By making falafel and kibbeh and freezing them, all the consumer would need to do is heat and serve. I think that making it easy to prepare at home has been a key to our success,” Moussallati Sibai says.

In addition to a surging interest in Mediterranean food, Afia’s growth also has been led by several other factors such as consumers’ interest in vegan, gluten-free or meat options that Afia’s products provide.

Moussallati Sibai created an employment program for Syrian refugees, who would go on to become the backbone of Afia’s factory workforce. Afia employs both full-and part-time refugees, who came to the United States with their families.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo Grocer’s Supply Show, July 31- August 1
NRC Center
Houston, Texas
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap