Ever take a seat at Café Lalibela, Tempe’s go-to spot for authentic Ethiopian, and think, “How great would it be to make this at home?” If so, rejoice, because Lalibela Market is on its way.
Set to open this Friday, Feb. 5 with a grand opening weekend that continues through Sunday, Feb. 7, Café Lalibela’s new retail component, Lalibela Market – located right next door to their restaurant at 849 W University Drive – promises 400 square feet of Ethiopian flavors, jewelry, crafts and grab-and-go beverages, among other specialty items. On store shelves, shoppers can find 27 traditional Ethiopian spices to infuse in their own cooking, products from local food purveyors like Rubman Dan: Arizona Rubs and Hayden Flour Mills, and options from the Lalibela ‘grab and go’ line of foods currently sold at Whole Foods. Ethiopian teas, handmade jewelry and other specialty food items cooked onsite in the 1,000 square foot commercial kitchen can also be found among the offerings.
To welcome the public and give guests a taste of what’s inside, the weekend-long grand opening celebration includes freebies like free small spices to the first 50 guests, buy-one-get-one grab-and-go items from the Lalibela line and all-day tasting samples served up Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
“We’ve heard from Café Lalibela guests time and time again about how they’d like to cook Ethiopian food at home, but aren’t sure where to find what they need,” said Salem Beyene, Lalibela Market’s co-owner. “We wanted to give them that, but we wanted options for those who don’t feel like cooking, too.”
The name ‘Lalibela’ is a nod to the northern Ethiopian town known worldwide for its medieval, monolithic rock cut-out “cave” churches. The family-owned and operated Café Lalibela has been welcoming guests for years and it has drawn quite a following among vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diners thanks to its use of preservative-free produce and heavy reliance on vegetables, lentils and spices.
“Whether you’re a longtime fan of Ethiopian food or about to have your first taste, you need to be here this weekend,” Salem said.
849 W University Dr. Tempe, AZ 85281
Mon – Fri 10:00am – 9:00pm
Sat 11:00am – 9:00pm
Sun 12:00pm 9:00pm