Better Food Stories: Tenera Grains

This is episode 10 of the Better Food Stories interview series, which includes conversations with the entrepreneurs behind some of today’s newest and most innovative food brands.


Claire Smith, cofounder of Tenera Grains

Claire Smith, cofounder of Tenera Grains

How do you preserve the legacy of a 100-year-old farm in an era of Uber Eats, Instacart and Amazon Fresh? The short answer: you get creative.

Claire Smith grew up on her family farm is what she refers to as “middle of nowhere” Michigan. Not only is the farm a huge part of her identity but it also served as the inspiration for her business Tenera Grains.


In 2015, when crop prices were still declining and showing no signs of slowing down, Claire and her family started experimenting with growing Teff — a naturally gluten-free grain that’s popular in Ethiopian Cuisine. After plenty of recipe testing, Claire landed on a pretty delicious gluten-free granola — or Teffola as she later named it — using whole teff grain. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In my conversation with Claire you’ll learn:

  • All about the gluten-free super grain that is teff

  • How Claire is singlehandedly disrupting the granola industry, all while helping preserve her family farm’s 100-plus year legacy

  • How growing up on a farm shaped Claire’s views on food and nutrition

  • How Tenera Grains is supporting other local Michigan-based businesses


Claire was such a pleasure to chat with — she has such an interesting background and she’s just so nice and I really appreciate candidness and vulnerability when it comes to sharing her experience as a new entrepreneur.

Click the link above to listen to my entire interview with Claire Smith. And, sign up to the mailing list at if you want to get new episodes of the Better Food Stories interview series delivered straight to your inbox.

Adria Greenhauff