our mission

We're turning every table into a vibrant celebration with the foods and flavors of West Africa


Ingredients that are lively and dynamic. Unique spices, grains, fruits and vegetables that are sustainably grown. Meals that nourish not only our stomachs, but our souls.

The cultures that make up the West African region, each with their own distinctive culinary traditions, offer a diversely delicious collection of natural, flavorful, good-for-you foods like no other place on earth. However, these foods are not always easy to find in any other place on earth. When Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam came to New York, he started cooking these foods for himself, his friends and his coworkers—pairing each dish with stories as rich and vibrant as the meals themselves. Pierre wanted to share even more stories, more flavors and more traditions with even more people, bringing the West African warmth, hospitality and food-centered celebrations to households everywhere—and that’s exactly what Yolélé is all about.

"Sharing culture through food has always been my driving passion, and Yolélé was created in that spirit."

- Pierre Thiam

our impact

Shaping the future of West Africa

At our core, Yolélé’s purpose is to bring lasting economic opportunity to West African farming communities, and to do our part to protect the planet by investing in climate-smart farming. When you (and the world) enjoy Yolélé fonio, you’re contributing to a chain reaction of positive impact and transformation for smallholder farmers, their communities, their land, and future generations to come. Fonio is just the beginning. Across Africa, the continent with more arable land than anywhere else in the world, there are other miracle crops being grown—some you’ve heard of (sorghum and millet), and some maybe you haven’t yet (bambara bean), all with potential to help shape the future of food, farming and sustainability.
our team

Meet Our Founders

Pierre Thiam

Co-Founder + President

Born and raised in Senegal, Pierre Thiam is a James Beard award-winning chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, and environmental activist. His critically acclaimed New York restaurant Teranga, with locations in Harlem and in Midtown, introduces healthy fast-casual fare directly sourced from farmers in West Africa. Pierre is the author of four cookbooks including his latest, Simply West African. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his cooking and advocacy. He is on the board of directors for two global nonprofits, IDEO.org and SOS Sahel, and on the Advisory Board of the Culinary Institute of America. He lives in El Cerrito with his wife, daughters, and dog.

Phillip Teverow

Co-Founder + CEO

Phil Teverow is a food industry veteran who pioneered the introduction of unusual ingredients (including quinoa back in the 1980s!) to the US as the director of the Dean & DeLuca brand for thirteen years, during the company’s rise from owner-operated shop to multinational retailer. As a consultant for food entrepreneurs for nearly 20 years, Phil has worked with culinary stars like Marcus Samuelsson as well as international food manufacturers seeking to expand their audience globally. He has mentored dozens of food entrepreneurs over the years through community organizations. Phil and Pierre met on the street in Brooklyn in the early 2000s.