February 24, 2024

5 Minutes with Khadi Faye of Khadi’s Cuisine

      In our “5 Minutes with an Entrepreneur” series, we pass the mic…

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A smiling woman stands in a kitchen, wearing a yellow blouse and an orange-and-yellow knit cap with a flower accent. A glass carafe and a brown paper bag are on the counter in front of her.
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In our “5 Minutes with an Entrepreneur” series, we pass the mic to Michigan entrepreneurs we’ve supported to hear their stories, including the spark behind their businesses, their challenges, and what motivates them to keep going. 

Khadi Faye of Khadi’s Cuisine, a restaurant, catering, and food delivery service, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Plate of Khadi's Cuisine fryer chicken, couscous and attieke.

Khadi Faye came to Ypsilanti, Michigan from West Africa with a vision: to share her culture and culinary skills with her new community in the United States. Michigan Good Food Fund partners had a front-row seat to watch Khadi turn that vision into reality as she started and grew her food business.   

Khadi’s Cuisine, a restaurant, catering, and food delivery service, offers a variety of West African and halal dishes with a twist of international influences to restaurant-goers in the Ypsilanti area. Khadi’s Cuisine aims to have something for everyone — whether you’re craving a savory stew, a crunchy salad, or a refreshing drink. 

With timely business support and working capital, Khadi drove her business from part-time operations in an incubator kitchen to full-time operations in a thriving brick-and-mortar location. 

Keep reading to learn more about Khadi’s most significant ah-ha moment, the most formidable challenge overcome, and hopes for future growth. 


Tell us about your business.   

Khadi’s Cuisine is a restaurant where African, halal, and international food converge. We’ve recently opened and are located at 421 West Cross Ypsilanti, MI. It is owned by a Black Woman, Mrs. Khadi Faye, with a master’s degree in sociology and a long-standing in child protection efforts in West Africa.    

What was the spark behind your business? 

My love to eat and make good healthy food for my family that I wanted to share with the community. 

What makes your business stand out?  

Sharing something new can be a challenge, but if you know that you’re sharing quality, it can be easier. Also, everywhere I used to live, I personally supported the community and added my contribution to it. With Michigan, my contribution will be sharing my good heathy food.  

Five years from now, where do you hope to be? 

I hope to expand Khadi’s Cuisine with more brick-and-mortar locations and partner with schools and other institutions to bring my food there, especially for children because they love my food.      

What’s the biggest challenge facing small good food businesses?  

The biggest challenge is the finances. So many expenses around the business are non-food costs, and also, healthy food has a cost. But the community we live in is not so wealthy, we can’t raise our food prices to really get the benefit that the business needs. So, we are between handling those expenses and trying to lower the food prices because everyone deserves to have good healthy food on the table.   

What’s one piece of advice you’d give other entrepreneurs? OR What’s one lesson you’ve learned that you’d pass on to others?          

Resiliency and hard work are some of the most important things for an entrepreneur like me. 

What motivates you?         

Making healthy, affordable food accessible to everyone is one of my main motivations.      

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made that others should avoid? 

Waiting: if you have an idea or want to create something, go ahead don’t wait.     

What’s the biggest ah-ha you’ve had?   

Partnering with the food delivery service.   

What advice would you give yourself as you were starting out?         

Trusting myself.       

In one sentence, could you describe how working with Michigan Good Food Fund has helped your business?   

Michigan Good Food Fund has supported Khadi’s Cuisine since the beginning as a catering food delivery service. They connected us to other partners and provided training and support.                    


Want to try Khadi’s Cusine’s delicious West African dishes? Visit their website to find their Ypsilanti location or view online ordering options.

Khadi’s Cuisine received business assistance from MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (MSUCRFS) by way of business planning and media and marketing support from Taste the Local Difference and received funding through Michigan Women Forward’s Endurance Loan Program for women-owned business in Washtenaw County. 

Interested in working with the Michigan Good Food Fund? See if your business is a good fit here. 

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