Nurse Quits Job in Kenya to Start Restaurant Business in US


Samuel Kimani is an example of Kenyans who have ventured abroad, braved adversity, and built successful businesses.

In an interview, the Kenyan daring abroad narrated that he once worked as a nurse in Kenya before transitioning to the US where he continued pursuing his nursing profession for a while.

However, months later, he decided to pursue his ambition of being an entrepreneur and started his own restaurant in Alabama where he serves various Kenyan cuisine including ugali, bhajia, and various types of meat including matumbo and goat meat with Nyama Choma being the restaurant’s signature meal.

To enhance the culinary experience for his customers, Kimani has expanded the menu to include Caribbean delicacies, including flavorful oxtail. 

A photo of Jambo Grill owner Samuel Kimani (left) and Hollywood actor Tony Rock (right)

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Jambo Grill

The restaurant known as Jambo Grill, has several booths fitted near the wall, several tables in the middle, and countertop seats that create an ambiance similar to a bar.

The eatery although has attracted regular foreign clients, typically serves Kenyans living in the US.

During the interview, Kimani stated that he is proud of his journey thus far and doesn’t regret quitting his nursing job to start the business.

“Despite the challenges ahead, I decided to open it and it has become a success. I used to work in hospitals but I am also a businessman,” he remarked.

The man from Thika explained that he was inspired to venture into business after being convinced that the restaurant would thrive since no other restaurant was offering Kenyan delicacies in Alabama.

Kimani posed that one of the main reasons his restaurant has thrived is its location, next to the market, and a parking lot, which has enabled it to attract a lot of customers.

The Kenyan revealed that his employees come from across the world including Mexico, Nigeria, and India.

He also has a few Kenyans in his roster including the main chef.

However, he revealed that it was not easy hiring Kenyans as the US laws do not allow business establishments to hire workers without proper documentation.

Conclusively, Kimani advised those seeking to start similar businesses to scout for a good location, affordable space, good employees, and a unique menu to ensure customers keep coming back.

A photo of Jambo Grill in Alabama

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Jambo Grill





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