Charles Kanyingi and his wife are the owners of The Stopover situated in Lari, Kiambu County along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The business was set up in 2019 after the couple relocated back to Kenya having worked and lived in the US for over 10 years.
Kanyingi and his wife had well paying jobs in the US but their dream was to save up enough money to invest back home.
Here is their story as told by WoK.
While in the US, the couple loved travelling from state to state and while at it, they came up with an idea of setting up a highway stopover.
Kanyingi said he wanted to set up a stopover that had the convenience of coming in and out, sufficient parking and the tidiness of the rest rooms.
“I wanted people to have the convenience of being able to know that they can come in and out, park and get whatever you want and be out on your way,” Kanyingi told the Afrikan Traveller.
Kanyingi mentioned that while abroad, they were certain that they would relocate back to Kenya even though they were aware of the risk of investing in the town.
“We needed to do something challenging and change the country in our own little ways. It’s not all about doing business and making profits but also changing the community
“We knew this was a big risk because it is in the middle of nowhere. There are no major town, we knew what we wanted and we did not want to listen to negative voices,” he shared.
He also mentioned that the decision to return back home was mutual as they had planned about the move as well as making the investment.
“We didn’t have any disagreement and that’s what made it more of a soft landing because we planned it out like three years in advance,” Kanyingi added.
On the decision of quitting their jobs in the US and taking the risk of investing back home, they said that it all revolved around the social aspect.
Kanyingi was pursuing a career in IT while his wife was a nurse.
“We missed the social aspect because that lacks there, you can have all the money you want but you still miss that social aspect
“There’s an emptiness, there’s something that Kenyans have that you cannot get outside the country,” they said.
The stopover has a restaurant, bar, garden, kids zone, roof top bar, nyama choma zone, coffee shop and a mini-mart.
“We grow 99 percent of the food that is taken here including the chicken. She grows them, and she also did the deco,” Kanyingi said.
During the campaign season, the establishment played host to a number of politicians including William Ruto and Raila Odinga.