By Prudence Minayo
A taste of home away from home is always welcome for people living away from their homeland. David Kimani, a Kenyan living in Birmingham, Alabama is the general manager of Sahani Kitchen. This is a family-owned food truck that specializes in selling Kenyan food in Alabama and reminds the Africans in the city of home. From nyama choma, matumbo to samosa, the restaurant treats the Alabama population a variety of Kenyan dishes.
Here is Kimani’s story as told by WoK.
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Kimani’s family immigrated to the US when he was just 4-years-old. While there, they have always believed in the concept of working for themselves hence his parents have engaged in several businesses.
Growing up, David’s older brother loved cooking and together, they had a dream of opening their own restaurant one day and naming it Sahani. They saved up money and at first began by renting a small kitchen where they would cook meals to sell around the neighbourhood.
The Food Truck
They saved up money and were ready to put their dreams to reality. The Covid-19 pandemic played a vital role in ensuring they got their food track up and running. People were laid off and others stayed indoors. At this time, they were putting everything into place to start Sahani Kitchen. A restaurant called the Little London offered them as much help as possible and even agreed to act as their commissary.
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Kimani said the menu is continuously changing and he likes this side of the food track business, the menu is flexible.
“Taking a deep into the Kenyan culture. I feel like a lot of people don’t travel the world, but you can get a taste of Kenya right here in Birmingham,” said the Sahani Kitchen General Manager.
The Kenyan community around them love their menu and show up in numbers to offer support. On Sundays, a huge crowd gathers for the meals after church.
The family chip in to perform various duties with his mom being a master of the sides and an amazing ugali flipper and his dad taking care of the meat grills. They hope to grow their business even more and add more items to their menu.