Philemon Kirambi: Kenyan Who Started Successful Business In The US With Only 30 Dollars


By Prudence Minayo:

Philemon Kirambi is the owner of Kulcha Kernel. This is a store based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA that deals in health and wellness products as well as Kenyan and African made artefacts, clothes and bags. The businessman started the business with $30 and has today turned into a successful enterprise.

While they started by selling to clients physically, today they can sell online and ship products to various locations.

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He believes that Kenyans are very adaptable people, thanks to their educators. They have the potential to perform well in all areas of life but are at times hindered by tribalism, which is evident both within and outside the country.

Moving to the US

Raised up in Buruburu, he loved sports, especially basketball. His dream was to move to the United States where the prospects of making it in the game were high.



He got the opportunity to go to the US at the age of 19 but did not pursue his dreams in sports.

Starting the business

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Life became extremely hard and it is this hardship that gave birth to his business.
One day, he was very broke and together with his friend, they went to New York. At the time, there was a Kenyan event happening.

Having only $30, they bought key chains and small maps, and sold it to the Kenyans. People bought their goods and even began asking if they have other products.

They then diversified to other things, like t-shirts. They began attending events where Kenyans from different parts of the country met. The Kenyans would buy their products and they kept on expanding.


soon, they weren’t just catering to the Kenyan demographic but to other people as well including celebrities. They have been able to dress people, like Peetah Morgan, Morgan Heritage and Elaine.
In a recent interview with Moving Pictures Kenya, it was revealed that they have thousands of clients buying from their shop, Kulcha Kernel.

They have also diversified their products to include a lot of health and beauty products. The store stocks different herbs, such as, moringa, neem, ashwagandha and sea moss, which is their top seller.

They also have different clothes and bags designed by Kenyans and several artefacts as well. They pride themselves in selling non GMO products sourced from a reputable company that is USDA certified. Kirambi believes that we are what we eat.

Hence, people need to make health choices. He said their shop has herbs that can help control several diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure.

They also offer aroma therapy and have incenses, sage among other things. While many businesses closed during the pandemic, theirs grew.

A lot of people became more aware of what they were ingesting and this meant a boom in business for them.

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