Feisal Hussein, 32

Founder

Pallet Café
My Story

In 2019, Feisal converted a plot at the heart of Nairobi’s Lavington into a sanctuary of greenery, quiet and culinary magic.

It is a place of good vibes, he says. “There is concrete everywhere. We live in concrete blocks and work in concrete blocks. People come here to have easy conversations.”

When he started, he was heavily involved in operating the restaurant.

"When you have a team, you must ensure 60 percent of them trust the manager. The remaining 40 percent should trust the 60 percent. That is how you run a cohesive unit."

“These days, I come here three and four hours every day to hang out before leaving for my other engagements. The team is now in charge,” he says.

He has since opened three more restaurants, including one in the Coast. His businesses employ 83 people. These experiences have come with lessons.

“When you have a team, you must ensure 60 percent of them trust the manager. The remaining 40 percent should trust the 60 percent. That is how you run a cohesive unit.”

His hair, a wild afro, he says, reflects his persona: organic. “I let things flow naturally. I do not impose myself too much. Whether in business or social connections,” he says.

Would he rather be elsewhere? Feisal shifts in his chair uncomfortably.

“I would still be doing this, maybe in a different context and on a different scale,” says the father-of-two.

James Kahongeh