Kimbal Musk is an entrepreneur and humanitarian who has made his mark on the lives of many people. He owns The Kitchen, which (for those who do not already know) is a family of restaurants across Boulder and Denver. Kimbal graduated with a business degree from Queen’s University in 1995 and has been taking the world by storm since. He is active in his community, is an investor in a variety of industries, and sits on the board of numerous large organizations.
Kimbal’s first business venture was a residential painting company. He and his brother, Elon, wasted no time forming their second business, Zip2. Zip2 Corporation was an online city guide that provided content for such online publications as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. That company was sold to Compaq in 1999 for $307 million. In the years since that time, he has invested in several other businesses, primarily including software and technology companies. He was a major investor in his brother’s startup firm, www.X.com, which was an online payments system. That business was also sold for a huge sum, and is known today as www.paypal.com.
Musk made a major career change, enrolling in the French Culinary Institute in New York, NY (currently known as the International Culinary Center). In April 2005, he opened The Kitchen, along with Hugo Matheson and Jen Lewin. Today, business at The Kitchen is booming, and it’s no surprise. The restaurant has received accolades from Zagat, The James Beard Foundation, and Food & Wine. In addition to a delicious menu and unbeatable service, The Kitchen is a major contributor to community food-based initiatives.
Each of The Kitchen restaurants contributes a portion of profits to planting gardens around the community and at schools. There is now a 501c3 nonprofit organization associated with the restaurants, called The Kitchen Community. This organization was founded in 2011 with the mission to create “community through food.” Learning Gardens built by The Kitchen Community can be found all over the United States primarily in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.
The Kitchen’s outstanding dining experience and philanthropic mission have led to blazing success and rapid expansion. Musk has been busy in a number of Colorado towns with The Kitchen Fort Collins opening in late June.
In January 2014, Musk told Crain’s Chicago Business that The Kitchen restaurant will be expanding into Chicago. It makes sense that the first place for The Kitchen’s expansion would be Chicago, since Musk spent an entire year there building 100 learning gardens for the non-profit. There’s no date set for the grand opening, but the location is a 6,500 square foot space with outdoor seating and a full bar. Just as The Kitchen has become an integral part of the Boulder community, it is sure to do the same for Chicago.