our story

our purpose

We seed vibrant community.  

the kenari mission

Increase the growing, making, buying and eating of good food within neighborhoods worldwide.

how we do it

We design and execute neighborhood market systems, in agriculture (food), education, health and energy.

Kenari Neighborhood Systems incorporate the power of diversity and connectivity in all elements of design.

the beginnings

Founder Jonathan Hosseini was born in the USA, lived as a child in Iran and then Botswana in Southern Africa. From the age of 12 he began dreaming of mobilization of economies through investment in agriculture, health and education systems. His vision increasingly identified an engaged, and powerful local community as the key building block of wider economic health. Jonathan's life and work experience has been defined by work transforming complex human systems.

2009

In early 2009  Jonathan resigned from a comfortable senior position in the multibillion dollar Southwire Company and joined with co-founder Zia Khan to start the Kenari Company. With an initial focus on food systems, the company set out on its mission with 5 simple business tenets:

  1. We will crack the puzzle of a broken food system.
  2. We will do it as a business. Subject ourselves to market forces. No whining.
  3. Brand is important.
  4. Not just brand on a head of cabbage. Must carve strategic positions in the supply chain.
  5. As a social enterprise we will say we have succeeded when:
    • we have built a business model that is replicating itself; and/or
    • others are copying us and doing a good job (in which case we will go back to number 2 and copy them back and strengthen the market) 

With these business tenets in hand the duo built a network of team members, partners and strategic alliances as it experimented first hand with the growing, processing, distribution and retail of good food.


the kenari neighborhood food system

Early on, in the hands-on engagement, two central needs stood out. 

  1. The puzzle to be solved is not how to scratch the soil on expensive land and try to make the numbers work, but rather a systemic puzzle of how to fundamentally transform unhealthy patterns of growing, processing, distribution and consumption of food. There is a need for new distributed patterns with as many people as possible, growing as much as possible, everywhere and anywhere.
  2. Community and Primal Drivers. Connection to food and the soil from which it originates is a primal yearning hard wired in humans. Food is central to community, and community is vital for good food.

design of the kenari neighborhood food system has evolved with the core elements being:

  1. Nucleus Farms in the neighborhood - that serve as a community place, learning place and catalyst for growing food by anyone in their own homes, or community gardens or beyond.
  2. Community Kitchens (licensed share commercial kitchens) - local processing.
  3. Convenient Neighborhood Retail (markets) of good food with low transaction costs and low barriers to entry. 

the focus on robust local markets - the kenari market maker technology

The Kenari Company built succesful, if basic, operations in urban farming, processing and packaging, and retail of neighborhood processed foods, and in the process has zoomed in on what it considers the part of the puzzle needing the most attention - that of robust, resilient locally anchored markets for good food.

While continuing to operate and learn from its business units in neighborhood farms and food products the company's primary focus is on the prototyping, piloting and deployment of the kenari market maker technology

The kenari market maker technology stimulates good food production and accessibility at the community level. We provide the consumer, retailer, processor, distributor and grower with market transaction tools and information to create, supply, and access good food markets anywhere.