Kuli Kuli Family,
As many of you know, I began this journey with Kuli Kuli as a bright-eyed Peace Corps Volunteer almost exactly six years ago. It was in my small Nigerien village that I learned my first and most important entrepreneurial lesson.
My village in Niger was tiny, home to just 2,000 people. Geographically, it should have taken no more than ten minutes to cross it, and yet it always took forty. Every couple of feet, I would stop to speak with a neighbor or friend, asking about their health, family and farm. While this might sound like a terrible waste of time, it built incredibly strong relationships and within just a few weeks I had dozens of friends.
When I was feeling homesick, my friends acted out their favorite parts of American movies. When I struggled to learn the local language, they sat for hours with me going through flash cards. And when was feeling weak from eating a nutrient-deficient vegetarian diet, my Nigerien friends brought me moringa leaves to re-energize me with the nutrients my body needed. It was in Niger that I first learned the power of community.
A terrorist attack forced me to return back to America before my Peace Corps service was complete. Starting Kuli Kuli was a way for me to stay connected with incredible communities in West Africa while forming a new community here in the US of friends who believed that food should nourish the communities where it’s sourced and the communities where its sold.
As Kuli Kuli has grown, so too has our community. We would not be here without the customers, farmers, advisors, investors, nutritionists and brand ambassadors who believed that this crazy Peace Corps dream could become a thriving, multi-million dollar social enterprise.
One of Kuli Kuli’s core values is gratitude. On this day of thanks, I’d like to express my utmost gratitude to you for being a part of the Kuli Kuli Family.