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Will Musk’s $5 and Under Restaurant Be a Success?

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Kimbal Musk recently announced that he’s opening a restaurant where everything will be $5 or under. Those who only know him as a Silicon Valley big-wig may be surprised by his move but the truth is he’s always been interested in creating healthy, affordable food for people. Eater recently posted an in-depth profile and had some opinions on whether his idea would be a success or not. The article is titled Why Kimbal Musk Is Opening a $5-And-Under Restaurant Concept.

Virginia Chamlee writes, “The leap from Silicon Valley to farmhouse kitchen might not seem like a natural one but for Kimbal Musk, it felt perfectly natural. Musk — who was an early investor in brother Elon Musk's X.com (now part of Paypal), and sits on the board of Tesla and SpaceX — worked in tech for years but says he always harbored a love for cooking and a passion for nutrition. After graduating from culinary school in 2001, Musk opened his first restaurant — The Kitchen — in Boulder, Colo. in 2004. In true Colorado fashion, the concept is "garden-to-table" — an urban bistro in an eco-friendly space offering $17 orders of "Mushrooms on Toast" and $27 Colorado Striped Bass.

"The Kitchen was a really great concept, it just wasn't at the price point that made it accessible to people," notes Musk. "People could visit occasionally, and some people were coming regularly, it just wasn't a novel concept for every customer." "Food is the new internet." Musk's frustration began to outweigh his passion just as the lure of the tech world began to beckon again. After spending a couple of years focusing on opening and running the The Kitchen, he returned to the world of tech, taking on the role of CEO at a company in Boulder called OneRiot.

Then he broke his neck. The accident happened on a ski trip with family in 2010: Musk flipped off a tube, and landed head-first in the snow. It was during the recovery, which required months of laying in a bed, that he began to renew his passion for food. "After I broke my neck, I began thinking more about The Kitchen: How can we come up with some way to make real food more affordable? Food that's locally-grown, if possible, fundamentally nourishing to the body, nourishing to the planet."

He opened his first attempt at more affordable, nourishing food next door to The Kitchen in 2011. Fittingly, it's called Next Door and it sources nearly half of its food from farms within driving distance. Locally-grown ingredients, says Musk, are more important to him than produce that is "certified organic from Mexico."

With this new way of thinking, at Hoodmart we believe this may just be a success. Only time will tell, of course, but if you’re interested in opening a similar restaurant – or any commercial kitchen – we have quality equipment ready for you. Call us now to speak to an experienced tech who can assist you in finding just what you need.

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