Kansas City lost one of it's freshest restaurant concepts when Kind Food closed it's doors on September 1 of 2022. Kind Food delivered on it's promise to make it easier for KC to eat more plants and be good to people. Owners Jonelle (Front of House, Design, Marketing, & Team Management), and Phillip (Executive Chef & Kitchen Manager) had been open since 2019.
They started with pop-ups, then moved to a container in the Iron District. In early 2022 they moved to their final location in Westwood. Jonelle said "in hindsight, we may have been better off leasing a smaller space." The team stumbled a few times this year with closures due to illness and staffing, which really hurt financially.
Last week they sent out a call for investors, which was unsuccessful, and they simply ran out of funds. This is such a shame because Kind Food was really a one-of-a-kind concept in Kansas City. An entirely plant-based vegan restaurant with a true commitment to reducing their environmental impact featuring 100% compostable carry -out containers along with recycling and compost receptacles in the dining room. The team also supported local charities by donating a portion of the proceeds to them on a regular basis. Personally, one facet of their closure that hurts is I believe the above attributes should earn them the right to be wildly successful.
A lot of KF fans will be shocked to learn of their closure. They seemed "too big to fail" all along as the quickly outgrew their container in the iron district and maintained a following throughout the pandemic. Their space in Westwood had a fresh, clean, and welcoming modern vibe that was meticulously designed and curated by co-owner Jonelle.
Chef Phillip's food is fresh and wholesome plant-based cuisine with bright, familiar flavors and textures. Our patients and followers really loved their food, and it showed on our polls. Perhaps most famous for their house-made vegan burgers called the "Meta Burger" This burger landed Kind Food in the top 3 of our Best Plant-based Burgers in KC 2022 poll. Their "Chef's Famous Chili" won our Best Plant-based chili in KC 2022 poll. Another fan favorite, and one of their original offerings, was their "BBQ Jackpot" sandwich, which was planned to be included in the upcoming Best Plant-based BBQ in KC 2022 poll.
What's next for Kind Food? For now, they're going to get normal jobs and brace for the financial impact the closure may have on them. Chef Phillip is already interviewing at local restaurants. Jonelle is planning to get "something easy" for work, and she deserves it! As a founder myself, I know what it's like to wear too many hats at once; in a word - draining. There is already talk of pop-ups, and who knows what the future holds for the Kind Food team. One thing is for sure, they have made their mark on the Kansas City Plant-based restaurant scene! They have a massive fan-base that will be ready to get their hands on some tasty Kind Food sometime in the future.
While we wait for their return in one form or another, please make an effort to support our local plant-based restaurants and those with options. You can find more of these restaurants and vote for your favorites on our Dining Guides page.