Regarded by many as the Rally Driver turned Cook, the true background of Phineas Kimathi is often overshadowed by his remarkable success in the world of motorsports
From humble beginnings Phineas was brought up in the agricultural district of Meru over two hundred kilometers from Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. While attending local primary schools he enjoyed watching rally cars pass by his door steps. The Safari Rally also referred to as the World’s toughest rally traditionally held over Easter holidays brought the world’s best drivers with the best cars to compete allover East Africa. It is at the age of ten Phineas decided to one day become a rally driver. He took no early decision on what turned out to be his career Hospitality Services or simply put Hotel and Catering Management.
Nkubu High School and Ikuu High School in the greater Meru provided Phineas an opportunity to achieve secondary education before joining the world renowned Kenya Utalii College to pursue a career in the hospitality management. After successfully completing several professional courses, He got a rare opportunity in the era of exchange controls and other government restrictions to join The Greenwich College in London, graduating in the year 1987. He returned to Kenya after working for Debenham Chain Stores and Trust House Forte' in London and worked as an assistant manager at the Pan Afric Hotel in Nairobi, Mombassa Beach Hotel and Kilaguni Lodge then managed by the quasi government African Tours and Hotels.
His business career started early after setting up one of the first hotel and catering consultancy services where he worked on several projects financed by reputable organizations like Barclays Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Kenya Tourist Development Corporation around Kenya.
The concept of Outsourcing services was fast gaining popularity in the mid nineties. This presented Phineas with another opportunity to pioneer in this challenging but otherwise rewarding venture. He shifted from consultancy and founded San Valencia Limited which services top companies in the East African Region.
Often referring his profession as a waiter, he enjoys team work and can be seen in big conferences helping set up tables. He leads a team of over 150 employees with over six outlets in Nairobi and is married with a happy family.