Co-Founder Kilo Concepts
Born in Brooklyn to a family of restaurateurs and raised in the Caribbean, Joshua Adjodha is no stranger to global cuisine and the F&B industry. In eight years, Joshua and his partners have managed to pull off Kilo Concepts in Singapore, Bali, Jakarta and remain at the top of their game. He recently took time out of his busy schedule to share the brand’s successes and future plans.
Q: When did you realise that a career in the F&B industry was the one for you?
A: I’m not sure if it was ever a realisation; rather, I was drawn to food at a very early age. Since I quit school, I had no other choice but to work any odd job I could get in the F&B industry, starting as a dishwasher at the age of 14 in Puerto Rico and literally working every position that existed in restaurants and nightlife, and I started developing a passion for the industry.
If there was ever a realisation, I think it truly hit me during my first year in Singapore, eight years ago, where I saw a vibrant F&B and hospitality scene ripe for development. I remember talking to friends and business owners in F&B who would ask for my opinion and listen to my advice. I think it was at that point that I realised that I not only wanted, but also had the ability, to create concepts that would add to the then vibrant scene in Singapore.
Q: What brought you to Singapore initially?
A: I followed my girlfriend at that time, who took a three-month contract job, and during my stay I fell in love with Singapore and Asia. Everyone I met then seemed to be killing it at whatever they were doing, had an entrepreneurial spirit and I sensed opportunities. At that point in time, I started creating concepts and putting together business plans. I became friends with Javier (founder of Kilo and also a Puerto Rican) and we noticed there was a synergy working together that evolved into Kilo’s menu planning and business development.
Q: What are some of your proudest moments since stepping into the industry?
A: I would say when I witness someone grow who has worked with me for a long time. As a company, we believe in developing a team. Being able to give someone a career in our company and grow together is very encouraging. Another proud moment is when we launch new outlets. When I first opened Kilo Lounge in Singapore, it was truly the best night seeing everyone so happy and proud of what we made.
Q: Where or what do you think shaped your entrepreneurial drive?
A: Singapore. When I decided to extend my first trip, that’s where I thought about what I should do next. I am motivated to create something based on the things I like – food, entertainment, design and art. Singapore has encouraged me to try harder because of the high cost of living. So I followed my ambition to start my own business.
Q: What do you think has brought Kilo its huge success today?
A: There are many aspects that influence it. Our business approach is to be honest and, whatever we do, we always focus on people. I think that’s what makes Kilo a success. We want to communicate moments defined by hearty food, soulful music, warm conversations and unforgettable occasions.
Q: Now that the Kilo has a sort of cult following in Singapore, Bali and Jakarta, are there any future plans for the brand regionally or internationally?
A: The plan has always been to open our brands under the Kilo Collective umbrella. Currently we have Kilo Kitchen, Kilo Lounge and Camp Kilo Charcoal Club. We also plan to expand to several countries, such as Korea, Hong Kong and the Netherlands. We want to establish Kilo as an international brand that is consistently recognisable from its design, culture and food. We also hope to stay consistent with what we’re doing, to gain people’s trust when they see and hear of Kilo.
Asia Dreams November 2019 – January 2020