In 1977, C. Kenneth Imports, Inc., “CKI”, was founded by our CEO, Kang Chae Jung. Prior to opening “CKI”, Mr. Jung owned a small West Indian Grocery Store in Brooklyn, New York. For many years, Mr. Jung had difficulty stocking his store with West Indian products because New York City lacked any reliable distributors for these specialty items. Sensing an opportunity, Mr. Jung decided to open C. Kenneth Imports, Inc. in the Bronx Terminal Market to facilitate the distribution of Caribbean grocery products in New York City.
As a Korean immigrant, Mr. Jung was well aware of the importance of maintaining one’s cultural values and upbringing especially through eating foods indigenous to one’s native culture. Seeing the influx of Koreans immigrating to New York in the late 1970s and understanding their subsequent need to eat Korean food, Mr. Jung partnered with Haiti Foods Korea and expanded C. Kenneth Imports by becoming the importer and exclusive distributor of Haiti food products in the North East United States in 1981. That year, responding to the needs of our loyal customers, Mr. Jung also became one of the first importers of Jamaican Yellow Yam, Sweet Yam, and Negro Yam by arranging for air shipments from Jamaica to New York on a weekly basis.
Since then, C. Kenneth Imports, Inc. has grown to become the leading importer and distributor of African, Caribbean, Korean