Meet Kenneth Rogers
All about downtown
Kenny Rogers continues to find opportunities in the city he loves.
The longtime mechanic switched gears and opened a catering company in 1999 with childhood friend Jeremy Bryant. Then they opened 43rd St Café in 2005, which closed during the 2008 recession and re-emerged as Rain City Catering in a space downtown. Business grew and in 2011 they took over the Renton Pavilion Event Center.
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Events were cancelled. Kenny had to lay off his staff.
Yet Kenny found opportunity. Rain City Catering started a curbside pickup service. Each week they offer three fresh gourmet entrees and sides to choose from. The program still brings a steady stream of customers to the curb to pick up their orders every Saturday afternoon. Customers also continue to rely on Rain City Catering’s online a la carte products, from fajitas to clam chowder to pre-cooked Applewood-smoked bacon.
And of course, there’s the food truck. Rain City Too was a hit at Seahawks training camp ahead of this year’s NFL season. The popularity earned Kenny an invitation to Touchdown City outside Lumen Field on game day. Fans gobbled up the chicken and waffle skewers he sold that afternoon.
Spotting another opportunity, Kenny started planning a higher-end downtown convenience store with a full kitchen. He’s thrilled to have Rain City Market open in early 2022 at the corner of 3rd Street and Burnett Avenue in beautiful downtown Renton. The market will offer Rain City Catering’s online products, will serve breakfast and lunch, and provide space for pop-up chefs, cooking classes, or beer and wine tastings.
Kenny said the community, the people and other businesses make Renton a great place to be a business owner.
“This city supports small businesses more than other places,” he said. “Renton respects the small fish rather than focusing on large corporations. The city wants small businesses here, and that will be the key to success.”
“The city wants small businesses here, and that will be the key to success.”
Kenny is a role model in investing in the community. He sponsors events, is a Renton Downtown Partnership board member and loves walking around downtown talking with people. He’s thrilled to see the city putting energy into downtown improvements.
Kenny’s vision is to keep growing downtown, attracting young business owners who will give young people a reason to come downtown.
“We have an up-and-coming young business community, and more new businesses like Boon Boona Coffee, Vigor Gym along with Urban Sprouts diversify it even more,” he said.
It all comes back to having a quality product and investing in the community.
“I could put my money into social media ads—or I could put it into the community,” Kenny said. “When you support people, they will support you.
“Embrace the community and people will come.”