Shannon and Christina Kelly established Oak Avenue Catering in 2009. But the company’s roots run much deeper. In 1975 Tony Knickerbocker started one of Napa Valley’s first catering companies – Knickerbockers’ Catering. Upon returning from France refining his skills under the direction of Maître Cuisinier Joseph Thuet, Shannon was recruited as Knickerbockers’ Chef de cuisine in 1985. Shortly thereafter, Christina’s natural talent for pastry was realized as an invaluable addition to the culinary experience.
Shannon and Christina were key figures in the evolution of the Tony’s catering business. Together they set the goal of preparing local and seasonal ingredients that showcased the incredible wines of their hometown. After three decades of success, Tony retired and sold the company to his long-time chefs and dear friends, Shannon and Christina Kelly.
While the goals first set by Tony and Shannon still hold true, today Oak Avenue Catering aims to break lusterless catering stigmas. Shannon and Christina see the wine valleys of Northern California, and especially their hometown of St. Helena, as a global address. To them, it’s an honor to be in their position. Their focus on preparing inspired dishes and cultivating a staff whose central focus is providing exceptional service is fundamental to our success. This unique corner of the world is deservingly acclaimed, and the resulting expectations must be met.
As Shannon succinctly explains, it means we must offer a personal catering experience. Shannon and Christina have a hand in every event catered by Oak Avenue Catering. They want a level of intimacy to exist in the entire experience – the planning, the execution, and the appreciation of business. Internally it means something else. Our employees are like family. They take as much pride in the business as Christina and Shannon do. Shannon and Christina understand it as a compliment to the working environment they have created. They are overwhelmingly proud to run Oak Avenue Catering as a local, family business.