For the past 30 years, Bruce Riezenman has been at the helm of Park Avenue Catering, establishing one of the most trusted and called upon catering companies in the North Bay. Riezenman brought his talents to California’s Wine Country after owning and running two restaurants in New York City in the 1980s. He’s also helmed three Sonoma County eateries. Riezenman was drawn to the local food, wine and abundance of locally produced products. “For me, it was an irresistible combination,” he says.
With hundreds of catered events in Wine Country each year, and visitors traveling from around the globe in attendance, Riezenman knows why his company is the top choice.
“Consistency, quality and a focus on local people and products, which is why visitors come here in the first place,” he says. “We pay attention to each individual client and tailor the experience to them.”
By using their own in-house staffing, the company meets an unprecedented level of expertise and expectations for its clients. They have more than 250 full time and seasonal employees. “Our team has been with us for a long time. We are the exception in our industry,” he says.
The company stands out in other ways, as well. It’s actively involved in the community, giving back on a regular basis. For the past seven years, it’s donated 30 meals a week to SAY (Social Advocates for Youth), a local nonprofit. The team also volunteers at the Redwood Empire Food Bank and supports numerous local nonprofits with donations.
What’s more, Park Avenue has been partnering with local businesses and individuals to provide Park Avenue-produced meals for nonprofits and essential workers who are serving our community. “We are currently working with the Ceres Community Project, Catholic Charities, Corazon Healdsburg and other organizations who are benefitting from this program,” says Riezenman.
If that’s not enough food for thought, the company recently announced a new addition—chef Ari Weiswasser, owner of Glen Ellen Star and Food & Wine Chef of the Year, joined Riezenman as a partner at Park Avenue in January. The chefs first met in 2007 when Ari married his wife, Erinn, and Park Avenue provided the catering. They reconnected in 2013 for catering demands at Glen Ellen Star, where the two teamed up. Stellar Catering was born—the sister company to Park Avenue Catering—and for seven years now, the two chefs have developed a brand reflecting Ari’s innovative and sophisticated style.
“I’m excited about the direction we will go as a team,” Riezenman said in a prepared statement. “Ari is a great talent. His cuisine is fresh and innovative, and we share a focus on local and sustainable food.”