Rex, founder of Bradford Catered Events, was born and raised in the Knoxville area. His passion for food and the food industry began at a very young age thanks to his mother.
Frances Wylie Jones graduated from the University of Tennessee as a Home Economist before meriting a job with the Power Board demonstrating how to cook in the new electric kitchens. She was quite influential around the area’s food industry, reaching thousands with her own radio show, “It’s Tops” on WNOX. On it, she shared recipes and gave cooking tips for how to cook with electric kitchens.
As she experimented with new recipes at home often, it was natural for Rex to follow in her footsteps. In fact, he worked in the food service industry throughout high school and college and soon began thoughts of a food business of his own.
In 1982, Rex turned those thoughts into reality, opening his own business as the concessionaire for the Knoxville Zoo, the Environment Restaurant, which was the first table service restaurant in the nation at a zoological park. It was then that the company first began catering weddings and business functions.
After some time, Rex opened Abner’s Attic in the historic Baker Peters House, while he continued to plan and execute outside catering.
It didn’t take long for it to become apparent that custom catering was Rex’s real love, so he put a name to his catering efforts: Rex Bradford Jones Caterer. The company began to grow with key staff and the interest and talent of Rex’s son, Bradford.
As the company continued to grow with wonderful staff and really talented people, and as Bradford became more and more involved, the catering business became successful under both identities, Rex Bradford Jones Caterer and Abner’s Attic.
In 2013, the Abner’s Attic name was changed to Bradford Catered Events, an elegant, descriptive name that reflects the company’s high level of standards and honors the connection and history of the founding Jones family.
Today, Bradford Catered Events operates as one of Knoxville’s favorites for both wedding catering and special, customized event catering out of a state-of-the art commissary in Knoxville.
Throughout the entire history of Bradford Catered Events, we have never wavered in our commitment to selfless service, fine cuisine and family- and faith-based values. We still love meeting people in person and enjoy turning simple reasons for gathering into entire experiences to be remembered. None of that will ever change.
Meet some key members of the team that brings your events to life.
Denise is a native of the Chicago area. She attended the University of Miami graduating with a degree in Psychology. She worked for Delta Airlines for thirteen years as a flight attendant and a reservations supervisor.
After staying home to raise her two children, both of which have graduated from the University of Tennessee, Denise returned to the work force as the office manager for Bradford Catered Events. Denise’s favorite part of her job is the progression of working with brides from start to finish to make their wedding day perfect for them.
Kate is a certified culinarian with an A.A.S. Degree in Management from Walters State Community College Culinary Arts Program. Kate is entering her seventh year at Bradford Catered Events.
As the head chef, she is responsible for creating and developing many of the scratch-made menu items that Bradford Catered Events serves. She loves being a part of the family work environment that the company provides.
Chris Gildrie firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris, a native of Maryville, TN, has always had a passion for music and events, stemming from his involvement with the music ministry at Fairview United Methodist Church. That ministry encouraged him to pursue event management and logistics while obtaining a history degree from Maryville College in 2013.
Soon after graduation, Chris landed at Bradford Catered Events where he could learn and grow his passion for the events industry. Bringing experience from The Tennessee Theatre, Maryville College’s Clayton Center of the Arts, and the Knoxville Convention Center, Chris is the Director of Operations and Logistics, responsible for the back-end administrative tasks and coordination with the operations and sales staff. Chris’s favorite part of his job is working for a company with such a strong reputation and family feel and helping it continue to grow.