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Zella's is a tribute to my grandmother, who taught me the value of a great meal and the way in which it can unify people. I baked and cooked alongside her as a child and it’s those special memories that inspired me to transition from leading youth development programs to creating and serving home-cooked meals that allow everyone to experience a little bit of my grandmother Zella.

Zella grew her own vegetables, raised chickens, made her own jam and even churned butter. She taught me to cook using the freshest ingredients and to gather people together around meals. When people tell me "this reminds me of home" or "your food is sooooo good" I'm reminded of why I love what I do. It just makes me happy.

I started Zella's in 2005 after a successful career in youth development and community advocacy. It was great work, but I found that I was equally excited about the next dinner party or event I was catering on the side. So I made the decision to leap into Zella's full-time and was accepted into the food entrepreneur program at La Cocina.  After years of offering prepared foods in select local grocery stores and in our cafe spaces, we are taking a step back and planning some exciting things for the future. In the meantime, we are currently available for drop of caterings and look forward to hearing from you.

—Chef Dionne Knox

Farm fresh food that feeds the soul

Phone: (510) 532-6652


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