Pearson and Co. sold to Keller

Cafe and catering biz stays in SoCo hands

Popular cafe and catering biz Pearson and Co. has been sold. Current owners Mike and Kendra McCoy, who purchased the business in 1999, will turn over their five Sonoma County locations to Chef Josef Keller. Yes, the same Josef Keller who ran Josef’s in Railroad Square for more than a dozen years and was a fixture in the local dining scene for decades.

“We were approached by Josef and Jill Keller to purchase. It was an easy choice for us. It was time for us to retire,” said Kendra McCoy.

BiteClub hasn’t yet reached Keller for comment, but McCoy said the cafes and catering business won’t change immediately, though Keller will likely take over operations in the next week or so and add his own touches.

“He’s anxious to get started,” said McCoy. “Josef is very interested in doing more of the takeout biz rather than the fine dining he did in the past,” she added.

Keller retired from Josef’s in April 2010, followed by a stint revamping the menus  for The Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program. One of the largest meal providers in they county, he oversaw preparations for nearly 1,000 meals a day and got used to more everyday cooking like turkey meatloaf, chicken curry with basmati rice and beef Stroganoff.

As for the McCoy’s next chapters: “I want to clean my  house. I’m just interested in simplifying my life quite a bit,” said Kendra.

Pearson and Co. locations include cafe and coffee carts at the Stein Complex on Old Redwood Highway at Santa Rosa Kaiser Permanente, 2500 Mendocino Ave. and the original location at 2579 Fourth St. in Santa Rosa. The original cafe opened in 1996 as one of the first gourmet take-out cafes in Sonoma County by Larry & Karen Pearson.

Have a P&Co. fave that you don’t want changed? Sound off!