Rex, founder and owner 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 at a state-of-the art 5,000 sq. ft. commissary in North 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.
Rex Bradford Jones
Rex is the founder and owner of Bradford Catered Events. Rex brings three decades of catering experience to the company. After spending his entire life in the foodservice industry, he realized that his real love was being a custom caterer and working with customers to provide quality, one-of-a-kind events to suit their needs. He oversees all aspects of daily operations while training and consulting on menus and events at Bradford Catered Events.
Bradford W. Jones
Bradford has grown up in the hospitality industry from his younger years of scraping plates in the back at wedding receptions to now coordinating the business side of the family catering business. He has since grown to become responsible for operations and sales at Bradford Catered Events.
Bradford earned a management degree from Clemson University. After graduating, he served as the senior leader for one of the highest performing Chick-fil-A restaurants in the southeast United States in Murrells Inlet, SC.
Diane has always loved food! Some of her fondest memories are cooking with her mom and then serving and delivering freshly prepared meals to friends and family. She is a retired elementary school teacher with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Knoxville has been her home for the past 8 years, most of which she has been one of our fine sales and event coordinators at Bradford Catered Events.
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.
Alyssa graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with degrees in Latin and Classical History. She stumbled into Bradford Catered Events after moving back to Knoxville to be closer to family and developed a love for our staff and business! She has spent most of her working years in the food service world, and loves getting to experience the administrative side of the industry.
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 sous 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, 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.
Ean holds an Associate’s Degree in Business Management. Ean developed a passion for the food service industry after spending over three years in a leadership position for Chick-fil-A. Ean was recruited to work for Bradford Catered Events after being a wedding client of ours! Now, Ean is the general manager of our Lunchbox division where he oversees our market staff and coordinates with catering clients.