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2017 BEST Business Restaurant: John Ash & Co.

Author: Petter Westby and Cerrissa Kim
June, 2017 Issue

“We contribute our ongoing success mostly to the notion of always seeking to exceed our customers’ expectations and continuously performing above our standard service level.” —Percy Brandon

 The Best Restaurant award for 2017 goes to John Ash & Co. Or perhaps better said, goes to John Ash & Co. again. Since the inauguration of NorthBay biz’s awarding of the Best Business Restaurant honors, John Ash has earned the top spot for restaurants every year. Given that we live in a part of the country saturated with fine dining venues, this is an astonishing achievement by John Ash & Co.

 The restaurant started its ascent towards greatness 39 years ago when it was located in Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa. Then, 30 years ago, the restaurant moved to its current landmark location off River Road in North Santa Rosa, where it has been experiencing the sort of popularity that’s only afforded to the most popular restaurants in the North Bay. Percy Brandon is the general manager of John Ash & Co. and Vintners Inn, which share the same location. Says Brandon, “We contribute our ongoing success mostly to the notion of always seeking to exceed our customers’ expectations and continuously performing above our standard service level. Because of our location, we are unique in the sense that we are a destination with little to no walk-ins or impulse customers,” he adds. “Our customers plan their dining event with us, get in a car and make the trip here. Therefore, we have to be extra strict with ourselves when we assess performance. For the customer to make the decision to come here, we know that the expectation is that of something out of the ordinary.”

 When asked to define the culture of John Ash & Co. and its family of employees, Brandon becomes enthused. The motto of our culture, he says, is: “Celebrate everything!” “We strongly believe in sustainability and utilization of local products, in fact, we have our own garden for most of our produce needs. While all of that and many other values are important to us, the fundamental underlying cultural current in all that we do is to celebrate. We celebrate weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries, but we equally celebrate business partnerships, new employees, veteran employees, Tuesdays, mornings, and so on. We celebrate everything at John Ash & Co., and this celebration mindset enhances our customers’ celebratory mood.” Brandon is not overstating the emphasis on celebration; the phrase ‘Celebrate Everything’ is a registered trademark of John Ash & Co. and Vintners Inn.

If you haven’t visited John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, make a reservation, or stop by for happy hour one day after work. The Front Room Bar & Lounge offers a wide selection of appetizer items as well as wines by the glass, draft beers and cocktails at reasonable prices. If you encounter an impeccably-dressed gentleman, making sure everyone’s needs are catered to, chances are it’s likely to be General Manager Percy Brandon.

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