Jennifer Colliau is a small business owner, Beverage Director, and veteran bartender. She was born and raised in Oakland, California. She graduated from Oakland Tech High School before attending the University of Southern California for Theater. She got her start bartending in Los Angeles, California at the Irish Times, a pub, while pursuing a career in acting. She ultimately decided to forgo that career path and moved back to the Bay Area to attend trade school and California College of the Arts for woodworking. She began working at Bucci’s in Emeryville, California, where she began her career in the bar industry. She discusses her early childhood and education, time in Los Angeles, return to the Bay Area, developing a passion for cocktails and the bar industry, furniture making, the Bay Area bar community, working with Thad Vogler and Erik Adkins at the Slanted Door, the rise of contemporary cocktail culture, starting Small Hand Foods, being a women in the bar industry, and what sets the Bay Area apart from other places.
This West Coast Cocktail Project oral history transcript is now available online.