Sally and Jeff first met one another in Ithaca, New York. He was a student at Cornell, she the third (of seven) daughters of Ruth Stiles Gannett and Hans Peter Kahn. Jeff, who grew up in Kew Gardens, NY, and was the elder son of Dorothy and Joseph Manfredi, became a Kahn family friend. When he told Ruth that he had quit his corporate job (Victoria Station management) to travel in Europe, she asked him to check on Sally at an art school in Samos, Greece. He did, and they fell madly in love.
Jeff returned to San Francisco and took a job as a cook at Scott’s Seafood, Sally went back to Oakland to finish her BFA at California College of the Arts. He had started throwing pots at Cornell (in the craft shop in the basement of Willard Strait) and continued to learn his craft, renting studio space from Tom Burdett on 25th Street. Sally began decorating pottery there.
Given a choice between blowing all of their savings returning to Greece to paint and pot or moving to the tiny Sonoma County town of Bodega and attempting to make a living making pottery, they packed up and built their first studio in a former bocce ball court/tavern, now the home of Northern Lights Surf Shop. Their first big order was to make the cioppino bowls for Scott’s Seafood.
They married in Bodega, inviting the whole town to a feast at the Bodega Fire Hall and a game of baseball. Ruth pitched, Peter barbequed a Bodega lamb (the wedding gift of local farmer Chester Manni) in the Greek manner: lemon, garlic and olive oil.
The move to Calistoga came two years later, when fellow Scott’s Seafood chef Phil Rogers bought the Calistoga Inn and offered them retail space and employment there. About a year later they bought the property at 1001 Foothill. Jeff’s brother Tom moved North to build the current studio/sale space.
Daughters Livia and Hannah grew up at the pottery in Calistoga. Both have grown up and moved on.