Media Information

100 Years, 5 Generations
Perona Farms Celebrates a Century

For Immediate Release | June 21, 2017

Perona Farms was a dream come true that went slightly “off the wall” as far as Emil and Angiolina Perona were concerned. Emil’s career began in the kitchen of a London hotel at the age of 14, progressed to vaudeville stages all over the world, and culminated – perhaps in his venture to live the quiet life of a dairy farmer in rural northern New Jersey. In order to supplement the small farm income, they started taking in borders and around that boarding house table, a story began that has lasted 100 years. The boarding house became a restaurant and today a landmark venue for weddings and special events.

The Celebration

The Perona Farms Foundation is hosting an event July 18 at 6 PM to celebrate the 100th anniversary. The charity event at Perona Farms in Andover, NJ will include a tasting reception featuring 40 chefs from across the country, entertainment, a hot air balloon, and fireworks. Items showcasing the past century will be on display. Tickets are available online at Funds raised will benefit the James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program for culinary education and other foundation programming.

“We look forward to welcoming so many wonderful chefs and friends from across the country to take part in this celebration and we are excited for the next 100 years,” said Mark Avondoglio, 4th Generation.

The Early Years

As the restaurant grew in the early years, Emil’s brothers owned the famous El Morocco in Manhattan and helped by sending guests to visit Perona Farms for rest and relaxation. Emil’s friends from the entertainment industry spread his fame as an innkeeper and for over a century countless prominent figures have visited Perona Farms.

A listing of notable visitors could go on indefinitely, but among the most famous visitors early visitors were Jimmy Durante, Errol Flynn, Ethel Merman, Peter Lorre, Helen Hayes and Joe DiMaggio. In the years since, the family has welcomed a visit from Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and catered events for Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan.

Local people flocked to Perona Farms, too. Emil and “Mother” Perona’s daughter, Aida, helped as waitress and dishwasher, starting the family tradition of “everyone helps”. Maurice DeBergh, a young man who came to the farm as a guest, filled in and helped, too. Soon, he also became part of the restaurant family — he married Aida in 1932. The Debergh’s daughter, Maureen, and her husband, Victor Avondoglio, continued the family traditions of excellence, creating an atmosphere where fine food and service has been their constant endeavor.

“As long as I can remember, we have had a real family atmosphere and made an effort to personally know each of our guests. Many of those guests over the years became great friends,” said Victor Avondoglio, 3rd generation.

The Perona Farms Food Specialties division started in the 1950s with packaged meals distributed to local supermarkets and specialty stores. In the 1990s the food specialties division continued to innovate and began producing smoked fish products. The smoked Atlantic salmon received the world’s number one rating from Cooks Illustrated Magazine in addition to countless accolades including Food & Wine Magazine. The smoked salmon business was sold in 2008 as the family sharpened their focus on special events and catering.

“We conduct business every day with great pride knowing the tremendous legacy our ancestors left us,” said Tracey Ivaldi, 4th generation.

Today & The Future

Today, the century old traditions remain with a culinary vision focused on local, seasonal ingredients and a commitment to customer service and the community. The family spends countless hours each year supporting community organizations and has recently started a Perona Farms Foundation to better organize their support and charitable giving.

The facilities remain extremely unique and countless couples have found the apple orchard, Perona Lake, ballroom spaces, and the 1930s cattle barn the perfect locations to celebrate weddings. The most recent additions include a hydroponic greenhouse for greens and herbs and hives of honeybees all in a constant effort to remain true to the farming roots that started it all.

Currently the fourth generation, Mark, Wade, Kirk, and Tracey, lead the family business. Two members of the fifth generation, Bryant and Marley, have recently joined the team to carry on the family vision.

“The credit really goes to our outstanding team from the kitchen to the front of the house that has made it possible every step of the way,” said Bryant Avondoglio, 5th generation.

Read the complete Perona Farms history here.

Historic Photos & Video Content Available Upon Request

Join the Perona Farms Foundation
as we celebrate

Perona Farms 100th Anniversary

 Tuesday, July 18, 2017
6 PM to 10 PM

Perona Farms
Andover, New Jersey

Tasting Reception Featuring Over 40 Chefs

Fireworks, Hot Air Balloon, Entertainment, Premium Bar

Business Casual Attire

Hosted by The Perona Farms Foundation
To Benefit The James Beard Foundation

Tickets Are Only Available Online in Advance

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine.

Funds raised at this event will go toward the JBF National Scholars Program, and toward JBF’s other educational programs. For more information click here.

The Perona Farms Foundation’s mission is to support the community in the vision of Mr. & Mrs. Perona and the Avondoglio Family. Perona Farms has been proud to call Northwest New Jersey home for 100 years.

The Perona Farms Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.
The estimated fair market value of each ticket purchased is $55.
Therefore, $45 of each ticket purchased is deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Media Contact

Bryant Avondoglio
5th Generation Perona Family

Request Media Credentials

Perona Farms 100th Anniversary
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
6 PM to 10 PM
Perona Farms
350 Andover Sparta Road, Andover, New Jersey

Featured Chefs

Heintz Aichem | Black Forest Inn | Stanhope, NJ
Brian Bagley | Perona Farms | Andover, NJ
Dave Banks | Harry’s Hospitality Group | Wilmington, DE
Florian Bellanger | Co-Owner of Mad-Mac | Paterson, NJ
Brad Boyle | Salt: A Gastro Pub | Stanhope, NJ
David Britton | Pies on Wheels | Glen Falls, NY
Anthony Bucco | Restaurant Latour | Hamburg, NJ
David Burke | Tavern62 by David Burke | New York, NY
Mike Carrino | Pig & Prince | Montclair, NJ
Paul Connors | Alumni of Perona Farms
Scott Cutaneo | 57 Main at the Oldwick General Store | Oldwick, NJ
Ben Del Coro | Fossil Farms | Boonton, NJ
Andre DeWaal | Andre’s | Sparta, NJ
Roberto Donna | Al Dente Ristorante | Washington, DC
Gordon Drysdale | San Francisco, CA
Michael Ginor | Hudson Valley Foie Gras & Lola Restaurant | New York, NY
Bryan Gregg | Tastes by Bryan Gregg | NJ & Brooklyn, NY
Rich Hashway | Krave Cafe and Caterer | Newton, NJ
Corey Heyer | The Bernards Inn | Bernardsville, NJ
Robert Irvine | Robert Irvine Public House | Las Vegas, NV
Jesse Jones | Jesse Concepts | South Orange, NJ
James Laird | Restaurant Serenade | Chatham, NJ
Walter Leffler | 5 Diamond Consultants
Eric Levine | Morris Tap & Grill | Randolph, NJ
Brian Loiacono | Acme | New York, NY
Anthony LoPinto | Tavern 5 Restaurant | Pompton Plains, NJ
George Mandakas | New York, NY
Rick Moonen | RM Seafood and RX Boiler Room | Las Vegas, NV
Rick Nifenecker | Cafe Pierrot | Sparta, NJ
James Passafaro | RN74 | San Francisco, CA
Don Pintabona | Locale Market | St. Petersburg, FL
Franceso Ricchi | Cesco Osteria | Bethesda, MD
Jean Robert DeCavel | Jean Robert’s Table | Cincinnati, OH
Doug Rodriquez | Mojito Bar & Plates by Douglas Rodriquez | Sunrise, FL
Dan Rothman | Foragers Market & Foragers Table | New York, NY
Andrew Rothschild | Rothschild and Associates, LLC & Boon’s Asian Bistro | Boca Raton, FL
Ken Salmon | Upstream Grille | Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Tim Schafer | The Brew Chef | Charlotte, NC
Craig Shelton | Aeon Holistic Agriculture | Escalon, CA
José Velez | Toscania Trattoria & Pancetta | Little Falls, NJ
Paul Viggiano | New Jersey
Florian Wehrli | The EventI Hotel & “Chopped” Winner | New York, NY
Nina & Jonathan White | Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse | Milford, NJ
**all chefs subject to change

Our Story