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KL Keller Foodways is an importer and producer of artisanal food products from Europe, the US and Australia.
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Meet the Team

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Team KL Keller: Lauren Zaira (Sales), Kitty Keller (Founder) and Jonatan Spahn (Sales & Asst. Marketing Coordinator)

Kitty Keller – Founder

What's your favorite thing to cook and why?
I can't just pick one. What I enjoy most about cooking is being able to then have a dinner with folks I adore using many of the foods, ingredients and beverages (alright, wine) made by people I know personally.

What's your fondest/funniest memory of working at KL Keller?
The time that Gilles Hervy tried to founder (verb . . . think of horses) us by serving a magnificent but copious meal. He and his wife had worked so hard and were so generous that I could not refuse firsts, seconds, thirds . . . on five different courses. Happily, I ate like I never ate before (or thereafter)!

What do you do when you're not working?
I like landscaping my garden (I lay my own brick paths), listening to classical music and—above all—throwing a themed party.


Lauren Zaira – Sales

I joined the team in the Spring of 2013. Previously a professional cook in the Bay Area, I am thrilled to be a part of the KL Keller team, working with select chefs, retailers and distributors around the country. I come from a diverse background that includes coordinating weddings at a chapel in Reno (in my high school years), working the line at Green's Restaurant in San Francisco, teaching English in Venezuela, selling gourmet products for a food distributor in Hawaii, and representing Manicaretti Italian Food Imports here in Oakland. My love for excellent food, travel and good relations are an integral part of who I am.

What's your favorite thing to cook and why?
That's a hard question for someone who loves to cook. I especially like making soups and stews—it's easy to incorporate whatever I happen to have on hand. KL Keller ingredients make for easy additions: Hervy Gilles Gray Salt gives everything a depth of flavor and complexity; Piment d’Espelette is good for adding warmth with a little kick; and sometimes I’ll finish a soup with a splash of one of our many vinegars. Agrodolce Priorat Vinegar from Mas d’en Gil is a favorite.

What's your fondest/funniest moment of working for KL Keller?
Kitty and I had an adventure on one of our recent visits to Los Angeles. My phone charger caught fire while navigating through Beverly Hills, and then I got a flat tire on our way to the Anaheim Convention Center. Kitty is great to have around in emergencies. She had both my phone and tire fixed in no time flat, and we got a good chuckle out of it too.

What do you do when you're not working?
When I'm not working, I enjoy the creative process of landscaping my Oakland backyard, hiking the hills of the Bay Area and traveling for business and pleasure.


Kristin Coker – Sales

What's your favorite thing to cook and why?
I actually prefer baking, although I don't do it nearly as much as I'd like because I have no self-control and tend to eat whole cakes and plates of brownies on my own! As for savory food, I love Mexican food and seafood. I tend to make simple things at home, but love a great big dinner party with abundant dishes of fresh, simple ingredients that highlight the seasons. Fall is my favorite for cooking squash, chicories, beans, slow cooked meats, and soups.

What's your fondest/funniest moment working for KL Keller?
I recently joined the team, so I don't just have one just yet . . . but I enjoy Kitty's overall enthusiasm, spunk and playful yet precise way of telling stories. She is always telling tickling anecdotes that make me smile. I appreciate her sense of adventure and broad life experiences.

What do you do when you're not working?
I enjoy of course cooking and eating . . . I also love music, art, agriculture, and the outdoors. If I could be camping every weekend I would, or otherwise spending time with my dear friends and enjoying long, meandering, humor-filled conversations over wine.


Jonatan Spahn – Operations

I joined the KL Keller team in August 2015, but I have been a part of the Market Hall Foods family of businesses going on six years now, three of those as a fishmonger at Hapuku Fish Shop. Before then, most of my professional career has been working as a line cook for different mom-and-pop restaurants in Southern California—mostly Southern American or Mexican cuisine. After I graduated with my finance degree, I thought I would eventually try going the Wall Street route, but my love and passion for food has brought me here. And I couldn’t be happier.

What's your favorite thing to cook and why?
While I love cooking and being in the kitchen, I really don’t have a favorite thing to cook. I try to tailor my cooking to whatever ingredients are in season. The biggest deciding factor in what I cook is how much time I have left in the day.

What's your fondest/funniest moment of working for KL Keller?
My fondest memory at working at KL Keller is going to the Fancy Food Show in New York with the team. Kitty treated us to an amazing breakfast at Russ & Daughters. There is no better way to start a day then having breakfast and coffee at Russ & Daughters with great company.

What do you do when you're not working?
When I’m not working I enjoy everything that gets me outside: surfing, basketball, futbol. If I’m not doing any of those activities, I am probably watching one of those activities.


sandy sonnenfelt 5

Sandy Sonnenfelt –Product Development

I have been helping Kitty make her inspirations a reality for years. I've been involved in the creation and retailing of prepared foods since 1983, and I've been with Market Hall Foods for 23 years. I am a trained olive oil taster and, when not standing in front of an R&D scale with Kitty, I can be found slurping some of the world's best extra virgin olive oils.

What's your favorite thing to cook and why?
At this moment I am loving lemony, braised baby artichokes. The prep is a meditative experience for me and the finished dish is deliciously versatile—hot or cold, it is excellent. Topped with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and served with prosciutto or other cured meats it’s perfect for entertaining—and fabulous with grilled chicken thighs and ripped kale for a weeknight dinner.

What's your fondest/funniest moment of working for KL Keller?
Attending the Napa Valley Mustard Festival Awards where we were virtually the only women not in fancy ball gowns—imagine our faces upon entering the venue to find this! KL Keller Truffle Mustard won Best Mustard and the food was pretty good, so we had a good time. Winning was nice too!

What do you do when you're not working?
I love yoga, listening to music, gardening, walking with my dog Ms. Jones in the mornings, and Vedic chanting. 

KL Keller Foodways
PH: 510-740-2030
FAX: 510-839-7895
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5332 College Avenue, Ste 201,
Oakland, CA 94618

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