Jennifer Noble Kelly
Founder, JNK Public Relations


With over 20 years of experience in the food & beverage/hospitality industry, Jennifer brings a deep, diverse well of ideas, relationships, and planning skills to work for her clients. Known for her smarts, savvy, and unbridled passion for the food industry, Jennifer has honed an expertise and reputation in the industry for helping chefs, restaurants, hotels, food & beverage retailers & product companies raise their profile and make their mark on the local, regional and national stage.

Jennifer is a rare breed: she has the vision to see what’s possible but also the pragmatism, planning, and persistence to make it happen.  She had the vision 13+ years ago to start her own PR practice focusing on the nascent, but rich hospitality scene in North Carolina. 

When Jennifer re-located to the area from New York City in 2005, she was blown away by the progressive culture of the area, and recognized Southern hospitality, food and its influencers as deserving of national attention. The problem, as she saw it, was that not many people within the local area – much less the national media and food community – knew and appreciated how dynamic the local food culture truly was.  She set about to change that. 

Over the course of the past 13 years, the food scene has exploded in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, and is now considered one of the nation’s rising stars.  Along the way, Jennifer has worked with many of the top talent, leading restaurants, hotels, events and food retailers: from Herons in The Umstead Hotel and Spa, to Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill, Scott Crawford of Standard Foods, then Crawford & Son in Raleigh, to Picnic, Piedmont and Black Twig Cider House in Durham, to Master Baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery in Cary, CurEat – the newest restaurant-finding app, and Greenville, SC’s 12th food, wine and music festival, euphoria. Her team was also responsible for the inaugural NC BBQ Revival held October 2016 and the new NC BBQ Bash, set for April 13-15, 2018.

Prior to starting her own PR practice in North Carolina, Jennifer was an Account Director at Bullfrog & Baum, a boutique PR firm in New York City specializing in hospitality.  While there, Jennifer represented leading talent, including Bobby Flay (Mesa Grill, Bolo), Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak, BLT Fish), Marcus Samuelson (Aquavit), and Richard Sandoval (Pampano, Maya, Zengo), among others.  In addition, Jennifer represented the restaurant and chef at Wheatleigh, a Luxury Country Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts.  

Further, Jennifer has lived ‘in-house’ as well.  Among other roles, she managed a 2-star restaurant in New York City, concepted & opened a NYC wine bar & café, served in marketing roles at legendary NYC food retailers Dean & Deluca and Murray’s Cheeses, marketed and sold Old Chatham and Coach Farm’s artisanal cheeses to NYC chefs and retailers, received Advanced Sommelier certification, and organized & co-founded the first farmer’s market to serve downtown Raleigh NC. 

Jennifer is actively involved with industry associations and non-profits, including the Southern Foodways Alliance, the James Beard Foundation, is a charter member of NC’s Les Dames d’Escoffier, participates in many food and wine festivals including the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and euphoria in Greenville, SC, BevCon and This Is Fab in Charleston, and is a fundraiser and advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

All of this experience enables Jennifer to be a creative, yet practical strategic advisor to the clients she represents, a true partner to her media network, and a sought-after and valued contributor to the industry partnerships she forges. 

Contact Jennifer at 919-368-4987; or @jennoblekelly