A Little About the Owner

Jude Callahan

My name is Jude Callahan, and I am the proud owner of Top Shelf Event Productions. I am originally from Ventura, California. During my time growing up in Ventura, we always saw Santa Barbara as this other world. It was so beautiful with its Spanish style buildings, mission, coastline and rich history. I always knew that Santa Barbara was where I wanted to call home. After my last season in the fire department, I opted to move to Santa Barbara. It was during this time that I met my amazing wife. At that time, it was difficult to find good employment in my field so I began bartending locally.

To be honest, I created Top Shelf out of necessity. Living in Santa Barbara has always required a few forms of income. Back in 2004, I was bartending at a wonderful restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara and Old King’s Road on State St. I quickly discovered that these jobs themselves were not enough income to cover all of the cost it takes to live in this wonderful city. It was during this time that I created Top Shelf Bartending Service.

Originally, Top Shelf started out as me working for a very affluent family in Montecito. They would have 10-15 guests at their home for amazing cocktail and dinner parties. It was during these parties that I met more and more of Montecito’s community members. Soon thereafter, I was working for many of them in their homes as well. After about a year of doing this, I had enough clientele to quit my bartending jobs and pursue Top Shelf full time. With the business steadily growing, I quickly built 7 custom bars, and since 2005, I have had the pleasure of being part of over 1,000 weddings.

Three years ago I decided it was time for a change. I had worked so many events that were very difficult because of the many vendors that it took to make the event function. It was a lot to juggle for my clients, staff, and me! So I decided to begin the creation of an “All Inclusive”event production company – one that could offer all of the needed aspects of a wedding from a single company with amazing quality at an unbeatable price. This idea stemmed from wanting to make event planning easier for my clients. Two years later we have now coordinated over 40 flawless weddings, catered countless events, supplied DJ and photo booth services at many amazing receptions, and we are quickly filling in our schedule for next year.

Top Shelf has grown from a single bartender, me, working small estate dinner parties to a thriving and successful event production company. It has taken a lot of hard work and perseverance – much of which I credit to my amazing staff. I have truly been blessed by the amazing people who have decided to work with our company. We currently have over 60 people on our staffing roster, all of which are very talented, honest, and hardworking local people who love to help me create amazing events for people like you. Our current staff averages 6 years of service with Top Shelf. We are truly a Top Shelf family!

Wanting to make sure I am personally part of every event, I quickly realized that I needed to be able to fill in any vacancy within any event at a moment’s notice. Now, I proudly wear the hats of every position in the company – from bartender to event coordinator to DJ to server. I did not learn how to coordinate events at a school or from a book. I learned it by doing the work and putting my blood, sweat, and tears into my company. As my crew would tell you, “Jude leads by example and good luck keeping up with him.”

Nowadays, I live in sunny Santa Barbara, California. Having lived in this beautiful city for the last 18 years, I now consider myself a local. I love living in this wonderful city with my beautiful wife, our twins, and 3 dogs. In addition to running Top Shelf, I enjoy building classic cars, photography, gardening, and blogging.

My theory for life is, “As long as you work hard, your event is simple. You only get one run at it, so do it right. And make sure you gave it your all!” Life has smiled on me and has allowed me to create a company where I get to do what I love…. throw the most amazing celebration you will ever have. My name is Jude Callahan, and I am the proud owner and operator of Top Shelf Event Productions. Thank you for reading all about me, and book your event today!


Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Los Olivos, Goleta, Montecito, Ventura, Ojai and Malibu