Profile – October 2008

Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine “Profile” October 2008.

Where Are They Now? – Shirley Stoll
By JoAnn Busenbark

How many of your remember the Napa City Bakery located at the corner of Main St and Pearl for several decades? Those of you who do are smiling and remembering the Stoll family that owned and ran the bakery may have fond memories. Their four children  grew up in the bakery, playing and working, as was often the case with local family businesses. The focus of this article is on the “baby” of the family, Shirley.

Of course, the bakery was in the flood plain and Shirley remembers as early as 6 years old helping mom and dad sand bag against the winter rains, and hauling flour and sugar bags to higher ground. It was just an accepted way of life if you lived or had a business near the river or the creek in downtown Napa.

When Shirley Stoll was in her early teens, Napa City Redevelopment Agency came along and bought the building from the family and that ended the successful reign of the Napa City Bakery. The business was purchased by Corky Johnson and relocated to 3rd street where currently ABC Bakery resides and was known as Napa Bakery.

Shirley enjoyed her high school years, and as a result of taking some Napa Valley College classes she graduated a year ahead of her class in 1974.  Shirley went on to attend Sacramento State University and graduated eventually from Sonoma State University with a degree in Business. Shirley decided she wanted to live and work in Napa and began as a City of Napa employee in 1976 as a clerk in the Planning Department. Shirley has worked in what was called general services, and then personnel, the City Manager’s office and currently in the Fire department.

We know Shirley Stoll as Shirley Perkins. She married a “local” young man and they have two grown children, Ashley and Brett. Shirley not only watched the evolution of Napa from a sleepy rural oasis to an emerging International destination site, but as a City employee was a participant in the processes. Shirley Perkins is currently the Administrative Services Officer in the Fire Department and has been for a number of years. A lynchpin in their operation, serving under several Chiefs, she is known for her no nonsense up-front communications skills as well as straightforward responses to questions and inquiries. With the history of Napa that Shirley has grown up with, she is a valuable asset to her employer. The sort of employee every organization would like to have. In addition to her people skills, she is has superior knowledge of most of the City’s departments. This is definitely a “Local Girl Makes Good “ story.

Having worked for the City of Napa over 30years, Shirley has seen many changes. Her family was impacted by the start of Redevelopment for the City and yet, Shirley loves the community – both the old and new. As she says, the evolvement to today’s Napa makes it much easier to shop locally and keep money in the community. Will she retire and stay here? Of course, this is, and continues to be, her home. Thanks for staying Shirley you have been a strong contributor to the community you love. Readers, do you have suggestions for others who have grown up and stayed?


One comment on “Profile – October 2008

  1. Brianne Nelson says:

    My great-grandfather worked at the Napa City Bakery. His name was William Jennings Swyers. He was there for a long time before he passed away in 1968. I wish I could have been alive then to have memories of the bakery too 🙂

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