Press Release 01/09/24




Leading cookbook agency The Ekus Group joins the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, operating as a boutique culinary division.

Joining Partners, Jennifer Weltz, Alice Tasman, Ariana Philips, Agent, Alicia Brooks, and Junior Agent, Cole Hildebrand, Sally Ekus will spearhead cookbook and lifestyle titles as Senior Literary Agent, assisted by Literary Associate Ty Billman.

The January 2024 merger signifies JVNLA’s passionate commitment to cultivating the careers of writers across a diverse range of experiences and categories. The Ekus Group, established in April 1982 by Lisa Ekus, and now owned by Sally Ekus, has been the leading agency for cookbook authors, chefs, and culinary talent for more than four decades. In 2000, the business evolved from the first and only specialized culinary book PR firm in the country, to an exclusively culinary focused full-service agency. Their premier offerings include a nationally recognized media training program, talent agency, literary agency, and consulting services.  Twenty years later, with Sally Ekus at the helm, The Ekus Group represents award-winning, best-selling, and emerging voices across all corners of the culinary bookshelf and has closed hundreds of deals with all major publishers and independent houses.

I have long admired The Ekus Group’s expertise in cookbook representation and Sally’s passion for untold culinary stories,” says Jennifer Weltz, President of JVNLA. Welcoming Sally to our agency means JVNLA is at the forefront of one of the fastest growing niches in publishing, food and lifestyle, an area we are excited to expand.”

The relationship between The Ekus Group and JVNLA dates back to the origin of both trailblazing agencies. Founder Lisa Ekus’ first job in publishing was with the visionary Jean Naggar who established her eponymous literary agency in 1978. Jean’s unwavering commitment and dedication to her authors’ careers and the tenacity to fight for their success on all fronts possible, set the stage and foundation for Lisa to start her own business just four years later.

In many ways, this agency alignment is like coming home,” says Sally Ekus, reflecting on the foundational parallels between the two second generation, women-owned agencies, which for someone who has worked in a family business for 15 years is saying a lot.”

Sally brings with her the entire Ekus Group backlist, further strengthening the opportunities for The Ekus Group’s legacy authors, as well as opening her list to new clients across non-fiction. Sally will also continue offering consulting services, author trainings, and educational industry programs such as her How to Write a Cookbook course.

This joint endeavor underscores the unwavering commitment JVNLA and The Ekus Group have for their clients, and their clients’ career goals, and will specifically expand both agencies’ portfolios.

To learn more about The Ekus Group visit and to learn more about JVNLA visit Contact

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