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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Finding Freedom Through Friendship Thank You & Update!

Hello there! While we’ve been silent on the Stella Leona Blog for awhile, things couldn’t be more exciting in the shop! We’ve finally found a moment to catch our breath and we’ve got some serious catching up to do!


First, we want to start with a very big THANK YOU! We are so very humbled to report that with your generous support we have been able to make two donations totaling $1.013.90 to Finding Freedom through Friendship (FFF)! Please see our original post here to learn more about Nancy, our founder and chocolatier, and why this organization is important to her!

Because you purchased our 2014 Mother’s Day Pansy Box we were able to make our first donation of $662.00 to Finding Freedom Through Friendship! This donation was used specifically to help a mother in Santa Barbara who was bedridden for 9 years with incapacitating pain from degenerative arthritis.


FFF purchased medical care, meds, new crutches and a refurbished house for this family! This passed December this mother was able to be outside picking up firewood for her family thanks to the assistance provided to her from FFF! 

We were able to make a second donation of $351.90 to FFF because you purchased our 2014 Christmas Box!  This donation was used to help FFF purchase land for another mother, Sylvia, and her children. FFF had been looking for land for three years for this family. The photo below is a picture of the very plot that is flat and in a safe area where the children will no longer be in danger of falling into a ravine that was just a few feet from their former front door. This land provides the opportunity for this family to raise chickens and maybe even a goat!

THANK YOU for your continued generous support! We always say we have THE BEST CUSTOMERS and it’s so true…we do!

We would love to continue partnering with you to support FFF! Profits from our 2015 Mother’s Day Pansy Box will be donated to FFF. This is the gift that gives back! Honor a woman you appreciate and provide life-giving support to another mom in need with your purchase! You can place orders here!


To learn more about Finding Freedom through Friendship visit their website here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mother’s Day, Finding Freedom through Friendship, My Story and MORE!


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If you receive our newsletter you already know that this Mother’s Day we are donating all of our profits from our Hand Painted Pansy Box to Finding Freedom Through Friendship, Inc. This blog is where I will begin to share more details about FFF, my own personal connection to Guatemala and my life as a single mom.

I have chosen to partner with Finding Freedom through Friendship, Inc. because I have a personal connection to the people of Guatemala and an empathy for the struggles of being a single mom. I’ve chosen to begin to share that story publicly because it shapes who I am and how I do business.  Most of all I’ve chosen to share it because I believe it can be used to illuminate the struggles of single Guatemalan mothers and their children.  The picture of this suffering isn’t comfortable.  It isn’t pleasant, and there is no easy “fix”.  But one gift, one woman, one family at a time, we can help each other. 

Stella Leona customers are some of the kindest, most generous people alive.  I know because I’ve met you… that’s the beauty of small business.  The needs of my family have been provided because you all have surrounded me with your love and generosity during recent years when I became a single mom to five children after the sudden death of my husband.  My children are healthy and educated and have nutritious food on the table in abundant supply.  I live and work with people I love and  love the work that I do.

(Jordan, Cale (Lauren’s Fiance), Lauren, Me, Carly, Ashlyn and Aaron)

I first learned to love the people of Guatemala through two little ambassadors—my sons.  They were born in Guatemala to women without the resources to care for them.  No one should have to make the kinds of choices their birthmothers had to make.  I hope that you will consider helping prevent someone else from being in that very difficult position. 

get-attachment aspxThrough purchasing the Mother’s Day Pansy Box, you will partner with me to provide for the critical needs of Guatemalan mothers so that they can provide food, shelter and education for their children.  If you would like to read more about Finding Freedom through Friendship or make a donation directly, click these links to their website and blog


Friday, April 18, 2014

Customer Connection: Meet John, All the Way from Russia!


Meet John! He is one of our very loyal customers who values his Stella Leona Mug! How do you measure the value of a Stella Leona mug? Well, when Jon returned to his missionary assignment in Russia this fall, teaching and working at an international school for kids of Wycliff missionaries, he had a 50lb baggage limit. He left many things behind, but made sure that his Stella Leona mug took up part of that limit! What an honor! Thanks, John! We look forward to seeing you when you return to the states!


This is a picture of John in Russia in front of The Church of the Savior of Spilt Blood. It is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is also variously called the Church of Spilt Blood and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, its official name. 

You can get your very own Stella Leona Mug here or stop in the shop and pick them up on Friday or Saturday. They make perfect last minute additions to your Easter Baskets!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to Register and Vote in the Martha Stewart American Made Contest


We are currently in 8th place out of 317 businesses in the food category of the Martha Stewart American Made contest! You read that right! Our loyal friends and customers have gotten us to 8th place out of THREE HUNDRED and SEVENTEEN businesses! We are overwhelmed with your support!  We need to claim at least 6th place to make it to the final round and we know you can get us there. You can vote 6x/day until September 22!

We’ve had many questions about how you register and vote for us in the Martha Stewart American Made contest. We’ve created two info sheets that will walk you through the registration and voting process. We hope these answer your questions so you can start voting!

How to Register to Vote 

1. Visit our page at http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/82415

2. Click on Register in the top right corner.


3. Click on Register again at the top of the page.clip_image004

4. Type your email address. Type any password you want. Unlick the box if you don’t want email from Martha. Press play to reveal a security code. Type the code in the box. Click Join!


How to Vote

1. Once you are registered, visit our page at http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/82415 and click “Sign In” at the top of the page.


2. Enter your email address and the password you chose during registration. Click Sign in.


3. To vote just click the green “VOTE” button 6 times every day and watch the number beside the vote button go up! You can vote exactly every 24hrs. If you try to vote sooner than 24hrs you will be prompted to come back later.


We can’t thank you enough for your endless support!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stella Leona Needs Your Votes!

We are a food category nominee in the 2013 Martha Stewart American Made Contest and voting starts today!

American Made spotlights the maker, supports the local, and celebrates the handmade. It’s a movement made up of people and communities who have turned their passion for quality craftsmanship and well-designed goods into a way of life.

American Made Profile Picture
Click on the Martha Stewart badge above or any of the pictures in this post to be taken to our profile page to place your vote!

You will be prompted to login via Facebook or register to vote. It’s very easy! You can vote 6 times/day!

Public Voting for Category Winners begins TODAY, August 26, 2013 and ends at 11:59:59 PM on September 13, 2013.

Things are moving a little slow due to the overwhelming response to the start of the contest, but Martha Stewart’s people are working on it so don’t give up if you are trying to vote!
Nancy in Shop
We appreciate your votes and would love it if you would also share our blog, newsletter, and/or facebook posts with everyone you know! We always say we have THE best customers! Thank You for supporting Stella Leona!

Monday, July 29, 2013

This is how Stella Leona Customers Roll!


Where there’s a will, Jim Rufenacht will find his way to Stella Leona! Jim is a long time Stella Leona regular customer! He always has a smile and often brings friends with him to the shop.

Last week Jim came by the shop on his tractor with his Stella Leona mug in hand! Whether by truck, car, on foot or in a tractor, we’re just glad he finds his way here and we’re always happy to see him!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lesson {2} The Health Benefits of Chocolate!


There is a lot of new information about the health benefits of chocolate! Yes, health BENEFITS! We’ve read multiple articles on this topic and are highlighting some of the common findings among our sources!

1. Studies have shown that dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure, control blood sugar and act as an appetite suppressant.

2. The cacoa bean is rich with flavonoids which are compounds that act like antioxidants. Flavonoids protect cells from harmful molecules knows as free radicals. Free radicals can cause cell damage that leads to heart disease, aging and cancers.

3. The cacoa bean contains another antioxidant known as polyhphenols. Polyphenols are known to help combat heart disease.

4. The darker the chocolate (60-80% cocoa) the more of the cocoa bean benefits it will contain. Dark chocolate is always best over milk chocolate or white chocolate when considering health benefits.

5. Like all good things, eating EVEN chocolate in moderation is best!