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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stella Leona featured in The Wine Buzz Magazine


Check out our review in The Wine Buzz!  It’s a privilege to be featured in the company of other talented chocolatiers including Gyslain Maurais of Gyslain Chocolat des Beaux Arts where I did an internship a few years ago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 Holiday Open House

Open house

Please join us for our Holiday Open House.

Stop in for a taste of the Limited Edition 2011 Peppermint Mocha Artisan Holiday Ornament and order yours for holiday desserts or as a decadent gift. Visit the Deal Share tab on our Facebook page, “share” us and print the coupon we send to your inbox. Then bring it to the shop during Open House for a free Heritage Collection chocolate. While you’re here, place an order for our hand painted Dessert Pumpkin back by popular demand and only available by special order during the month of November, or try one of our Artisan Chocolate Bars made right here in our kitchen. Enjoy a sample of our chocolates or enter a drawing for a gift from one of our artisan collections.

Open House Hours: 

Thursday and Friday, November 3 and 4 9 am-5 pm 

Saturday, November 5 9 am-12 pm

New Holiday Hours:

November 8-December 24, Tues.-Fri. 9-5, Sat. 9-12

December 24 9-12

Closed December 25-January 4

Stella Leona 362 Main Street Pettisville, OH 43553


Monday, October 17, 2011

Customer Spotlight: Jean

Something that makes Stella Leona a special place to be is our customers.  We really have some of the most interesting people frequent our shop, and we thought you might enjoy hearing about them.   This is the first customer spotlight of many which will appear in this blog periodically.

So………….meet Jean!


Jean is like a walking set of encyclopedias to us!  Each time she stops in to see us is like unpacking a new volume because we usually learn something new about her many talents and interests.  Jean grabs a cup of our Red Rambler coffee on her way to work at Sauder Village where she works in the Basket Shop, Anna’s Spinning Shop and in the Tinsmith’s Shop to name just a few. 

Jean is also an avid woodcarver and weaver.  You can see some of her craftsmanship and read more about her on her blog:  Butternut Barn Studio.  You can also see her whimsical woodcarvings in her Carving Gallery and see her weavings in the Weaving Gallery.  She has a wonderful laugh as well, but you’ll have to come to the shop when she’s around to get a glimpse of that!  Thanks Jean for sharing yourself with us!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Send Your Love…..



Like me, you may have a son or daughter that you just sent off to college for the first time or sent back to school for another year of enlightenment.  I remember that those early days and weeks can seem a little……well, overwhelming.  Whether you have a homesick freshman who needs your encouragement or a well adjusted upper classman who needs a reminder that you exist, a Stella Leona College Care Package is just the thing.  It’s packed with flavor and most importantly with your love when we include a handwritten note sharing your thoughts.  Your young adult feeling your concern from miles away is priceless……..and at 26.00 this care package is a bargain!  Check out the details and order here or stop in at 362 Main Street Pettisville and enjoy a cup of coffee or one of our Signature Hot Chocolates while you’re at it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chocolate in Vancouver: 4th and Final Nibble

So….you heard all about the airbrush class.  Watch for new items this fall incorporating these techniques.  There were some other great things about this trip that I thought you might enjoy.

The scenery…….


The Pacific Northwest is, hands-down one of the the most beautiful places I have ever visited.  None of the pictures I took do it justice:  snow-capped mountains on one side, water on the other, gorgeous wooded areas and beautiful bridges at every turn. 

I would have taken many more photos except that I was driving and there were seldom places to pull over for a photo shoot.

P5010040 - Copy

The ferry system was extensive and quite impressive.  It is like taking a taxi in New York or Chicago, but much more scenic.

One of the other highlights of my trip was the opportunity to reconnect with a former Pettisville girl.


Renee is the owner of Renee’s Contemporary Clothing in Everett, WA.  She provides a unique and wonderful shopping experience.  I enjoyed catching up with her and experienced her ability to choose tasteful, comfortable clothing that fit my lifestyle.


The shop is adorable…


and so are the clothes.  I have a new favorite pair of jeans!  If you are ever in Everett or just online, try Renee’s personal shopping ability.  Let her help you choose an outfit for a special occasion.

Renee generously shared from her business experience as we talked about the opportunities and challenges of small business operations.  Thanks Renee!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chocolate in Vancouver: 3rd Nibble

Is your mouth watering after two nibbles???  I know mine was during the time I spent at Cocoa West.  I like to call it market research.  It’s my job to develop a broad range of tastes and be aware of what other fabulous chocolates are out there in the market, right?  All class participants enjoyed Carlos’ great coffee and samples of Joanne’s delectable chocolates.

So……………for the techniques and experimentation…


Here Carlos demonstrates an airbrush technique using masking to create varied designs and effects.


Kelly, working with Carlos and Joanne since she was 14, demonstrated a variety of painting techniques both with and without the airbrush.


We spent the first half of the class experimenting on plexiglass and plastic wrap to allow for exploration without ruining finished chocolate pieces in the process.  Practice makes almost perfect…..whatever that is.  Still more……

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate in Vancouver: 2nd Nibble

If you have been in our shop or visited our web site, you already know that I love to use color on the chocolates I create. 

The problem with airbrushing cocoa butter is that, like chocolate itself, it is very finicky.  Cocoa butter is that fat that comes from the cacao bean that cocoa liquor comes from.  Cocoa liquor is mixed with sugar and milk if making milk chocolate, to make the chocolate we all enjoy so very much. 

The cocoa butter can be pressed out of the liquor and used in other applications such as hand painting once color is added.

One of the aspects of being a chocolatier I love most is the creative process and the opportunity to learn by trial and error.  The problem with airbrushing cocoa butter is that it prefers to clog up the equipment rather than flow through it.  I had reached my limit of frustration with the amount of “error” in this learning process.  It was time for reinforcements! 

Ta-da!  Thank you Joanne and Carlos!


The good news is that in about 5 minutes of class, I learned what I had traveled thousands of miles to know.  That means the rest of the time was spent honing my skills, experimenting and learning other things that I didn’t even know I wanted to learn!


Still more to come…….

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chocolate in Vancouver: 1st Nibble


I want to let you know about an exciting opportunity I had recently that will ultimately result in new chocolate designs and tastes to tempt your taste buds.

I recently traveled to Bowen Island, just off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia to attend a class at Cocoa West, a small artisan chocolate shop that prepares delicious organic chocolate confections.



The class was focused on the use of color on chocolate and specifically taught techniques to airbrush colored cocoa butter.  Joanne Mogridge, chocolatier, and her husband, Carlos, artist and co-owner of Cocoa West, taught the class to six participants from across the US and Canada.


It was an opportunity not only to learn specific techniques from Joanne and Carlos, but to learn from others in the class who had a wide variety of backgrounds in chocolate.


More coming……..the trip held way too much for one post.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Tribute to Mothers

Mother’s Day is now officially less than a week away.  In the midst of preparing gifts that will make your mom, grandmother or other mother figure in your life feel special and appreciated, I find myself thinking about my own mother.


Mothers and grandmothers, aunts and mothers-in-law are infinitely influential in our lives.  From my mom, I learned how to care for other people.  The creativity involved in preparing Stella Leona chocolates comes in part from my mom who has spent many hours of her life painting and creating quilts.

Freida quilting

My mom put up with me when was a difficult kid and loves me in spite of my faults, and believe me, she KNOWS what they are. Thanks Mom!!! I love you!

I was also forever changed by the investment my grandmother, Leona and her sister, my great aunt Estella made in my life.  I learned from them the joy that exceptional food can bring to people we love.  I saw living examples of what it means to work hard and invest in the lives of other people.

SL young

This Mother’s Day, take a few moments to express appreciation to your mom for the way she has loved you.  If you are missing your mom this Mother’s Day, remember what you love most about her and find a way to pay it forward to someone, anyone else you think needs to experience what you felt from your mom. 

Of course, if a chocolate expression of your appreciation is in order, stop by our shop in Pettisville or our web site.  Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Save us from the bunnies!!!

We’re up to our ears in Easter bunnies! 


They just keep MULTIPLYING!!!


Not knowing what else to do, Nancy eats them as fast as she can.  HELP!!!  Come get a Petit Easter Bunny quickly before Nancy weighs 300 pounds!!!