Stella’s offers a modern coffee shop with a cozy vibe.

August 31, 2021

Owner Hannah Juhl.

Stella’s offers a modern coffee shop with a cozy vibe.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Business has been busily brewing at Stella’s Coffee House since the modern coffee shop opened downtown at 213 E. Main St. less than three weeks ago.

The coffee house has a hometown feel and a welcoming atmosphere with its cozy decor.

Hannah Juhl, 28 and her husband Timothy, 26, opened Stella’s in the former Hart Pizza location, which was most recently the Soup of the Day Cafe. Hart Pizza moved down East Main Street a few blocks to its current location about 10 years ago.

Stella’s is open year round every day — except Sunday — from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the excitement of starting a new business, Hannah and Timothy are expecting a baby soon. Timothy works as an optician for nearby Oceana Eye Care on State Street.

“If I need something, he can just pop over,” said Hannah. “He just walks down the alleyway.”

The couple hired one baker and five baristas, adding more jobs to the local workforce.

“The cinnamon rolls are definitely the most popular,” said Hannah of the delicious sweet goods available at the shop. “We do specialty pastries.”

Rather than compete with local businesses, Stella’s strives to complement them. “We try to avoid anything that is like a donut or a bread, because that is what the Bakery on the Corner specializes in,” said Hannah. “I’m not trying to take anything from them.”

They also avoid selling bagels and smoothies, because another downtown business — Lakeside Family Fitness — offers those menu items to its customers.

Free wifi is available for customers, who may want to sip on a coffee while working on school or job assignments with their laptops.

A 2011 Hart High School graduate, Hannah moved here from Pennsylvania with her family when she was a young girl. Timothy is an Oceana County native, and they both know the community well.

It’s no wonder the baked delights available at Stella’s are crafted to perfection. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of Michigan through Baker College in Muskegon, Hannah has a degree in baking and pastry. She previously worked for Americorps in the Read Early Read Often program. 

“It seemed like that was what everyone was dying for — just a good coffee shop. So, I thought, ‘What would be a better pairing than pastries and coffee?’ So, then we started working on the idea of it five years ago. It all started coming together really smoothly this year.”

Hannah has a cat at home named Stella. “I’ve always liked the name, Stella, but the name came before her. So, my cat is named after the coffee shop.

“People like going somewhere that feels like a hometown/small town,” she said. “and it is usually named after a person.”

The shop is beautifully decorated with unique art installations and a whimsical neon light on the accent wall. Her dad, Luke Kostal, did most of the renovations. “We made the neon sign ourselves. We wanted everything to be unique and positive.

“The coffee and the pastries are a large part of the business, but the reason we wanted to be here is for the community. As much as we love the idea of tourists coming in and finding a welcoming space, the business was built for the locals, which is why we’re going to be open year round. That is the most important thing to me is the community has a place where it feels like home.”

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