Ice cream shop in Loudonville reopens as Stela’s Coffee House

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Stela’s Coffee House on Main Street in Loudonville

Grace Scarberry, ASSISTANT EDITOR

Stela’s Ice Cream Shoppe is now known as Stela’s Ice Cream Shoppe and Coffee House. 

Michael Kelly, current owner of the new coffee house and The Black Fork Bistro, purchased Stela’s in order to better the community. 

In his eyes, Loudonville had a lot of potential that was not being acted upon.

When I came to Loudonville to visit my parents’ summer cottage, I saw a great deal of opportunity that, in my opinion, was being overlooked,” he said. 

Stela’s currently serves ice cream, coffee and pastries, but Kelly says no additions will be made to the menu in order to avoid competing with his restaurant, The Black Fork Bistro. 

Kelly’s goal was to find and develop, with local partners, a restaurant that would draw people into the town.  

However, Stela’s, being just an ice cream shop, closed in the winter and the existing coffee shop, Loco Bean, closed down permanently.

To fill the void, the Kelly family stepped in to ensure there “was one more draw for locals and visitors alike to walk the streets and enjoy the town, whether you wanted a great meal and an ice cream cone or just a coffee to start or extend your day,” he said.

Stela’s is open from 6 a.m.-7p.m Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m.-8p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 

Loudonville councilman, Matt Young, was pleased with the opening of a new business with longer hours than the typical shops downtown. 

“I love the hours,” he said. “I’ve always said that a business needs to be open when their clientele are able to visit. The early mornings catch people before work and the evening hours catch them when they are home. I hope that it shows huge success and encourages other downtown businesses to do the same.”

Employee Cari Reisinger feels that Stela’s does more than just provide a local hangout. It also benefits the community by adding jobs.

“I think adding the coffee part to Stela’s is benefiting the community very much,” she said. “We are offering another local place to go. It is providing some more jobs for local community members and it is bringing in more business. Any time you add a local business to a small town I think the community as a whole benefits from it.”

 Reisinger loves working at Stela’s because it’s good for the soul.

“The best part about working there for me has been the interactions with all the people both local and tourists,” she said. “Everyone who comes into Stela’s is always happy. Being around that kind of positivity is good for the soul, especially during crazy times like this.”

Kelly doesn’t plan to end his efforts here. In addition to Stela’s and the bistro, he has also aided in the revitalization of downtown by fixing up the historical Ohio Theatre, and plans to open a microbrewery within the next 12 to 18 months. 

 “My vision is the more businesses we can get to recognize that a rising tide floats all boats, the better off the town is going to be,” he said. “We need to be worried about getting as many new opportunities as possible to come to town, as well as energizing the existing businesses whenever possible.”