Stella’s: Poulsbo's grand slam neighborhood eatery

Susan Baker, owner of Stella’s Pizza and Pasta, which serves up tasty dishes on 10th Avenue. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Susan Baker, owner of Stella’s Pizza and Pasta, which serves up tasty dishes on 10th Avenue.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Pizza and Pasta is good for all ages

POULSBO— There’s no mistaking it once through the doors.

Greeted with a friendly smile right off the bat, it’s the swirling scent of Italian tastiness that hits it home: Stella’s Pizza & Pasta is more than just a nearby eatery. It’s a place where anyone could easily become a regular.

The neighborhood restaurant, opened in 2006 by Spiro’s co-founder Susan Baker, is tucked onto 10th Avenue near Central Market. Though it sits a little out of the mainstream way, Baker said the restaurant’s aim is to make each customer’s trip worthwhile, whether it be a group of friends, a family or business associates.

“We sell obviously pizza, but we do a lot more than that,” she said.

And she means it — an assortment of Italian dishes, salads, hot subs, pastas, pita pizzas, soups and more are up for grabs on the casual dining menu, and much of each meal’s ingredients are made from scratch right in Stella’s kitchen. As other restaurant’s soups are increasingly delivered in frozen bags and pizzas via truck, Baker said the freshly made foods are becoming more unique. Whole wheat pasta and low-carb dishes are also whipped up at Stella’s.

And not to be forgotten, Baker said the shop’s peanut butter pie is, well, “to die for.”

But along with the smattering of options comes a few specialties for patrons of the shorter variety. Kids younger than 6 are offered a free bowl of hot spaghetti, and all youngsters can not only color at the table, but enjoy a just-for-them platter of olives, pineapple slices, crackers and cheese. And Baker said messes are A-OK with the Stella’s crew.

“We want the parents to have a nice time, and we want the kids to have a nice time,” she said.

A banquet room is set up for reservations as well.

Baker, 52, a Bremerton native and 26-year restaurant business veteran, said the aim of Stella’s is to offer a neighborhood eatery where memories are made — a place people can come to time and time again.

“You feel like it’s your restaurant, that’s what we shoot to be,” she said. “It’s less my restaurant. I think I’m a success when it becomes their restaurant.”

And Baker is making her way as a community partner as well. Stella’s has begun a “ Random Act of Pizza” campaign. Every so often, the employees of Stella’s choose a local business and treat its employees with a scrumptious pie out of the blue — just because.

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