This family business has grown from a natural love for the land and nurturing the process to producing the finest cheeses, honey, specialty foods, botanicals, cosmetic extracts and cosmeceuticals. Honoring both her parents’ and her grandparents’ heritage, Deborah Stone founded Stone Hollow Farmstead in 1999 with her husband, Russell, and daughters, Fallon and Alexandra. The Stone family comes from a line of Alabama gardeners and farmers, sharing their history in all facets of the farmstead. Lessons learned from her grandparents, who ran a sustainable farm and grocery store, are evident in the jars of rose petal jam, the hillside of happy goats, the hives of honeybees and the heirloom herb gardens. Today, the Farmstead houses several complimentary businesses: The Pantry, Stone Hollow Creamery, Stone Hollow Hanoverians, Stone Hollow Herbs, Botaniko Skin, and NeoTegument medical skin care.
The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead offers artisan goat cheeses, cheesecakes, preserves, jams, honeys, syrups, gift collections and more. The style of food draws on inspiration from Deborah’s deep southern roots, a rustic, yet a clean approach. With locally and naturally grown botanicals and free-range ingredients, The Pantry offers some of the best food Birmingham has to offer.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex Stone to chat about The Pantry and what she loves about her home state. Read on for more about The Pantry, Alex’s Thanksgiving table scape inspiration, and an exclusive giveaway!
« WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT ALABAMA?
I love the creative vibe of Alabama. We have such incredible people here—from amazing chefs to fashion designers to killer musicians, the coolest part is that they LOVE to collaborate. I really admire my generation—we all thrive on community. Everyone wants to share their knowledge and help get you to where you want to be. It makes the journey that much more fulfilling to feel like you’re all in it together.
« WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT IN ALABAMA?
Anywhere that has great food and great people. That may be a little bit vague, but so be it. Whether it be at Bettola in Birmingham, consuming more pasta than I care to divulge with some of my closest friends, or sitting on the beach with my family, shucking oysters and drinking beer. As long as there is laughter and a wine key, I am content!
« IF SOMEONE WAS COMING TO VISIT YOU FROM OUT OF TOWN, WHERE IS THE ONE PLACE YOU WOULD TAKE THEM?
I would take them to Avondale. I think it is here that you can see all that is great about Birmingham and its future. What started with a vision of a brewery by the Lake brothers has turned into one of the coolest neighborhoods in the country. Starting a Saturday afternoon at the brewery, then hitting Saw’s for some BBQ, and then bouncing over to 41st Street for a Moscow Mule. Does it get any better?
« IN ONE WORD, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ALABAMA?
« WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS?
I know this is repetitive, but its food and its people. The people in Alabama are here because they want to be. They could live anywhere else in the world, but there is a magnetism that draws them in. Many of us, including myself, have moved away and couldn’t get back quick enough. The people here are so varied and come from such diverse backgrounds, yet they all ended up here. And again, the food is amazing. I would love to have a dinner party with all of the incredible people that call this state home. Who wants to pitch in? I’ll bring the wine!
Plates and cutlery: West Elm; Glasses, dinner cloths, and quilt: At Home in Homewood; Trinkets: vintage; Wine, wine stand, chili oil, and candles: The Pantry by Stone Hollow Farmstead
When putting together an outfit or designing a room or a table, I don’t stick to any rules. I have to have pieces that are more modern paired with organic, earthy pieces—perhaps some rustic things as well. I like the contrast that happens when putting opposites together. With this table I knew I wanted it to be a darker more sensual look, so that’s how the cocoa colored plates came about. I found them at West Elm at the Summit. I loved their raw edges, and the color is perfect. You can pair them with any color and they blend.
I like cozy spaces, and as much as I wish this table was a few inches larger, I love how tight everything is. It makes it more intimate. I’m an accessories girl to the core, so you’ll find little trinkets like antique bottles or lockets scattered about the table. They make for great conversational pieces—especially if you found them on a trip or with someone special!
Candles are a must. Stay far away from scented candles in the kitchen or on the table. As lovely as they might smell, no one wants an orzo salad that tastes like “red current”. Wine goes without saying. Always have wine. And champagne. I bet someone in your dinner party can think of something to celebrate!
We’re giving away this Grazing Board to one lucky winner! This $100 grazing board prepared by Michael, the cheese monger at The Pantry, is perfect for your next dinner party! He will work with you on finding the perfect cheeses and accompaniments for your event! One winner will be chosen by Tuesday, November 25th at 5:00 p.m. Head over to our Instagram to enter!