Wed, April 24, 2024

Challenges get the best of local restaurant and take-out business

Editor’s note: The best part of my job is writing about new businesses. During the interview process, the excitement is palpable. The hardest part is telling the story of the ones that close. Telling those stories brings a different set of emotions to the table.

Like most entrepreneurs, Jennifer Steller, owner of A Steller Kitchen, followed her dream which was to open a restaurant. Along the way, she endured some big challenges, including opening her doors in the midst of Covid and later her husband was diagnosed with two brain tumors.

A Steller Kitchen offered sit-down meals at their small location at 131 Silver Bluff Road in Aiken. Some of their most popular offerings were casseroles, salads, keto-friendly meals, and desserts that you could pick up after work and enjoy with your family.


Jennifer is closing the doors of A Steller Kitchen at the end of this month. It’s a gut-wrenching decision for someone who loves serving others and has a heart the size of a stockpot full of homemade soup.

Her post on Facebook reflected that:

Being self-employed is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. After careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to close my shop. While I have cherished every moment of this journey, I must prioritize the well-being of my family. Regrettably, the demands of running the business have caused me to miss out on valuable time with my young boys, moments that can never be reclaimed.

In light of this, I believe it is in the best interest of my loved ones to step away from the business. Although this decision weighs heavily on my heart, I am confident that it is the right choice for us. Family is paramount, and I am committed to creating a more balanced and fulfilling life for all of us.

“My mind is a whirlwind. I’ve cried all day. Our business was up and down. Sometimes it was steady, some days not so much. It’s been a journey,” said Steller.

Make no mistake, Jennifer Steller is a survivor. She is already looking ahead to the next chapter. She has applied for an assistant teaching position which was her college degree.

“I struggled with learning as a child. I got bored easily. I believe I can make learning fun just like I have for my own two boys.”

Steller wants to instill values for children to follow steps and teach success one day at a time.

“When kids came to A Stellar Kitchen, they felt at home. When they asked for a PBJ with no crust, we delivered.”

Steller doesn’t want to give up on her dreams, but she believes something better might be ahead. Her husband is doing much better and is back to work.

“It’s not a failure if you tried and the next chapter might be even better.”

As Steller pointed out, success is built one day at a time.

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at

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  1. Great story Mitzi. Sad to see this for sure. When one door closes another opens. Good luck and blessings to the Stellar family.

  2. Sorry to see anyone lose a business! I have 3 words for this: Marketing, Marketing AND marketing….I’m out everyday….I’ve never heard of this place. No matter how good the product is, If people don’t know about it… They ain’t gonna buy i.

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