The American Chronicles: The Stone Werks

At the foot of Maryland’s South Mountain is historic Boonsboro, population about 3,700. It’s noted for its proximity to several Civil War battlefields, one being Antietam (or Sharpsburg), which was the bloodiest battle of the war. Another was the battle of South Mountain. Boonsboro actually had two skirmishes within its own village streets and it served as a hospital for the wounded from other battles. Romance novelist Nora Roberts settled there after getting married. Roberts still owns property in the town. It’s a quaint town with a few things going on, mainly kind of a bedroom community to more populated areas near Baltimore and Washington, DC. But this is the story of a young American couple.

Elisabeth and August Stone are in their early thirties. But when they were still in their 20s, and August was graduating from nearby Shepherd University, they were planning their lives together. They are both gifted in the arts—photography, staging, baking, cooking. It seemed they had so many irons in the fire, it would be difficult to find success. But they got married and started working at it together, day and night. There were weddings and banquets. There were sales of wonderfully-made baked goods. Elisabeth and August were piecing together a business through creativity and good old American stick-to-itiveness. Then they came up with an idea to own a coffee and baked goods shop.

After a good amount of research, seeking wise counsel—they are both Christ-centered—they chose the sleepy little town of Boonsboro. Months went by in planning and preparation, selecting the storefront along main street, getting permits, putting together menus and buying equipment piece by piece, and gathering up tables and chairs. There were times that they had to overcome both financial and emotional challenges along the way. But they finally got everything approved and started moving into their new shop in the midst of historic Boonsboro. At first, they couldn’t afford to hire anyone to help. They both were working night and day as their other businesses were still taking up a good amount of time

Today, it’s coming up on their six-year anniversary. Stone Werks Coffee and Sweets is open Tuesday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday in keeping with their faith tradition. They’ve had to hire help. There are lines for their coffee and baked goods. Both Stones are accomplished at baking, brewing coffee and hospitality. They have set an example of how a godly young couple with tenacity, skill, work ethic and just downright American goodness can succeed even when the economy and pandemics present what seem to be insurmountable challenges. Their faith has served them well as they truly are what the Apostle Peter described as “living stones” and examples of 1 Peter 4:9 of being “hospitable to one another without complaint.” If you are ever in Boonsboro, take a minute to look in on Elisabeth and August, you’ll be glad you did.

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Bill Wilson

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