Have you ever wondered about collaborations between bloggers and brands? Tag along with me for a behind-the-scenes look at Stonewall Kitchen’s bloggers retreat at their headquarters in York, Maine.

Inside with Stonewall Kitchen | What Happens on a Bloggers Retreat?

Who is Stonewall Kitchen?

I’ve blogged about this favorite store of mine and their products for some time now in the posts:

Summer Destination Maine, Stonewall Kitchen

The Best Maine Stonewall Kitchen Gift Baskets

Seasonal Inspiration with Stonewall Kitchen

Stonewall Kitchen was created by Jim Stott and Jonathan King, who began their food journey by selling blueberry jams at flea markets in Portsmouth, NH in 1991. And today the Stonewall Kitchen’s home campus is just around the corner from our home here in York, Maine. You may read all about their amazing story HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

A Little Tidbit:

We gave away Stonewall Kitchen’s Blueberry Jam to guests at our wedding back in 1998. They were a huge hit even back then.

What is a Blogger’s Retreat?

Many brands host mini-conferences, gathering influencers and bloggers alike in an effort to inspire and educate them on their company and products.

In return, bloggers and influencers partner with these brands, incorporating what they have learned into their content.

Whether it’s on a blog, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or TikTok.

Inside Stonewall Kitchen’s Bloggers Retreat Day 1

With the addition of Stonewall Kitchen’s new home store this year, I was honored to be welcomed into this talented group of food bloggers and influencers.

And boy, did we have fun!

We all met up on the first evening at the beautiful York Harbor Inn, which would be the accommodations for most over the next couple of days.

A gift basket filled with Maine goodies was gifted to each of us.

Gift Bag


An Evening of Collaboration

The evening began with a ride in a sleek white limousine to Old Vines Wine Bar and Restaurant in Kennebunk, Maine.

Most of us had never met before so we chatted and caught up on the 30-minute drive to the restaurant. So fun!

We enjoyed the most fabulous food pairings, all made with Stonewall Kitchen’s favorites.

Starting out of course, with Maine lobster rolls.

woman serving lobster rolls

The food and company were all fantastic!

And we joked about how we could take all the photos we wanted without being embarrassed, as we were all amongst friends…

Inside Stonewall Kitchen’s Bloggers Retreat Day 2

Stonewall Kitchen’s Bloggers Retreat Breakfast

Well, because it’s Stonewall Kitchen the next morning began with breakfast in their cafe, where I had a grilled blueberry muffin and a side of their famous blueberry jam, recommended by one of their marketing managers, Sarah. Ammmmmazing…

I had never thought to grill my blueberry muffins before have you?

Grilled Blueberry Muffin

We were then welcomed into Stonewall Kitchen’s corporate offices with open arms to receive our guest badges along with the day’s agenda.

Inside with Stonewall Kitchen | What Happens on a Bloggers Retreat?

Stonewall’s Kitchen Photography Tour

First up on the day’s agenda was a visit and tour of Stonewall Kitchen’s Photography Department.

As a home decor blogger, my eye immediately gravitated to the wall of props used daily for photo shoots. We learned all about how important the size and depth of each of these pieces are to the photography layout.

Shelves of Dishes

Wow, how amazing it was to see all the behind-the-scenes of food photography from the workings of a catalog layout, how to style the food, lighting, design, and so much more.

A Little Tidbit:

We learned that Stonewall Kitchen’s Creative Director designs and draws all the holiday packaging up herself every year. No clip art is needed here!

And that one of the original owners Jonathan, hand-wrote so many of the original labels that they created a font out of his handwriting that lives on the packaging today.

A Guided Tour of Stonewall Kitchen by CEO John Stiker

How many CEOs take the time to meet influencers and bloggers like myself?

Well, John took his entire morning touring us all around the Stonewall Kitchen campus!

And boy did we learn a lot!

John Snider, CEO of Stonewall Kitchen

After a tour of the Stonewall corporate store, we visited the merchandising room.


A room filled with displays where the store practices merchandising display concepts along with merchandising slogans to match the upcoming displays on a whiteboard for the seasons ahead.

Slogans like “A Walk on the Beach”, “Mint Mahem”, and “Splish Splash” are just a few.

A Little Tidbit:

York Maine’s local astronaut, Chris Cassidy when up in space in 2020 not only brought Stonewall Kitchen’s Blueberry Jam up with him, he requested more. It took months to get it to him. But the mission was accomplished…


We visited the warehouse to factory production getting a glimpse of what was “Being Made Today…”

Inside with Stonewall Kitchen | What Happens on a Bloggers Retreat?

Lunch with Stonewall Kitchen

Then it was time for another amazing “Gorge Fest” prepared and presented by head chef Brendan.

Apparently “Gorge Fest” is a coined term by the employees for the gourmet foods that are regularly prepared in their in-house kitchen.

Man in Kitchen

A Little Tidbit:

One of Stonewall Kitchen’s first orders ever was purchased by Crate and Barrel for 5000 jars of Marmelade. At that time Jonathan wrote out all the labels on the jars himself. That’s a lot of handwriting!

There was just one problem with the order, Jonathan had forgotten the r in Marmalade on all the labels. When Crate and Barrel phoned to inform him of this mistake, being the witty guy that Jonathan is, he responded, “Oh no, it’s Maine that’s how we say Mamalade”! Crate and Barrel loved it and it was sold as is.

Dinner with Stonewall Kitchen

After a pleasant 4-hour break, we convened once again at the Wiggly Bridge Distillery for another “Gorge Fest” prepared by chef Brendan of Stonewall Kitchen.

Wiggly Bridge Distillery created specialty drinks made with Stonewall Kitchen’s ingredients to pair with each food dish.

The Bada Bing Cherries and April’s Maple Crunch were my favorites!

And I was surprised to learn on our tour today, that the Bada Bing Cherries are Stonewall Kitchen’s top seller! They are amazingly delicious!

A big thank you to our friends and hosts Sarah, Emma, and Jacob, Digital Marketing Managers for inviting and hosting us on this amazing Stonewall Kitchen’s Bloggers Retreat!

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This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


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  1. Wow so fun to hear all about the stonewall kitchen retreat! I love the pictures and all the details! What a great weekend you and molly had with one of my favorite maine brands! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Omgoodness, this looks like an amazing retreat! Looks like you had so much fun and that you learned a lot 😊 I love the story about the labels on the marmalade – so fun!!

    1. We had a wonderful time Cindy. And yes isn’t that such a funny story!

  3. Great roundup of all the fun we had! It was wonderful to share this fun experience with you!

    1. Thank you, Molly. I enjoyed yours as well today. It was so much fun!

  4. Wow, Ann! This looks like it was such a great visit. Stonewall kitchen is such an amazing brand and we love their product. So glad you shared this retreat with us.

    1. It was Kim, we had such a nice time! I know you love Stonewall Kitchen as I do!

  5. Ann!!! This is so much fun! I’m so excited you got to be part of this and I loved getting to see the behind the scenes!! I’m going to share with my followers in my weekend round up! They will love reading about your fun too!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it Kristin, thank you so much!

  6. Ann
    That sounds like so much fun. It’s great that it’s located so close to you.

    1. It was so much fun, Rachel. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to go to something like this and not have to travel, it was awesome:)

  7. Lisa Anderson says:

    Sounds like it was a fabulous experience. Can’t wait to hear more about it over a grilled blueberry muffin…with Stonewall Kitchen jam, of course!!

    1. Lisa, you would have enjoyed it so much. The food and preparations were just amazing!

  8. I so enjoyed this post! You did a great job of helping me feel like I was right there along with you!! What a fun and fascinating place! I will need to start paying closer attention to Stonewall products. A few of those pictures really got my attention. Thank you for sharing – and I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kristine. They are a fabulous company and the products are all-time favorites. We gave the blueberry jam away as wedding gifts at our wedding 24 years ago:)

    2. My sister in Ct sends me a case of Stonewall Kitchens Cranberry Horseradish sauce for Christmas and our left over turkey sandwiches would not be the same without it. I love all their products but here in N.C there is not a store nearby so mail order is my only way to purchase from them. Thoroughly enjoyed your sharing your visit to their headquarters.

      1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kathy. It’s really a very special place…