Price Increase Coming Soon!

Posted on May 22, 2024 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments

Like many small businesses right now, inflation is making it harder and harder for us to keep on swimming! We have a new shipment of products leaving Poland this week to restock all your favorites. Unfortunately, the upfront costs of these products have gone up 10-20%, which means we will have to raise prices once again. But, before we do that we wanted to give all of our loyal followers a heads up to encourage you to order now!

We know everyone is feeling sticker shock each time you go grocery shopping, so now is the perfect time to learn to make your favorite ferments at home! Want to save even more money - start a garden and ferment the produce you grow to extend it's shelf life. Our products aren't cheap, but they are an investment in the future as they are built to last. So grab that fermenting crock, cabbage shredder or other products now before they cost you even more!

We will be increasing our prices on June 1, 2024, which gives you just over a week to make your purchases at our current pricing.  Our new shipment should be arriving a few weeks later in mid-June, so be sure to sign up on the product page to be notified when we restock!

Boleslawiec vs. Boleslawiec

Posted on July 28, 2023 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments

The word "Boleslawiec" can refer to two different things, which can be confusing, so we wanted to offer a little more explanation!  Boleslawiec is both a place - a town and region in Poland - and a ceramics cooperative located in that town.  

Boleslawiec, Poland

Boleslawiec is a town in western Poland, as well as a county.  Because of the high quality clay that occurs naturally in this area, it is the center of Polish ceramics production.  The town was founded in the 13th century and evidence of pottery making in the town dates to the 14th century.  Pottery from this region is typically decorated in a traditional folk designs featuring mainly blue and white decorations.  This style of pottery is among the most important folk pottery traditions in Europe.

Boleslawiec Pottery

Boleslawiec also is the most popular producer of what most people identify as "Polish Pottery".  The company is actually a ceramics cooperative located in Boleslawiec, Poland.  A ceramics cooperative is a collection of smaller ceramics studio that produce products for the Boleslawiec Pottery company.  To make things more confusing, not all ceramics studios in Boleslawiec, Poland are a part of the Boleslawiec company.  While we import many of our most popular products from the Boleslawiec Pottery company, we also sell products made by another small ceramics studio (read more about that company here) in Boleslawiec, Poland that is not a part of the cooperative.  

For example, our crocks made by the Boleslawiec company feature this marking on the bottom - 

Our Stone Creek Trading Ceramics are made in Boleslawiec, Poland but not by the Boleslawiec company.  Here is the marking on the bottom of those crocks -


Both items say Boleslawiec on the bottom, because this is where they are made.  They also say Handmade (or Painted) in Poland and feature each studio's name and logo.

The last image also has the signature of the artist as well as "Unikat", which is a special marking which means "unique" in Polish.  This marking denotes a custom design made by a highly skilled artist who has gone through intense training to receive this designation.  The resulting work is an intricate work of art and is therefore signed by the artist.  We have a new custom crock design coming soon which will feature this designation!

We also have products from other ceramics studios located in other regions, but all the items we sell are made in Poland.  We hope that helps you understand better all the ways Boleslawiec is used!

Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Cake Recipe

Posted on July 01, 2023 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments

Today we are sharing a fun version of a traditional family recipe that we have been making for years!  This recipe comes from Kryz's Babcia Lilka (Grandma) who would make this Polish coffee cake on Sunday afternoons in early summer.  Over the years we have adapted the recipe to make it easier and this year we had the idea to decorate it like an American Flag for the 4th of July!

Every year we spend the 4th of July in my hometown in Central Illinois. We are serving this Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Cake for a family gathering tonight!  The cake truly represents our family - both Polish and American!

Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Cake



  • 2 lbs Strawberries
  • 1 lb Rhubarb
  • 5 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Blueberries


  • 4 cups Flour
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Tbs Half & Half or Whole Milk


  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • dash of salt

Begin by preparing the fruit.  Chop the rhubarb and 3/4 of the strawberries into small pieces.  Mix with the brown sugar and let sit while prepping the dough.  Slice the remainder of the strawberries into quarts and set aside for decoration.  Wash the blueberries and set aside for later.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a medium shallow cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl cut butter into flour with a pastry blender, fork or grater until it has an even texture. Add sugar and baking powder and continue mixing.  In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, sour cream and half & half and mix until smooth.  Pour into dry mixture and stir.  This is a dry dough so kneading with hands will be necessary to finish combining the ingredients and create the even texture.  Press the dough into a rectangle on the cookie sheet until it is even thickness, about 3/4-1" thick.

Drain any liquid from the strawberry rhubarb mixture and then spread it evenly across the top of the dough.  Make sure you get the mixture as close to the edge as possible.  Press the fruit into the dough.  Place the cake in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the meringue.  Beat egg whites and dash of salt in a mixer with a whisk attachment.  Gradually add the sugar while the mixture is beating, until the meringue forms stiff peaks.

Remove the cake from the oven after 20 minutes and spread the meringue on top.  Increase the oven temperature to 375 and place the cake back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the meringue just starts to brown.  Remove the cake and press the blueberries and strawberries into a flag shape on top of the meringue.  Return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Let the cake cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.  Cut it into small squares, should feed 12-16 people!  Enjoy!


How It's Made - Polish Decorated Pottery

Posted on June 20, 2023 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments

Last week we shared how our Stone Creek Trading crocks are made (see our blog post here if you missed it) and promised to give you more detail about the painting process this week. Our Polish Decorated crocks (made by both Boleslawiec and Stone Creek Trading), are all hand painted using traditional Polish techniques.

When we visited the ceramics studio that makes our Stone Creek Trading Crocks, we met the two artisans that hand paint all of their products. In order to show us the methods they use, they taught our daughters how to make their own ceramic designs!


At the time we visited our daughters were 6 and 11 years old. Despite a language difference (the artisans only spoke Polish, and while our daughters understand some Polish, they primarily speak English), the artisans were able to teach the girls the traditional methods. Of course, Kryz also helped with translating as he is fluent in both Polish and English!

This is one of the artisan's workstations, where our younger daughter worked on her items. You can see the plate she is stamping, a container filled with sponge stamps on the left, various paint brushes, some items waiting to be painted on the shelf, and various glaze colors in plastic containers on the right. Each of the girls made one plate and one mug while we toured the facility!


The first step is to choose a stamp. These are each cut out of sponge by the artisan to make various shapes. This artisan's box contained around 30 different shapes that she had created. They can combine the different shapes to create unique patterns on the ceramics.

Each stamp is dipped into one color of glaze, then tapped on the lid of the container to ensure the correct amount of glaze is on the stamp. When wet, the glaze colors appear to be pastel. However, once the ceramics are fired they transform to the traditional colors we recognize!

When the ceramics are being painted, they have not yet been fired. The clay has been dried for several days making it hold the shape, but it still could be deformed if they are handled while painting.

In order to be able to move the ceramics around to paint all the sides, the artisans use a rotating pedestal. You keep one hand on the bottom to rotate your piece as you paint!

To create the intricate designs everyone recognizes are Polish pottery, you start with a simple repeating design. Here our older daughter started by stamping a ring of red flower shapes around the outside of her plate.

She added blue circles to the middle of the initial red flowers using a different stamp. She continued to add more flowers and shapes in different colors around the plate until it was full! While blue is the most recognized color of Polish pottery, reds, yellows and greens are often used as highlights!

And here are the finished pieces! The ceramics studio fired their plates and mugs after we left and included them in our next order. You can see how the colors darken when fired versus when they were first painted!

These are of course the girls favorite plates and mugs and they use them regularly now. This was such a special experience for all of us and something will will remember forever!

Want to see videos of the girls painting their items? Check out our the videos on our Facebook or Instagram!



How It's Made - Stone Creek Trading Crocks

Posted on June 12, 2023 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments


We love a chance to look behind the scenes, so today we wanted to share with you more about how our Stone Creek Trading crocks are made! These photos are from when we visited the ceramic studio that makes our Stone Creek Trading Crocks. This studio is located in the Boleslawiec region of Poland, an area that has been famous for it's ceramics for centuries!

The most important ingredient for making Polish ceramics from the Boleslawiec region is the light colored clay that is found locally. Here you see the clay in its raw form in the back, and after it has been mixed and is ready to be formed in the front.

This machine tumbles the raw clay in order the create a smooth clay that can be used to create high quality ceramics. The raw clay is inserted into the hole with water and then the machine mixes it together into an even, smooth clay!

In order to get a consistent shape, wooden forms are used to mold the clay into shape. Here you see molds for the crocks on the right, molds for the lids in the middle, and lids that have already been removed form the molds on the top!

When the clay is first removed from the molds, there are many rough edges and areas where extra clay is present. These areas are smoothed out and removed before the clay is glazed.

The studio that makes our Stone Creek Trading Crocks employs a staff of around 8-10 female artisans. The women on the left is working on forming the ceramics in molds. After the clay is formed into the mold, it will sit for several days to dry. The woman on the right is then removing items from the mold that have already dried. The ceramics will then sit for several more days before they are smoothed and glazed!


When we say these crocks are hand painted, we mean it! There are two artisans that hand paint the decorated crocks. Another woman glazes all the solid colored or dipped items. Want to know more about how these designs are made? Next week will show how they create these traditional designs!

On the wall here you can see many items that have already been decorated, and a few items waiting to be done! The colors of the glaze appear muted or pastel here. However, once the ceramics are fired, they transform into the deep blues, reds and yellows everyone recognizes as Polish pottery.

This studio uses two large electric kilns to fire their ceramics. as you can see on the right, racks are stacked into the kiln to maximize the space when firing. These items on the right have been fired and are cooling before they will be removed. You can see the glaze has turned dark after the firing.

And here are a few finished decorated crocks! We had so much fun visiting this studio and learning more about the process and people who make our products. Next week we will share with you how these traditional designs are made!

Looking to purchase products made in this studio? Check out our Stone Creek Trading Ceramics collection!

Stone Creek Trading by the Numbers - 10 years!

Posted on April 16, 2023 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments

It's hard to believe, but Stone Creek Trading is 10 years old tomorrow!  To celebrate, we thought it would be fun to share a few numbers from the last 10 years of this small family business!

April 17, 2013 - The day we finally hit publish and launched the website to the public!  We started this business in our 1 car garage.  Those first few shipments filled the entire space, and we ended up with overflow into our living room as well!

5L Boleslawiec Fermenting Crock - This is the very first product we sold to someone we didn't know.  It was also the product that gave us the idea to start the business in the first place.  And to date it is still the most popular product we sell!

34 - The number of shipments we have imported from Poland since we launched! The first 7 shipments were pallets, and all happened in 2013.  And then - 

May 15, 2014 - The day our first small container arrived!  It seemed like so much product, but just under a year later we doubled it with a full size container!

November 10, 2014 - The New York Times published "Master of the Hard Shell", a review of their favorite nutcrackers, including our Mushroom Nutcracker!

8,433 - The number of Nutcrackers we have sold in 10 years!

Black Friday, 2014 - Our 2nd daughter is born on the biggest shopping day of the year!  So of course, we stopped by UPS to drop off orders on the way to the hospital.

May 2016 - Our first product sourcing trip to Poland!  Up until this point, Kryz's father had been handling everything in Poland.  But after 3 years in business, we were able to make the trip to visit our facility in Poland!

October 2016 - We stepped up our branding game by getting this custom box stamping machine made in Poland.  We also transitioned to having 90% of our packing supplies made in Poland as well.  We are committed to our tagline of making sure our business really is "Made in Poland"!

July 2017 - We upgraded our Luna Glass Crock Weights Packaging!  Since 2017, it is completely made from custom cardboard, making it 100% recyclable.

March 13, 2018 - We received our first patent for our Luna Glass Crock Weights!

10,764 - The number of Luna Glass Crock Weights we have sold!

5.5" - the most popular size of our Luna Glass Crock Weights, with 29% of the total sold.  The 6.5" and 8.5" were the first sizes we made, designed to fit in our 5L & 10L Boleslawiec fermenting crock.  Those sizes were so popular, we soon added the 5.5" and 7.5".

4.5" - This was the last size of the Luna Glass Crock Weights we added.  We had to 3d print the size to make sure it would fit in our smallest crocks!

August 2019 - We returned to Poland to find more new products, including our line of Polish Folk Art!

March 2020 - We have never been more thankful that we run our own online business. 

August 2021 - We returned to Poland and visited where many of our items are made.  It was amazing to tour the facilities with our artisans and see our products in all stages of completion!

Spring 2022 - We imported the largest number of nutcrackers we ever have, and still sold out of them before we could restock!

April 2023 - And here we are, 10 years!  This blog post covers many highlights in the 10 years of this small family business, but it doesn't begin to illustrate the journey it has been. 

We launched this business with the goal of being able to work for ourselves so that we could be a bigger part of our then 3 year old daughter's life.  That little girl is now 13 years old, and she has an 8 year old sister too!  You probably purchase from us just because you like our products and the price works for you, but know that every order means that our family gets to keep on living our dream.  And for that, there is no way for us to even begin to thank you for the last 10 years!

The Story of our Small Family Business

Posted on November 26, 2022 by Kryz Kociolek | 0 comments

Stone Creek Trading is the true small family business. Kryz and I (Emily) started this business in 2013 when we were both working full time for architecture firms.  We were exhausted and burnt out from long days at work and never enough time at home with our then 3 year old daughter.  We knew we needed to take a big risk if we wanted to break out of the rut we were in!

We decided to combine our interests in natural foods with Kryz's connection to his home country of Poland.  When we looked for a fermenting crock for ourselves, we discovered there were so many more options made in Poland that we couldn't find here in the United States.  So we asked Kryz's father in Poland to ship us a couple.  In February of 2013, we incorporated the company and started by importing 2 fermenting crocks - the 5L and 10L Boleslawiec Fermenting Crocks, which are still some of our biggest sellers!

Before we launched the website in April of 2013, we imported one pallet of products.  Within a year we switched from importing pallets to our first small container!  Over the years, we found more unique products and fermenting crock suppliers.  We love working with other small businesses in Poland that wouldn't normally be able to export their products on their own.

In 2016, we took the business to the next level by developing and patenting our own product - the Luna Glass Crock Weights.  These glass weights quickly became our signature product!  The Luna Glass Crock Weights now make up over 20% of our sales, the largest share of any product we sell.

Since we launched this company it has been run by our family, both here in the United States and Poland!  Our Polish operation is headed up by Jacek, Kryz's father.  He works with our Polish manufacturers and gets everything ready to ship to us here in the United States.  Over the years, we have moved to having all of our marketing materials and cardboard made in Poland as well! 

We've always been hands on owners - every customer service email or newsletter you've received has been written by Emily!  All the products have been tested in our own kitchen before we sell them.  We are right there doing the manual labor too - unpacking containers and packing and shipping orders!  We've traveled to Poland several times to meet with manufactures to learn more about the products and people who make them!

This spring we will be celebrating 10 years in business!  It's hard to believe it's been that long, but I can't imagine doing anything else.  We never would have been successful for this long without the support of our amazing customers - you!  Thank you so much for everything you do to support us and keep this story going!

- Emily & Kryz

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