(English) Our story begins in mid-20th century on the island of Mljet, near Dubrovnik. For generations, the Dabelić family has been growing olives, figs, vineyards and producing olive oil, wine and traditional delicacies. This was once the main source of income for a large family. The youngest daughter, Melita, started the Stella Croatica brand, desiring to give a modern face to the traditional products. She carefully collected traditional dessert recipes and secret tips long safeguarded by families from Dalmatian islands. In her endeavors, she wanted to preserve the gastronomic heritage from oblivion and breathe new life into this culinary legacy!
(English) What to expect
Discover all the natural beauty of the Mediterranean with your senses and heart.
Take a tour of the (manu)factory where our sweets are handmade, walk through the scenic botanical collection, explore the rich Mediterranean garden, and visit the olive oil museum and traditional family estate. Awaken all your senses by tasting different varieties of homemade delicacies and our award-winning olive oils in an authentic atmosphere of the concept store. Taste a wide array of fresh cheeses, cured meat products and olive tapenades, great local wines or daily cooked authentic meals in our tavern – all made from fresh, organic and local ingredients!
(English) Take this unique opportunity to enjoy the tastes and aromas of the treats we prepare for you. As good hosts, we offer organized tours through the hand-making of our traditional Stella Croatica sweets.
(English) Take a peek into the magical world and art of preparing traditional Dalmatian delicacies! Every product is handmade – from preparation to packaging! We are especially proud of the traditional Christmas dried fig cake (smokvenjak), a recipe that has been passed on from generation to generation of the Dabelić-Polić family. Taste our candied almonds, (bajami) candied orange peels (arancini), and other delicacies that are prepared in front of you.
(English) Olive Museum – Growing and processing olives was the key to the survival of the family. Every year, people cherished each ripe fruit that was turned into ‘liquid gold’. For centuries, olives brought food to the table, served as a cure and meant survival for the families.
(English) Every year, the entire production process, from olive tree pruning, to fruit harvesting, from olive oil production to tasting, represents a new gathering and joy of living for our families! Find out how we used to care for our olive trees and how our families would prepare for the harvest. The museum offers an overview of the traditional ways of olive processing.
Ethno-collection – On the family estate, the old life style is revived in a display of traditional architecture and our ethno-collection. The estate itself is an exhibition venue of sorts, while the exhibits of old tools and objects used in everyday life tell a story about how once wine was made and stored, where butter was churned, or what peasants carried daily to the field and what tools they used to work the land…
(English) Family estate
(English) By visiting our family estate, take a peek into the past – the culture, customs and everyday life of the Dalmatian family.
(English) The whole estate was carefully built and restored in collaboration with ethnographers and ethnologists, which significantly contributed to a faithful representation of the cultural-historical heritage. The houses are made of stone, in line with the traditional construction and architecture that has not changed for centuries.
Life on the rocky ground was not easy – it took a lot of time and effort to prepare just a small parcel for agricultural cultivation. Also, in an effort and desire to make use of every square inch, the estate is surrounded by many small gardens. Mediterranean cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, as well as the richness of taste and aroma. Therefore, what we grow here are edible, but also aromatic, and medicinal plants, etc.
(English) Our tavern offers a family atmosphere and local Dalmatian dishes served in a beautiful courtyard of the estate’s central square.
(English) Mediterranean gardens
(English) Walk through the garden, starring lavender, rosemary and other fragrant and flowering shrubs. Find hidden botanical jewels, authentic herbs, endemic flowers and typical Mediterranean fruits and vegetables!
(English) Our garden features different herb islands to enjoy the aromatic, fragrant, edible, spicy, wild, cultivated and other plant species. Each island is picturesque and colorful in its own way!
The botanical garden boasts endemic Croatian plant species such as Centaurea ragusina and Degenia velebitica. The main reason for establishing the first private botanical collection in Croatia is to preserve and exhibit our natural heritage.
We also present an old olive grove and different old fig varieties.
One part of the collection is dedicated to our vegetable garden, which represents a typical Dalmatian family garden, created for the purpose of preserving the old Dalmatian agricultural plant species, but also for harvesting the fruits when in season.
The Aroma Park is the part of the garden designated to display the most common aromatic herbs in Dalmatia. It is an ideal place to engage all your senses in getting to know this precious flora.
The park includes a distillery in the open, to demonstrate how the distillation process yields hydrolytes and essential oils used in the preparation of our natural soaps and cosmetics.
Gourmet & Cosmetic Boutique
(English) Taste the award-winning olive oils and sweets, and discover the long forgotten flavors of childhood. Let’s meet in the homey atmosphere of our store to show you everything we produce. Enjoy yourself.
(English) Sweets made of figs, walnuts and citrus fruits, healthy and tasty honey, a variety of cookies and cakes, jams and spreads… are only a small part of what we have to offer.
Nature meets science in our carefully designed cosmetic products based on olive oil and enriched with our natural essential oils.
Try our handmade soaps and high-quality skin care products – lavender or immortelle creams!
(English) Olive oil tasting
(English) Join us on a guided tour of extra virgin olive oil tasting! Learn more about proper olive oil tasting and consumption! You will discover the aromas and flavors of olive oils and compare them to those of tomatoes, artichokes, almonds and freshly cut grass. Along with olive oil, you will taste our traditional fig and almond desserts, green olive and pine nut tapenades, fruit spreads, local cheeses and wines, and more traditional specialties. Discover our one-of-a-kind olive oil tasting program, on the estate’s central square, under the old mulberry tree…
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(English) Culinary lessons
(English) Learn more about the local cuisine – cooking traditional dishes using fresh ingredients and spices from the garden! After getting to know each other and taking a tour of the estate, we set out on a culinary adventure. Our host will present you the recipe and dishes you will make yourself. You will find some of the ingredients in our garden and learn family secrets to preparing a delicious meal. Do you know what collard greens (raštika) are? Learn how to consume this superfood in a modern variant! At the end of the workshop, taste the fruits of your labor in a relaxed ambiance, engaging all your senses!