The grandchild of Italian immigrants and NC tobacco sharecroppers, Susan describes herself as being half polenta and red wine and half grits and sweet tea; cooking and sharing stories around the dining table is her idea of relaxation.
Her professional culinary experience includes operating “The Dainty Morsel,” a home-based bakery specializing in European-style desserts, managing a New York-style deli; and conceptualizing, launching and managing a Gourmet to Go retail establishment for Very Vera, a nationally recognized caterer and mail-order supplier of authentic Southern confections. During her tenure at Very Vera, she conceived and executed a company print newsletter called The Last Bite, with a readership of 3,000+ customers. The newsletter was featured in an August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. She also represented the company through public speaking at area events and conducted radio spots.
Susan kicked off her chef clogs for good in 2005 to pursue her love of writing rather than spend all day over a hot stove. Two years later she was a finalist for the Apicius Scholarship, an award given by The Symposium for Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier.
She’s written about food, hospitality and lifestyle for magazines in the Raleigh and Pinehurst area. Her blog, www.thesharedtable.com is the place where she explores the true meaning of hospitality: loving strangers. Her most popular post titled, “13 Things Grandma Knew About Hospitality (without reading a single issue of Martha Stewart Magazine) focused on the concept of having an open door and being available.
As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she has traveled throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, encouraging women to “Leave the Safety and Security of Their Shells.” Over the past nine years, Susan has presented this message (which in book form, is currently being shopped to several publishers) to thousands of women and seen many come to Christ.
Susan speaks at women’s retreats, where her gift of humor and love of etymology make her talks insightful and memorable.
Her book titled, “Holidazed ~ How to Slow Down, Spend Less and Restore Sanity to the Holidays,” is available on Kindle.
She and her husband, Roger, have been involved in planting churches in CA, FL and GA. They write and perform contemporary Christian music and have released an album called, “Watch Expectantly,” also available for purchase here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/RogerSusanEly. They currently are the worship pastors at Ascension Church and live in Raleigh, within spitting distance of their two daughters and four of their five grandchildren.