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The journey 


Eileen’s favorite task was preserving the farms harvest alongside her mother. This sparked her passion for food preservation. Her mother fueled that passion by encouraged her to continue experimenting with her new ideas. Despite the many messes in the kitchen.

During a high school job fair Eileen discovered there was a job where you could get paid to play with food. An acceptance letter from Oregon State University invited her to pursue her passion in food science.  

College gave her the knowledge and summer jobs the experience needed. Preparing her for a management position at a Safeway’s Ice Cream operation in Oakland, CA. But her pursuit for excellence lead her back to U. of C. at Davis to where she was rewarded with her MS in Food Science. 

Little did she know those early lessons learned on the farm would pave the way for her passion to come alive. Like the value of preparation, a commitment to excellence, and the passion to persevere when things get hard. 

Some of the largest food companies such as D.D. Williamson and Nestle sought Eileen out for her expertise to developed formulas for various food industries. Where she worked closely with many highly respected chefs. This sparked an interest for her in culinary. 

With that Eileen decided to broaden her knowledge by attending Culinary Institute at Central Oregon Community College.  She even went on to chair a capital campaign that would open the door so others could follow their culinary passion as well. 

After a successful career of solving problems for some of the largest food companies, she still had one more problem to solve. How to preserve the delicate flavor of hazelnut. Over the years Eileen recognized that unlike most nuts the hazelnut will lose its delicate flavor in the preservation and packaging process. 

In 2010 she launched Zella Hazelnuts in hopes of solving this problem. Through creativity and perseverance, she has developed a meticulous process to preserve this delicate nut. Affording you the rare opportunity to taste a perfectly roasted hazelnut fresh from her family’s farm.

Unlike most hazelnuts which are imported, Zella Hazelnuts are sustainably grown, roasted to perfection and carefully packaged in Oregon.  Producing the best nut you will ever taste.  Get yours today.




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