Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you offer Gift Certificates?
A: Please CLICK HERE to find out about how you can offer Three Stone Hearth food as a gift.
Q: I am on a special diet. Are you able to make individual meals to accommodate my restrictions?
A: We make all our foods in large batches to fulfill the complete orders for the week, and so are not able to accommodate individual requests or restrictions. We do list the ingredients in the descriptor for each item, so you can decide whether or not you can eat that product before ordering it. If you ever have a question about an ingredient in one of our dishes, please just email us at info[at]threestonehearth.com and we’ll get back to you with clarification.
Q: Sometimes when I go online to order, something that I want to get is sold out, does that mean that it’s not available?
A: We are constantly adjusting our “to sell” numbers to reflect what we think we’ll have available. Often, an item will become available later in the week, so you can always check back. We also may have it for sale at our walk-in store on pick-up days. Lastly, we sell a certain amount of product through the El Cerrito Natural Grocery Store and the Berkeley Natural Grocery Store each week, so you can check with them to see if they have the item you want available.
Q: How spicy is your food? My children won’t eat anything that’s too hot.
A: We try to be VERY conservative about spicing. Our thought is that those who like it hot can always add more spice at home (a pinch of cayenne or a splash of hot sauce are favorite additions). Many of the dishes that we prepare are traditional, and usually are traditionally much spicier than we make them. This is an adjustment we make to traditional recipes to accommodate a wide range of palates, including those of children (we want your children to eat–and like–our food!). Occasionally, an item is a bit spicier than our usual palate–we try to indicate that on the descriptor.
Q: What about salt? How salty is your food?
A: We salt to taste, using mineral-rich Celtic sea salt. Our broths are unsalted, but everything else does contain salt. Again, we try not to over-salt because you can always add salt at home if you’d like more.
Q: How long does your food last, can it be frozen, and how should I reheat it?
A: Please check out the “Our Foods” page–scroll down for in depth instructions on how to store, freeze, and reheat most of our products.
Q: What if I place an order but then need to cancel it?
A: Your order can be canceled for a credit up until the store closes at 10am on Wednesday morning. Please email us at info[at]threestonehearth.com as soon as possible to request that your order be canceled. The payment for that order will be refunded to your Three Stone Hearth online account and can be used the next time you order.
Q: What if I realize too late that I need to cancel it?
A: If you discover after the store has closed (10am on Wednesday) that you will not be able to pick up or utilize the food you ordered from us, please email us and let us know. Usually, we can arrange an alternative pick-up time with you or a designated friend. You also always have the option of donating your order to the volunteers in the kitchen. We’re sorry but we are not able to freeze products for customers to be picked up later.
Q: What if I can’t pick up my order during your store hours?
A: If you have an emergency and will not be able to pick up, please email us by Thursday evening at email@example.com or call and leave a message at 510-981-1334. Unless prior arrangements have been made with us, all unclaimed orders will be forfeited to the kitchen for staff use. Only non-perishable retail items will be credited back to your account for a restocking fee of $5.00 per order.
We encourage you to make use of our store hours or make arrangements in advance to pick up your food. During store hours staff members on duty are trained and prepared to assist you. Serving customers outside of pick-up/store hours pulls staff away from other important responsibilities.
Q: I can never make it to your store hours. What are my options?
A: If you have scheduling challenges, consider the following
- Asking a friend or family member to pick up your order for you during pick-up/store hours. Please add a note in the notes section when placing your order telling us who is picking up your order.
- Selecting delivery, which is available in the East Bay, San Francisco, and Marin. Please see the “Pick Up & Delivery” page.
- Purchasing certain Three Stone Hearth specialties from the Natural Grocery in Berkeley or El Cerrito, open from 9 am-8 pm, seven days a week
Q: What if something is wrong with something I purchased from you?
A: If there is a problem with a TSH house-made product that you purchased from us, please let us know as soon as possible for a possible partial or full refund, depending on the nature of the problem. It is best to notify us in writing at info[at]threestonehearth.com with details. If there is a problem with a retail product that we carry from another producer, we will usually put you in touch directly with that producer to resolve the issue and to give them direct feedback. The producer will often replace the product at no charge, delivering it to our kitchen so that you can pick it up later.
Q: What if I order something from you but then don’t like it?
A: We are sorry but we are unable to offer refunds for products that you simply don’t like. Please fill out our feedback form so that we are aware of your input and/or email us with any constructive criticism. We take all feedback very seriously and are constantly improving our recipes and procedures.
Q: I’m interested in classes and hands-on experiences in the kitchen and I’ve heard you offer those, but I can’t find them! Where are they?
A: Each week we are offering a Education and Outreach Menu which includes upcoming opportunities to come to the kitchen for a class, or a tour, or a hands-on day in the kitchen. Please click on that menu to read about what’s coming up, and check it weekly as it is always changing. These opportunities are also listed in our weekly newsletter, so sign up for that! Lastly, we have a week long intensive in the kitchen for those who want to learn in a deeper way about our model. Email info[at]threestonehearth.com for more information.
Q: Should I wash the glass jars and bottles before I return them?
A: Yes, please! We do sterilize the jars and bottles, but we greatly appreciate when customers thoroughly wash their jars and bottles before returning them.
Q: Do I need to return the lids, too?
A: You don’t have to. The inner lids can be recycled at home (we don’t reuse them here at the kitchen, just recycle them). If a ring is getting rusty, please recycle it (we can’t reuse rusty rings). If it looks new, you can return it and we will reuse it. Only the glass is returnable for deposit.
Q: One of the mason jars got broken–can I return it for deposit?
A: No. Please recycle it. Only fully-intact, reusable jars can be returned for deposit.
Q: Should I screw the rings back onto the jars before returning them?
A: No, thanks. It is easier for us if the rings are loose.
Q: Should I remove the label from the St. Benoit Yogurt jars?
A: Yes, please! It is easy to pull off before you wash the jar.
Q: Do you accept the small St. Benoit ceramic crocks returned for deposit?
Q: Do you accept Straus cream or milk bottles returned for deposit?
A: No–only Claravale. (We don’t sell Straus cream or milk.)
Q: I have a box of old mason jars that are like the ones you use–can I return them to you for deposit?
A: No–unless you got them from us they are not returnable to us for deposit. If you are interested in donating Mason or Kerr (wide mouth only) jars to the kitchen, please bring them in for us to take a look at first–we need to inspect them to make sure they are useful to us.
Q: How do I return jars if I am a delivery customer?
A: Please see our “Delivery and Pick-Up” page for details!