Sense of Place: Shelly Stayer

Photo by Roland Scarpa Photography

Shelly Stayer is known for generously supporting numerous local causes; when seated at a charitable event, her auction paddle is always poised to rise. The 8-year Naples resident is co-owner of Johnsonville Sausage with husband Ralph Stayer, whose father started the now global company.

Stayer recently donated $3 million to the Shelter for Abused Women and Children for a shelter in Immokalee to help human trafficking victims. She is also chair of American Cancer Society’s Bucket List Bash this month, featuring an appearance by Andrea Bocelli.


1. What few people know about her: I love to fish. I frequent Walmart. I choose boating over golf every time. I’d go four-wheeling, snowmobiling, or jet skiing and cancel every ladies’ luncheon. And yes, we eat sausage every day.

2. Favorite artist: Claes Odenburg. I love his outdoor sculptures.

3. Favorite local restaurants: Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro, hands down, and tied with Sea Salt.

Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro

4. On shopping for fashion: I teach my girls high-low shopping: T-shirts can come from Target and the sweater can be from Marissa Collections or Saks Fifth Avenue. It’s a current trend that should stick around.

5. Now reading: The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy by Jean Kennedy Smith

6. Signature drink: Leinenkughel Summer Shandy. All cheeseheads drink beer.

7. Biggest splurge: Buying gifts for people. I love it!

8. Hardest lesson learned: Being an entrepreneur can be a curse!

9. Naples’ best-kept secret: La Femme Perfumery. Cool Parisian store and Isabelle is the best makeup artist anywhere.

10. Coveted jewelry designer: Mattia Cielo

11. Where she takes out-of-town guests: Mercato. It’s cool, hip, and the “it” place to be day and night.

Photo by Paul Pedrosso

12. Bucket List Topper: To meet the Pope and spend the day with Andrea Bocelli, happening soon.

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