The Stanfield’s story starts like many 30A residents. Rick and Tina Stanfield vacationed in the area for years, and one day decided to make 30A home. In 2006, the retired Missouri State Trooper and his family packed up and headed south to their new home.
“30A is a magical place. Thinking back, it was the people that made it different,” said Rick. “It was a unique confidence grounded by kindness and creativity that is different than any other place in the world.”
But, that’s when the plan fell off track. The housing bubble burst. The Stanfields went from millionaires to penniless in just a few short months.
Soon, they were living out of their car with less than $20 to their names.
“It seemed like the cards were definitely telling us to give up, pack up and go back where we came from, but we knew that wasn’t right,” Rick said. “We knew 30A was where we were supposed to be.”
That first night they slept in their car, they talked about a baking business that would eventually become Sweet Henrietta’s Treats. That dream kept them motivated. For their immediate future and needs, they started cleaning homes to earn a living.
A few years later, they saved up enough money for a used ice cream truck that became the first Sweet Henrietta’s food truck.
With no formal baking experience, Tina and Rick built their business into a thriving success. Their made-from-scratch confections caught the attention of locals, visitors, and have even been highlighted on the national stage. Local 30A celebrity, Vern Yip, featured them alongside him on the “Today Show” and in his New York Times Best Selling book, “Design Wise.”
Today, the couple has sold the Sweet Henrietta’s business and food truck Rick has finished his law degree, and they now have two grand children. It’s been ten years since they started on their journey building back up their lives.
Rick was inspired to write I Can And I Will for one reason: to help people going through difficult times.
Rick has been traveling to homeless shelters to spread his message of hope and giving away copies of his book to encourage those who need it the most. “I’m proud of my family and the way we handled everything,” said Rick. “I want people to know the steps we took to find success, and those same steps will work for them too.”
“I learned that if your heart tells you something, even if it doesn’t make sense, follow it anyway.”
That’s a pretty sweet lesson for us all.
JESSICA ROBERTS is a freelance writer and marketing/event manager living in Santa Rosa Beach. When not working or writing, you’ll find her out on the water or traveling somewhere new.