"I was fortunate that I had encountered them during my work as a journalist. Stella relied on word of mouth to get her business off the ground and by the end of 1962 she had amassed her first clients, who paid 15 guineas each (£15.75) for a year's membership.
Each came for a personal interview, with Stella carefully jotting down their age, hobbies and preferences into a notebook.
Those Stella has helped over the years include television personalities - although Stella is resolutely declines to name them - and members of the aristocracy.
It is the ordinary folk, however, of whom she is most proud, and whose thank-you letters she treasures.
"The fact that my friend had gone to a marriage bureau all those years ago had really stuck in my head," she recalls. "I couldn't help thinking that I could make a success of my own matchmaking service.
I thought at least given my experience, I might be able to help other people."And so on a hot July afternoon in 1962, Stella travelled by train to London to register the name of the Kathleen Kent Marriage Bureau with Companies House.
Fifty years ago, this woman set up Britain's first modern dating agency and created a giant industry.
20,000 lonely hearts later (including her own) her views on the changing mores of romance make fascinating reading.
They hit it off immediately, moved in together, married, and had a baby of their own, which made nine.
They live in a raucous household just a few miles away."Another lady came to see Stella after escaping her violent former husband. I get a Christmas card from them every year, and postcards from their travels," Stella recalls.
Born in Farnborough, Kent, in 1924, Stella Flanders, as she was then, initially trained as a nurse.
Then, aged 24, she married Ernest Groschel, a Czech engineer 13 years older who had come to Britain to escape the war.
It had been a heady romance, but once married, Stella regretted the union almost immediately.