It is said that we eat with our eyes first. This is why those beautiful snack boards are so appealing. I think it is the amazing food on them, but that’s just me. Combining the art of design and cramming in all those lovely goodies is Lauren, aka on social media as the Charcuterie Lady! Currently in San Clemente, she is providing ample sustenance to Orange and San Diego counties through her charcuterie boards and more. She started making the boards during her spouse’s deployment as food for her and her children to survive, er, thrive on (military spouses left behind get it), and with word of mouth – it grew! Only using products that she loves and enjoys, is it any wonder her business is booming?
During the social distancing period, she even delivered to the door. Can’t get much better than amazing food, well prepared and at your door. Oh – your purchase supports a local and military spouse business, that’s an added bonus.
When we saw her beautiful boards, we ordered one for the July 4th holiday. It did not disappoint.
Let’s learn more about Lauren, the lady behind the food.
Tell us a little bit about you.
Lauren (L): I’m from Chesapeake, Virginia. My husband and I actually grew up together and have been together since I was 14. I have always had an interest in interior design and fashion and have taken classes for starting in high school. I love the beach and if I am not making boards, my kids and I are at the beach.
Tell us a little bit about the start of The Charcuterie Lady? Who came up with the name?
L: I really got into it during my husbands last deployment. I would go through phases of being sad with also not wanting to cook full meals for myself that my kids won’t eat, so I would make the kids dinner. Once I got them to sleep, I would make these for myself. I came up with my name, my husband and I were sitting on the couch and I said what about charcuterie lady?! My son always says lady and I think it’s hilarious.
What made you start your own business?
Hint: Word of mouth!
L: I had only posted these on my personal Instagram stories and one of my friends told her friend I make them because she was having a get together. So she messaged my personal page and I made her one. She encouraged me to make an Instagram to post pictures of boards. Then another one of my friends reached out and asked me if I could make her a box so her and her husband could enjoy it at the beach for her anniversary. I said of course, then she posted her picture on the San Clemente life page and within an hour I was flooded with messages of people wanting to order one for themselves. (She told me after she posted) . Aw – that’s a good friend!
How do you choose what to use? Do you use local produce, or a certain type that you prefer? How often do you change your options?
L: I honestly put things in them I think taste amazing. I’m a huge snacker so everything I put in my boxes I personally love. I mostly use things from Trader Joes but will find things at other places too. All of my flowers, rosemary, sage, leaves, and so forth I cut from my house. Right now I have one option, but make changes on request. I will also do something upon request. For example vegan or gluten free, those kinds of things. I do plan on having another option soon!
Do you find that it is manageable to continue the business whilst navigating the other duties of marriage and/or parenting?
L: I have three kids, Lila who’s 5, Brian who’s 4, and Liam who’s 2. My husband is in Reconnaissance and has a very busy job. But this is something for me, which i haven’t had since before having Lila. I also have horrible OCD which usually channels in me cleaning but this has helped me a lot with that as well. My husband is very supportive, which helps.
Favorite motivational quote?
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” – Robert Schuller
Favorite thing to do?
L: Any kind of adventure honestly. I love being outside whether it be the beach, or the mountains. We are all about adventure here at MilMomAdventures – it’s like it’s in the name or something…
Favorite place to live/PCS’d to? Favorite thing to do at current duty station?
L: California; Go to Laguna Beach.
Best perk of military life for you/ Favorite adventure you have been on thanks to the military?
L: Bringing me cross country here. Growing up my mom always told me I belonged in California and she was right!
Best part of being a mother? Hardest part?
L: Watching your kids excitement, seeing them be kind, watching them learn, and watching them grow even though its sad at the same time.
Having to discipline on my own sometimes. Being a mom is just hard in general, you want to know your doing it right, your reacting appropriately, and you are raising good humans to take on this world but when your spouse is gone its hard on those bad days when you don’t have someone there to say what should we do.
Number one tip to give to fellow military spouses who want to start their own business? Do you have any licenses you have to maintain for business? Is this your first business?
L: If it’s something you love doing then it will just happen. I really had not planned on this becoming a business, so I am going into this at my own pace. This is not my first business. Before I had my third, I made bathbombs, lotions, facemasks and I had an etsy page. I got pregnant with my third, and it was just too much. I was no longer having fun doing it which is what is important to me, so I stopped.
Now that you have seen the amazing pictures and read about Lauren – you probably want to know how to order. If you are in the San Clemente area, you are in luck! Contact her via DM on Instagram to place an order! She is making a website in the future, and when she does we will update it here!
From now through August 10th, check out our Instagram page for a giveaway of one of her boards in honor of sharing her interview and inspiration! Giveaway is not sponsored by Facebook, Instagram or WordPress.