INTERVIEW WITH LAINA FROM GRAZING KITCHEN
A local and modern charcuterie company
If you follow us on Instagram you have probably seen Grazing Kitchen's beautifully curated grazing boards, boxes and tablescapes. We have been ordering from her ever since a family member gifted us a box earlier this year and we became obsessed! Grazing Kitchen also created a beautiful board for our Malibu shoot in July. You can view that masterpiece here. We also love her grazing boxes because they are perfect to take on Duffy boat rides around the harbor.
We're highlighting her brand as we think you all will love her and her delicious charcuterie boards as much as we do! Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from and what’s your background?
1. Hi! My Name is Laina and I am in my twenties living in San Clemente! I am a former Flight Attendant and waitress turned into a food loving fanatic.
How long has Grazing Kitchen been in business and what made you want to get into the grazing biz?
2. Grazing Kitchen will be one year old in December! Grazing Kitchen got started while i was juggling two jobs as a flight attendant and waitress near Christmas time of 2019. My go-to appetizer for parties and intimate gatherings had always been some type of cheese board and it wasn't until I decided to invite a bunch of friends over specifically to create a huge board I realized by their reaction that I had something special. Since creating beautiful boards for friends and family was already a passion of mine, it was kind of a no brainer to create my passion into a business.
How are you so talented!? Were you self-taught or did you learn from someone?
I would have to give all credit first off to my Mom. Her friends call her the chair woman of cheese for all of our gatherings. She has always made huge Grazing Tables for holidays before Grazing Tables were a thing! I learned from her just by watching and of course tasting. Secondly, the Charcuterie community is so supportive and I've been lucky enough to be in contact and get advice from so many amazing companies! In Particular my cheese inspiration would have to go to my dear friend Sean Lara and his partner who run the company Board & You in Louisville Kentucky. Their work is absolutely incredible and they have made leaps and bounds for what we know today as the Charcuterie Catering Community.
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
On the forefront of the pandemic nearly every single customer had canceled their orders and we were left to brainstorm how we could keep Grazing Kitchen alive. We started by creating a Grazing Box that we knew would be a perfect way to feed a family that is stuck in their homes. Once word got out a few weeks later we were back to business rolling 20+ Boxes a day. We are so fortunate that the pandemic did not completely crush our newly launched business and we wouldn't have been able to keep running without the insane support of our local community.
What is your favorite grazing option that you make? Boxes, platters or big event tables?
I absolutely love creating every Box, Board, and Grazing Table that we provide! Although, if I would have to choose, I would say my favorite part of what we do is creating next level Grazing Tables for our customers. It is so fun to create our customers' vision for their event or gathering come true.
In such a high demand growing industry how do you deal with competition?
6. SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT. I am always referring customers to other companies when I can and am always happy to share any tips and tricks from what we have learned while creating Grazing Kitchen. I honestly believe there is no better way to run your business than with love and support for the people around you. Mostly we just try to focus on our customers and creating the best possible experience we can for them.
Is there anything new in store for you and your team? YES, but it’s too soon to announce :)
What’s your most popular best seller?
Our Grazing Boxes would definitely be our best sellers! Our #1 purchase is all the lovely people out there sending Grazing Boxes as gifts to friends, family, and clients and adding the most endearing notes to their boxes. It's very touching!
We noticed you just expanded to Ojai/Ventura county huge congrats!! What made you choose that area vs other coastal areas like SD or LA?
9. Yes we did! My partner and I fell in love with Ojai when we went to visit his cousin that lives there. It's such a special place and it reminds me of the small town vibe we have here in San Clemente. Our favorite thing about Ojai is how much the community supports each other and they support small businesses. Trust me, if you've been to Ojai, you would see the charm and how perfect this location is for Grazing Kitchen.
Where can everyone find you to purchase?!
Thank you so much Laina! It's been so fun watching your brand expand over the past few months & we agree support is everything! Love your creations and so excited for what's to come for you and your growing business.
Photos by Currents of Capri