Kaycee Anderson made her debut with Coastal Charcuterie in St. Pete Beach, Florida after her friends suggested they post photos of the elaborate charcuterie boards she took on Instagram for their own meetings.
Now she’s sold more than 50 charcuterie boards – and made $ 2,000 in eight months. She juggles several boards a week, sometimes several a night, and works as an accountant and office manager for a shipbuilding company.
“I actually started my business during the pandemic. A lot of people wanted something else that could be delivered to their home, ”she said.
Starting a charcuterie board business is harder than just placing a few slices of gouda and cheddar next to some ham and then adding grapes. But if you have a knack for choosing sausage specialties and artfully combining them with all kinds of dishes, shopping smart, networking a lot and loving the hustle and bustle of a side gig, charcuterie could be reaching for you.
Yes, pandemic sausage companies popped up across the country when families stuck together or neighbors in a bubble got fed up with pizza, wings, and sourdough bread. Meat and cheese boards with all the fixins became a new staple food.
“In the 2020 vacation, things really get going. I probably made 20 boards in December, “said Anderson. Demand didn’t let up much as she filled out Super Bowl orders for meat and cheese boards and a custom board for a fancy date night on Valentine’s Day. Charcuterie boards were a fun and delicious way to watch March Madness and the perfect gift to send out a friend’s baby shower on Zoom.
An elaborate charcuterie board goes far beyond the cheese boards of days gone by. They even go beyond a meat and cheese board. Charcuterie and cheese are still staples, but the boards often contain nuts, fruits, pickled vegetables, spreads, chutney, jam, crackers, bread, and olives. Then there are also breakfast sausage boards with pancakes, fruit, chocolate and bacon or dessert boards with dips, fruit, biscuits, pretzels and sweetcorn (really).
There are tons of books, Pinterest photos, and Instagram posts full of ideas for topics, shapes, and ingredients.
7 steps to starting a charcuterie business
Anderson has learned some tricks and secrets of the sausage trade, such as Aldi s Christmas cheese sells out early and Trader Joe’s has the perfect bite-sized olive and fig crackers. Realtors like to give away sausage boards as a housewarming gift after a closure.
But there are more nuts and bolts to consider.
1. Know what “Charcuterie” means Me
Before getting into the business, know the definition of what you are doing. The traditional word can be traced back to 15th century France. “Charcuterie” is a French word and means “products made by a fancy pork butcher”. Charcuterie generally refers to a presentation of cooked meat paired with cheese and simple vegetables on a traditional board. They remain a popular way to feed guests on a budget for small parties or wine tastings.
2. Consider all startup costs
Anderson’s biggest startup cost was a $ 60 round wooden plank that was about three feet in diameter from T.J. Maxx. She uses it for her pasture tables, which serve around 30 people.
For other small, medium, and large orders, she puts the sausages together on single-use hard plastic trays that come with lids and cost around $ 4 on Amazon.
She also bought a pair of distinctive bowls, shakers, and tongs. But all in all, the starting investment was less than $ 300.
3. Calculate the price calculation for your products
“The hardest part is figuring out the prices and what people are willing to pay,” said Anderson. “I really had to sit down with my mom, who works in the hospitality industry, and find out. My main goal was to keep it around $ 9-10 per capita. I make a really good profit with it. “
Her smallest sausage board is $ 40, and she can usually make it for around $ 20. But when you factor in the time spent shopping for groceries, assembling, and delivering, that profit isn’t even $ 10 an hour. However, if they make three or more similar boards in a matter of days, and combine purchasing and assembly time, their profit margin improves.
On most boards, Anderson automatically adds crackers, bread, nuts, olives, pickles, fruits, and vegetables. Customers can choose the main ingredients from four categories: hard cheese, soft cheese, meat and spread. With the small boards that two to four people serve, you have four options. You pick six options for the medium, which costs $ 70 and serves four through eight. Customers choose eight options for the large board, which serves eight to twelve and costs $ 100.
4. Learn to create and perfect your charcuterie boards
Anderson, who is 26 years old, has been helping her mother with catering projects since she was 14 and was drawn to the sausage industry a few years ago.
“My mom says she’s watching me and I move things back and forth 10 or more times until I’m completely happy with how it looks,” she said. “To me, it’s like painting a painting.”
Over the years she learned from friends and family recipes for five different spreads, including ricotta with lemon whipped cream and a sun-dried tomato spread. She also has several popular charcuterie books, including On board, this cheese platter will change your life and Nice boards.
5. Cheese here, crackers there: Buy a charcuterie board
“When I make a bigger board or more boards, I go to Sam’s (club) Hands Down. The prices are great. I can get a big wheel of brie and put it on three boards, ”said Anderson.
If it’s just a board, she goes to Aldi.
“They have a really good selection of cheese. There are cheese specialties on public holidays. For St. Patrick’s Day there was green Gouda. There was heart-shaped cheese for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, ”she said. “I buy several of these as soon as you have them because they are always sold out. Then I can create a topic board that will be shown on social media so that people can get the idea to order. “
6. Acquire Charcuterie Board customers on social media
With 200 followers at Coastal Charcuterie’s Instagram page and about 200 for that Facebook site, Anderson has a stable business, which shows that you don’t have to go viral or be a serious social media influencer to have a successful side appearance. She uses hashtags that local foodies follow and a host of others, including #charcuterieofInstagram.
Anderson naturally involves followers with photos of their boards. She posts examples of topic boards for graduates and teachers at the end of school, mothers for Mother’s Day, and for the Super Bowl a week or so before customers have to order them.
She created herself website and paste the link on all of their social media so customers can see more photos and place orders.
7. Balance your charcuterie side gig with a full-time job
“Sometimes I make two to three orders a day on the weekend. I do a lot of the prep the night before and cut the cheese and meat, ”said Anderson. “I also make all the spreads the evening before. Then I cut all the fruits and vegetables and assemble each board. I do them all at once. “
When she has an event after work, she rushes home, assembles all the pre-cut groceries, and delivers the boards.
Anderson has all of the sizing boards ready for last minute orders so she doesn’t run out to buy them and groceries. And if it is really at the last minute, she suggests the food she has on hand to the customer so that there is no additional trip to the supermarket.
Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com