WILMINGTON, N.C. — Charcuterie boards have been around for centuries but have become extremely popular after starting to trend on social media.
They're now stealing the show at parties and gatherings all over, but someone has to have the eye to put it together.
What You Need to Know
- A charcuterie board includes an assortment of meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts and grains
- Charcuterie boards originated in France in the 15th century
- Boundless Boards will soon be a business in Wilmington that builds and arranges the platters for you
When Sara Lester started Boundless Boards, it was just a hobby in her kitchen – something that could pass the downtime during the start of the pandemic. But when she and her husband moved to Wilmington, she decided to take a risk on the charcuterie board trend and open up a storefront location.
“COVID kind of puts you in that perspective of 'what am I going to do with my life, where do I want to be?,'" Lester said. “I was like, 'Drew, let's make a side hustle business,' well come to find out there's a lot more involved than just making boards.”
The boards are anything but your average fruit tray, and for anyone wondering what the fancy word 'charcuterie' means — she explained it's simply the French word for meat and cheese.
She found an unexpected passion and release in making the boards, and now she's got it all figured out so that she can assemble one in a matter of minutes. It may not be difficult for her to pair the various cheeses, fruits and nuts, but it does take a certain skill to know what varieties blend well together.
“It is the one thing that I can truly just do, and it cuts off my brain,” Lester said. “It's something that I enjoy and my hands just go and I have fun with it, and I love seeing smiles on people's faces when they eat it.”
She doesn't have a culinary background like you might think, but rather a connection to interior design, which she says helps her pair the different elements of the boards.
“It's been like making my own secret sauce in a charcuterie board,” Lester said. “So you want your colors to be right, you want to make sure you have the right things in the board. It's kind of the same perspective as building a room.”
Lester certainly hopes the boards aren't a passing fad now that she's put this much effort into it. Her whole goal is to bring a personal touch to charcuterie and be the smiling face her customers see every time they enter her shop.
“I think it's going to be something that's kind of revolutionizing the hospitable part and the gifting part of what we do,” Lester said. “Not only is it a way to be creative and put something fun together and then eat it, it's become a very convenient way to be hospitable when you have company coming over.”
If she had her way Boundless Boards would've been open weeks ago, but unfortunately supply chain issues have slowed down construction and so she said they'll just have to patiently wait.