WILLIAMSBURG – On social media, charcuterie has become a bit of an art form in recent years.
If you search for the hashtag “#Charcuterieboard” on Facebook or Instagram, you are bound to see a wide variety of shapes, colors and arrangements made from different types of cheese, cold cuts and fresh fruit. These arrangements are usually laid out on wooden planks.
âWe can call ourselves artists. We organize them beautifully on board. We cut it, maneuver it and shape it to make you say ‘wow, I can’t believe you made that with a piece of cheese,’ said Lush Charcuterie owner Thea Peou.
Peou’s entry into the charcuterie world began in February 2020. At the time, she was living in Massachusetts and experimenting with designing charcuterie boards as a hobby. She eventually started making gifts from her designs for family and friends.
âSo people ask, ‘Are you selling this? “I would love to send it to a friend as a birthday present,” Peou said. âI launched an Instagram page that exploded and that’s how I started my business. People came to my page, they loved what they saw and they wanted to either try it or send it to a friend. Much of it came out. People sent it as a gift.
Customers quickly started asking Peou to set up and design entire pasture tables for parties and social events.
Events such as baby showers, weddings, and corporate events are just a few of the gatherings that Peou has delivered to its charcuterie boards.
Peou decided to take Lush Charcuterie with her to the Historic Triangle after moving to the area for her main job.
âIt’s something I didn’t want to give up because it’s so much fun,â Peou said. âIt’s that hobby where you can kind of make some money, but you still have fun. You don’t wake up saying, âOh, I have to do another plank. It’s very stress-relieving and very therapeutic.
Peou is currently in the process of transferring all of its business licenses from Massachusetts to Virginia. At the moment, she cannot deliver boards to customers yet. However, she built the virtual side of her business.
On Lush Charcuterie’s Instagram page, she started a series called âBoard Basics 101â where people can learn techniques for designing their own boards.
âI also give virtual lessons. It could be a company hosting a team building event and calling or texting me on how to organize it virtually. So I would send them whatever they need to make a board through another cheese company that would provide the cheese, the cold cuts, some of the things that would go on the board, âPeou said. “They would get the package, and we would zoom in and walk around the classroom together.”
Peou also intends to team up with local wineries and breweries in the area to offer his classes in person. An upcoming class will be held at 11 a.m. on November 14 at SaudÃ© Creek Vineyards.
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