By: Jen Russon
Two friends with a love of the culinary arts and crafty designs combined their talents to bring charcuterie to Coral Springs and surrounding communities.
Shannon Vega and Cathy Hall said they launched BoardYum in February and have since assembled hundreds of sweet and savory charcuterie boxes, platters, and party favors.
An online catering company, BoardYum also holds classes on designing their artful platters, which are chock full of nibbles procured wholesale from local businesses. Clients learn the art of folding, slicing, and tasting, then take their creations home.
For BoardYum’s owners, home is close by.
The pair live in Margate and Coral Springs, each with children attending local schools. After meeting at the gym, they learned they both share a love of entertaining and found they work exceptionally well together since launching their small business.
“I look at my life now as pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. I’ve always loved cooking and putting food together,” said Vega, a former wedding planner. “On a road trip early this year, I decided I wanted to do something with that.”
A graduate of J.P. Taravella High School, Vega still lives in Coral Springs and says her business came to a screeching halt because of COVID-19. Yet, she’s grateful in a sense since doing charcuterie with her dear friend turned out to be the fresh start they both desperately needed.
Hall lost her job at a Coral Springs nail salon when it burned down last spring in a fire, taking with it the Chinese restaurant next door. With no more hands to work her artistry on, Cathy’s unused creativity was burning yet another hole in her life.
“Cathy is so crafty. In January, I called her up and said, ‘I have a business proposition for you,” recalls Vega. “By February, we were ready to launch, with heart-shaped charcuterie boards. Every holiday since has been really busy.”
The friends work on BoardYum orders in Vega’s home, getting up at 5 a.m. to create and ship their orders within the same day.
“We get a lot of orders from people who used to live in Coral Springs and Parkland, who want to treat their friends who still live in the area,” said Vega, adding they deliver to most of the cities in Broward.
The charcuterie craze has really caught on. A Sunrise class they taught with caterers from a Lauderdale company sold out in three days.
BoardYum’s solo events prove just as popular, with bookings all over town during May, which, in addition to Mother’s Day, includes Teacher Appreciation Week.
Vega said she and Hall hope to one day offer classes with the same kind of relaxed, wine-drinking vibe friends share when they paint canvases or ceramics together, but for now, their business is hyperfocused on customizing charcuterie boards from everything from small date nights to huge special events.
Both said they are thrilled, so many others appear to share their obsession with artfully folded salami roses, lessons in wine and cheese, not to mention perfecting recipes with candied bacon and gourmet chocolate.
BoardYum procures many of their signature charcuterie items from vendors at the Parkland Farmers Market, specializing in jellies and jams. They also shop at the local Costco and Restaurant Depot to create platters and party favors.
Their pretty arrangements are headed to Country Hills Elementary School, where Vega’s son is a student. BoardYum will not only cater a back-to-school event in August but supply 15 boxes of goodies for a Teacher’s Appreciation Day raffle in the coming weeks.
“We love to help support small local businesses,” said Vega, adding a lucky winner will soon be announced for their Mother’s Day giveaway, having satisfied the contest rules of promoting small, women-owned businesses in Coral Springs.
Vega and Hall said most of BoardYum’s clientele are women, but that hasn’t stopped them from coming up with charcuterie boards men will love as temperatures rise and grills spark up this summer.
The art of charcuterie, centuries-old, may be nothing new, but it’s just beginning in Coral Springs, thousands of miles removed from its French origins.
“We’re kind of like a new spin on Edible Arrangements,” said Vega. “It’s all so delicious and so fun.”
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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