Tuesday, 6 Jun 2023

Denver charcuterie catering, delivery: Cbeese Meat Board offers grazing boards of all sizes

Melanie Flint always felt there was a missed opportunity for smaller corporate events during her nine years in the catering industry.

The 38-year-old Denver native saw multiple requests for events with 10 people or less, but full-service catering businesses require a minimum order and staff on-site.

“I knew these clients wanted something nicer than just grabbing a tray from King Soopers,” Flint said.

In 2019, Flint launched Cheese Meat Board, a charcuterie board delivery service, to fill that gap. And on July 1, she opened the company’s first storefront at 2054 N. Broadway in Five Points.

Flint had been dreaming of opening her own business for five years prior, and after visiting Italy, where aperitivo, or pre-dinner meals with meats and cheeses, thrives, she decided to take the leap.

She started making the boards, kits and charcuterie cones in various sizes out of a commissary kitchen in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood. She delivered them for free around the metro area and began shipping them nationwide last year.

She has yet to secure an on-demand driver, so deliveries must be scheduled in advance. But over the past year and a half, she’s seen a flood of requests for same-day pickup orders.

“I listen to my customers and pivot to make it work,” Flint said.

In May last year, she purchased Cheese Meat Board’s new storefront in Five Points with the help of her significant other for $1.2 million from Garrison Minerals, which previously occupied the space, according to property records.

“I didn’t trust a landlord to not raise rent or eventually tear this down and redevelop it as so many other buildings around here have seen,” she said.

The 1,500-square-foot space was previously an office, so she’s spent the last year or so rezoning the property for food service and getting a certificate of occupancy.

Cheese Meat Board’s storefront is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Customers can pick up large “grazing boards” for $140 or half the size for $75, or grazing boxes that range from $13 to $260, depending on the size. There’s also a s’mores box and charcuterie cones, plus a Charpoocherie box that’s filled with dog treats.

Out-of-state customers can order charcuterie kits online, including one that comes with some Blanchard Family Wine, which Flint has partnered with.

“People are tired of the taco bars and sit-down dinners,” Flint said. “We see quite a spike in orders around the holidays, but we also service plenty of graduations, birthdays, real estate agents, corporate events, and anything people want to celebrate with cheese and meat.”

Other local charcuterie businesses around town include Wander + Graze in the Highlands, Golden Graze Boxes in Golden and So Damn Gouda Cheese + Provisions in Sunnyside.

Cheese Meat Board sources its products from local wholesalers, such as Longmont-based Cheese Importers and Denver-based Gourmet Foods International. The business has three production employees and four delivery drivers.

Flint said the pandemic proved beneficial for the business, as corporate companies sought ways to make virtual happy hours or meetings more fun. She said business has grown 25 percent each month year-over-year.

Eventually, her dream is to open a second storefront where customers can come in and build their own boards.

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This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.

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