Hannah Goodale’s business started out like many during the pandemic. After losing work in the wedding industry, where she works as a planner, she turned to a hobby she had been doing just for fun — making charcuterie boards..
“I started making them for friends and family, they would tell people and I started to get a small following,” she said. That was this summer, but it wasn’t until months later when she launched her Instagram, where she runs the business through now.
“My friends and family were like, ‘You really should start doing this, just put yourself out there and just see what happens.’” But Goodale was still holding onto hope that the wedding industry would bounce back and her work would return.
“It still wasn’t at that point and then finally around Christmas time, I was like you know what, let’s make an Instagram,” she said. “And immediately it just kind of took off from there.” Her business is named Charcütes, a reference to the nickname she and her family call meat and cheese boards. Since launching the Instagram account, Goodale has been at it full time, making charcuterie boards for the holidays, New Years and now, Valentine’s Day.
“I kept telling myself it’ll slow down,” she said. “And it hasn’t yet.” In post-pandemic times, she hopes to run workshops and classes teaching people how to create the beautiful and lush boards.
“Working in the wedding industry, you’re constantly creating and bringing people’s ideas to life,” she said. “I think that this is a creative way for me to express myself. The best part for me is what it represents — when people get together or give it as a gift to somebody.”
A quick scroll through Goodale’s posts and it’s easy to see she is good at her job. Every charcuterie board is colorful and full of meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts and more. To bring her vision to life, she starts small.
“I start with the main big things — the meat and the cheeses — what are going to take up the most room.” She balances those on different parts of the board. “And then the things that go with it like the fig jam and the honey. From there, I kind of just fill in.”
Goodale packs the empty space with grapes, citrus slices, strawberries, nuts, pickles and olives. “I personally hate any open areas where I can see underneath,” she said. In those areas, she fills in with pomegranate seeds or less traditional items like peanut butter cups or chocolate covered pretzels. But for almost every board, she covers the basics — a good cheddar, a soft brie and one hard cheese.
The Valentine’s Day specials from Charcütes are two different boards. The Adore You Wooden Heart option comes with a handmade heart-shaped board filled with assorted cheeses, fruit, nuts and edible glitter cherries. The Heartbreaker Box comes with selections of brie hearts, salami roses, chocolate-covered pretzels and a breakable heart with booze-infused chocolate-covered strawberries. Once she creates these Insta-worthy boards, her favorite part is knowing that her business safely brings people together.
“There was one woman who always got a board for girls’ night,” she said. “They would sit outside and it was their way to hang out together. It’s cool to give somebody something that they share with other people. It’s an excuse for people to get together and I feel like right now is when you need that because it’s just so uncertain.”
To order a board from Charcütes, follow and send a direct message to Goodale.