TULSA, Okla. — One of the hottest food trends emerging out of the pandemic centers around Charcuterie, the artful arrangements of meat, cheese and more.
Meet Shiraya Proffitt, a Tulsa woman who quit her day job and followed her cheeseboard dreams.
"My number one rule of cheese boards is: cut the cheese."
Proffitt's wit and wisdom is as sharp as the cheddar she sells.
"Most of what we do has become our cheese and Charcuterie gift boxes. It's kind of the perfect gift. It's the beauty of arrangement, but it's also edible comfort food."
Just like the colorful boxes and boards she creates, the pandemic created opportunity for Profitt to follow a life long dream.
"My background is in science , actually I did biology. I was pre-med. I did public health as a master's degree, but since I was a child, I always had this thought that I was going to end up in the food industry in some way, someday."
That day arrived last spring. As restaurants closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Proffitt's side business "Charcuteray" offered people a new way to gather through food. She started producing virtual videos, and 'Do-It-Yourself' cheeseboard kits.
"(I) Saw that this created this little beacon of hope in what was such a dark time for people. I think people were really aching for something to pull them out and give them a way to escape, so those DIY cheese boards really took off," Proffitt said.
They became so popular that by fall, Proffitt left her day job in public health to purse this passion full-time.
"We were rolling really strongly and had a super great fall season and it was really encouraging, especially having just quit my job. I was feeling inspired and passionate. Then in December, my husband and I got COVID," Proffitt said.
So the company closed and quarantined, able to safely re-open right before Christmas.
"In the five days leading up to Christmas, we made over 500 cheeseboards," Proffitt said.
In this new year, Proffitt hopes to turn this online business into her own store. The new kid on the block reminding people that anything is possible through hard work, the community's support, and great cheese, of course.
"For those of you who may have an entrepreneurship dream, I would say, go for it! It's a beautiful place to be starting something new. There is no support like the support you'll get here," Proffitt said.
Charcuterray collaborates with other local businesses to incorporate local products in their boards and boxes. Proffitt also offers vegan, gluten-free and other dietary options.
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