Sliced meats, creamy cheeses, scatterings of fresh fruit, nuts, olives, and artisanal crackers purposefully placed on a wooden platter — it’s the intersection of food and art called charcuterie. Courtney Bowman knows this art form well. As the owner of Raleigh Cheesy, she loves creating delicious celebratory food experiences for her customers. And we just had to learn more …
When did Raleigh Cheesy open, and what was the inspiration behind starting your business?
Raleigh Cheesy started in October 2019 as a creative outlet for me while I was teaching middle school. Our first store in Apex opened in February 2021 and our Raleigh store opened in July 2022.
What were you doing prior to opening Raleigh Cheesy?
Prior to Raleigh Cheesy, I was a middle school Latin teacher for seven years. In 2019, I started making cheeseboards as a stress reliever, and before I knew it, orders were pouring in and this side hustle was growing faster than I could ever imagine. I was able to quit my teaching job and pursue making cheeseboards full time. Art became my career.
Why do you think charcuterie boards have become so popular?
Charcuterie boards have been around for such a long time, but during the pandemic, they’ve seemed to take on a life of their own. People have developed really unique and beautiful ways of styling them, and I think we all were channeling a lot of our creativity during the early days of Covid. I think that creativity ended up producing beautiful charcuterie boards and people taking a lot of pride in creating their own meals and food at home, as well as finding ways to make at-home events feel more special.
What are your different offerings?
We offer everything from tiny bite boxes and jarcuterie (charcuterie in a cup!) that are great lunch-sized snacks all the way to 175-person grazing tables that are 20 feet long! We have two different jarcuterie sizes, three different box sizes, and four different board sizes. There’s a perfect size for every occasion.
What is your most popular board?
Our most popular size is the small board that feeds four to six people, includes four different cheeses, various charcuterie meats, and is packed with accompaniments.
What are some of your favorite items to include in a board?
I love incorporating seasonal fruits! When fig season comes around, they are so beautiful to add to boards!
Where do you source your meats, cheeses, and other accompaniments?
We source our meats and cheeses from a specialty foods wholesaler, and most of our produce actually comes from Costco.
Do you accommodate special dietary needs?
We accommodate all dietary requests! While we aren’t an allergen-free kitchen, we do make gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, nut-free, pork-free, and vegetarian boards to accommodate as many dietary requests as we can.
What can you pick up at the retail locations, and what needs to be ordered in advance?
We always have date, snack, and bite boxes available for pickup in the fridge at both of our stores. All boards need to be preordered, and boxes can be preordered as well, especially if you know you will need a lot of them or if you have a specialty dietary request. We also have various accompaniments to help you create your own boards: jams, honeys, nuts, crackers, cheeses, charcuterie, olives, and more!
What types of classes do you offer?
We offer Cheeseboard 101 classes where you will learn the four Cs of a cheeseboard and all the ins and outs of creating your own. Classes are 90 minutes long, and people can either take public ones if they would like to attend the class solo or on a date, or they can reserve a private class for five to 20 people at either of our locations and have the entire store to themselves. Classes start at $70 a person, but vary slightly depending on if we are partnering with any other companies and hosting the class at their locations. (We have partnered with breweries, local stores, Joy Worthy Co., and more!). We provide a 10-inch platter you will style on, plus all the ingredients needed for making a beautiful two-person cheeseboard.
What else should we know?
We have just started something called Wine Down Wednesdays, where from 5–7 p.m. any box in our front fridge is 10% off if you BYOB into the store. We also offer corporate lunches and catering options for corporate events, all the way from small individual lunch boxes to grazing tables that provide the “wow” factor for your event!
Raleigh: 3075 Medlin Drive
Apex: 1460 Chapel Ridge Road, Suite #170
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