After many dinner date debates over where to eat, life, and love for charcuterie boards, Monica Nino and Bryan Gonzales turned their passion for edible arrangements into a business.
In 2018, they launched The Board Couple to cultivate a casual environment full of connection, comfort, and massive support and interest on social media.
We started posting on social media for fun, and people began asking how much the boards cost and how to get them, Nino said.
With increased demand, The Board Couple applied for a grant with Maestro Entrepreneurship, who assisted them in kitchen hours, maintaining the business, and delivery. Gonzalez credits Maestro by allowing them to turn their passion project into a business venture.
By not beginning with a storefront, The Board Couple focused on luxury delivery. A concept that allowed them to deliver to customers without the overbearingness of traditional catering, but more luxurious than the standard delivery.
“They were getting dinner and a show,” Nino said. “They were getting charcuterie, the presentation, the setup, and the experience of what we had to offer when we set up.”
Recently, due to the impacts of COVID-19, The Board Couple found that people still wanted their products but withholding the provided entertainment. As a result, Nino and Gonzalez have transformed its business model to include curbside pickups, remote culinary workshops, and shipping nationwide.
“We pivoted to make TBC boxes, which is a smaller version of our board in a box, and it is better for social distancing,” Nino said. “So, that became very popular.”
The TBC boxes comprise seven charcuterie delicatessen offerings, three artisan farm cheeses, fresh grapes, Mediterranean olives, and more for $18.00 a box on the TheBoardCouple.com.
Nino and Gonzalez were also challenged to make a business pivot when clients had difficulty sourcing items at the store that they wanted to enjoy outside of their pickups. The Board Couple created TBC Grocery, which aggregates the items from the storefront and puts them in an online grocery store.
This online ordering feature strengthened the Board Couple’s relationship with its customers. By offering a TBC Grocery special on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and Fourth of July, customers have come back with feelings of trustworthiness
“With the holidays approaching, there are clients that have really latched onto our concept and became great clients throughout the year,” Nino said. “And it all started with a single box.”
The Grazing Table – a massive edible arrangement – has required Clientele to cut back on party sizes or postpone to Jan. 2021 due to COVID-19.
“We came up with our multi-board setup, which is still going to achieve the look of a grazing table, but it’s not going to require us to be on-site to set it up,” Nino said.
Actively providing customers and clients social-distanced options has kept The Board Couple viable.
Another socially-distanced option is The Blackberry Academy, a virtual culinary workshop that provides customers with a charcuterie board and food products beforehand as they learn culinary lessons via Zoom.
For this upcoming winter, The Board Couple projects shipping to be at the forefront of their business. Beginning of 2020 shipping was a business aspect that The Board Couple recognized as supplementary but realizes its impactful role in cultivating a robust shipping model as the year ends.