There are few food options more universally loved than charcuterie. What’s not to like about cheese and meat? Serve it at a wedding, offer it at a holiday party. It has mass appeal.
But Charlotte entrepreneurs (and real-life partners) Lindsay Anvik and Rob Henricks have taken the traditional charcuterie concept and elevated it to the next level, creating edible works of art.
Their company, Babe & Butcher, offers insanely detailed, high-end charcuterie, crudité, fruit, and dessert boards, as well as grazing tables (extra long versions of these boards that work for large-scale events).
Anvik, who handles the creation of the boards, with Henricks on the accounting and logistics side of things, says, “When I’m designing, I see it like a painting in my head.”
The reception to the artfully crafted boards has been significant.
Since Babe & Butcher began six months ago, they’ve gone from taking a couple of orders per week to tackling upwards of 13 boards in a day.
They have a few part-time employees helping with prep and deliveries, but for the most part, Anvik and Henricks are on their own, and Henricks still holds a full-time job as a restaurant consultant.
How it works: Babe & Butcher offers between six and eight standard board options, or you can customize your own board or grazing table.
For example, the 24 Foundation (which puts on 24 Hours of Booty) wanted a grazing table that complemented the organization’s signature orange color. Anvik delivered, putting together a table filled with fresh oranges, macaroons, mini orange cakes, and orange candy, all centered around two large orange bike wheels.
“I love a flavor or color challenge,” Anvik said.
Anvik said grazing tables have become a popular choice among brides, both for wedding cocktail hours or even as a replacement for the traditional, sit-down meal. Anvik said this is probably because they’re are a budget-friendly alternative, plus they allow people to socialize and enjoy the venue as they dine.
Choices: Boards can include everything from specialty cookies from Japan, cheddar cheese imported from England, a truffle balsamic that’s perfect as a drizzle over burrata, Anvik’s homemade vegan chocolate mousse, or her lemon feta dip.
Serving sizes: Boards feed between 10-15 people. Anvik called a grazing table an “extrapolation” of a board, saying it can feed anywhere from 40 to 400 people, depending on the type of table that’s requested.
Pricing: It varies depending on exactly what you’re looking for, but the boards aren’t cheap. Fruit-only boards start at $115. Charcuterie starts at $150. Because grazing tables are always custom-made, there’s no base price for this option.
Though the price point is high, Anvik thinks Babe & Butcher’s success stems from the meal’s versatility.
“Charcuterie covers all of the bases in terms of dietary restrictions,” Anvik says. “If you don’t eat meat, you can have cheese. If you don’t eat cheese, you can have nuts. The South loves to throw a party, and they like to entertain. Usually, our board is one part of a bigger story.”
There’s another contributing factor, too. “The rise of social media has caused everything to want to be Instagram-able. Everything. Restaurants, charcuterie. All that good stuff.”
The boards: If you order from Babe & Butcher, you can choose to keep the board or give it back when you’re finished. They’ll donate the boards to various charitable organizations or recycle them. If you return your board, you get 10 percent off your next order.
If you’re looking for more than just your standard wooden board, Anvik and Henriks partner with local artists like Cosmic Creativ to serve on artfully decorated options. Look for them to expand the list of unique choices in the future.
New additions: They’ll unveil a Naughty & Nice holiday board soon, as well as a holiday truffle board and several specialty charcuterie boards featuring local and seasonal items like cranberries and other festive picks.
Fan favorites: Charcuterie is by far the most popular request. “It has a little bit of something for everybody,” Anvik explained. After that, dessert boards are the second most popular option.
Photos courtesy of Babe and Butcher