Michiana's Menu: Graze by Erica offers charcuterie boards for every occasion

Michiana’s Menu: Graze by Erica offers charcuterie boards for every occasion

ELKHART, Ind. -- “In 2020 of August, I got the push from my friends and family to take the jump, and I thought what the heck, I just turned 23, what do I have to lose,” says Erica Schnippel, owner of Graze by Erica. “To find my passion at such a young age has been so fulfilling and comforting to me knowing that when I go to work every day it is something I want to do and I am happy with it”

You cannot think charcuterie in Michiana without thinking of Graze by Erica. The young small business owner took the leap to spread her magic touch with beautifully, curated boards. These boards came to the community at a time when people were eager to gather and munch.

“After the year and a half of the pandemic being in the thick of it, I think people really needed that they wanted to gather and graze, and I think that is what pushed me because people needed it.”

During the early months of the pandemic, Erica first started crafting boards and posting them to social media. After an uproar of praise, she realized she had a talent and the community had a need. She quickly grew her online business to lead her to her own charcuterie board shop.

There, customers can visit for all things cheese and order her specialty products for themselves. While it is clear she knows how to create the perfect combo of cheese and jam, her love for cooking is nothing new.

In fact, exploring the kitchen has always been a part of her story.

“The cooking channel was my Saturday morning cartoon, I would turn on the cooking channel and my siblings would make fun of me for it, like why are you watching Ina Garten and Rachel Ray? I always have been a hostess at heart, and I like to feed people and entertain them so it was natural when graze came about.”

Within graze lies an important photo to Erica, the ribbon cutting of her grand opening, a special day for her and her story. She explains she revisits this photo even when the days get long. Because for her, it is not just a board. It is being a part of someone’s special day.

“That’s what keeps me going these boards as silly as cheese does not mean anything to celebrate a special event in someone’s life so showing up even when I do not want to you have to keep going.”

Erica took the leap, and she is grateful for it. Her advice to other aspiring business owners? Just do it.

“You just have to do it, if I was scared and I listened to my inner self, like you do not know anything I would not have started graze but with support with family friends and empowering myself that I can do this just do it, just start it, the person who will hold you back yourself is you.”

Plan your visit here. 

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