I was blown-away by the beautifully curated food boards from Graze New York when I tried them a few months ago. These communal food boards are wonderful for events and parties where you can choose from a wide variety (breakfast boards, meat and cheese, crudite, to name a few). Discover more about Shari and her incredible company in our latest Meet a Mom interview:
Interview with Shari Ivler, Founder of Graze New York
Tell us about your background before starting Graze New York.
I worked in the fashion world for many years at Hugo Boss and Juicy Couture doing styling and merchandising. I also worked with an interior designer for a few years in the city. After having my daughters and moving to Westchester I freelanced at a fashion company doing merchandising displays.
How did the idea for Graze New York come about?
I always loved to put together little boards when we had company. People always commented to me that I should “start a business” but at that point it was just something I enjoyed when entertaining. When I decided to leave my freelance job in fashion I felt like it was the right time to give it a try. The rest is history!
The food boards are gorgeous (and delicious) how do you go about curating them?
I think of the board as a blank canvas and really just try to have fun with it. I always try to use what’s in season and utilize local shops and farmers markets. It’s also really nice to build relationships with the local merchants. I’m known as the “prosciutto girl” at the meateria I frequent which makes me laugh! All the boards have a similar look to them but no two boards are exactly alike. It’s fun to look back when I first started Graze NY and see how they’ve evolved.
What are some of your most popular boards?
I would say the most popular is the meat and cheese! I mean, who doesn’t like a spread of meats and cheeses? Just add wine and you have a party!
What have been some of your challenges as a new business owner?
I think the biggest challenge has been balancing my time. Some days (most days) there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done; run a business, be a full-time mom and wife. I’m learning that it’s ok to not be able to tackle everything.
What areas do you service and how can people find you?
I service Westchester county and surrounding areas such as New York City, Brooklyn, Rockland and Connecticut. You can also find out more about me on my website, Instagram at @graze_newyork and via email at [email protected]
You mentioned to us that you are a one-woman show – how are you doing all of this?!
Little sleep and lots of coffee! In all seriousness I’m just trying to take one day at a time and have fun with it. This is what I’ve dreamed of doing so seeing it grow each day is so exciting! I also need to learn to let certain things go, like if all the toys aren’t cleaned up at the end of the day or I need to put the TV (aka babysitter) on for the girls while I tackle my to do list that’s ok too.
What are some of your future goals/plans for Graze?
To continue to see it grow. I’m always trying to think of fun new boards to create. I’ve been doing more event styling and set ups which I love doing. It’s really fun to see the boards come to life at the event space and I love being able to style the table they sit on. My ultimate goal would be to open a Graze New York store front one day. (Obviously I already have a whole Pinterest board of what the Graze NY cafe would look like!) A girl can dream right?!
Anything else to add?
I just feel really grateful to be doing something I am passionate about. Not to get too cheesy here but hearing from customers how much they enjoyed their boards and coming back to order again and again truly makes all the hard work worth it!
Check out more about Graze New York.