Passion Turned Purpose for Local Mother-Daughter Cheese & Charcuterie Startup
By Abby Meaux Conques
From small DIY trays to elaborate wedding displays, the “grazing” trend has officially made its way to the U.S. The roots of the communal come-together, partnered with delightful snacking for events and family functions, recently became a movement stateside after gaining ground in Australia.
Couples love the elaborate luxurious display and the sophisticated, yet relaxed ambiance it brings to the event. Guests help themselves while they mingle; or as we like to put it ‘gather and graze’Tracy Lindberg, co-owner of Lafayette’s own Graze Acadiana
Tracy and her daughter Mandy Osgood knew they had something special when they were asked to provide one of their signature graze trays at almost every function they would attend. With Mandy’s creative side and Tracy’s business sense, they know a dynamite team could come from their backgrounds. “When we realized how something as simple as a beautifully curated platter of hand-picked goodness brought people together, we knew we had to share our contribution with people from our area,” Mandy explained. “Graze Acadiana grew out of our love for being creative while serving loving people in our community, “ said Osgood. Serving is what they do, indeed…and they serve with heart and mindfulness.
In 2018, the Mother-Daughter team decided to embark on the journey of small business entrepreneurship. Upon their decision to open up shop, Tracy, (Gigi to seven beautiful grandkids, Breaux Bridge resident, tapas, travel and fishing lover) and Mandy (mother of 3, beachgoer, church, craft, & family time lover)held days upon days of research, testing, and planning before they opened their doors at1507 Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette. Things were tough on them as business owners since they were the first of their kind to do what they do with complete compliance.
“We were put through the ringer when it comes to codes and licensing. We knew in order to serve this community to the best of our ability we needed to obtain the proper food certifications, health code certifications, etc. Countless time, tears and money paved the way to where we are today.
And as a result, we now have an amazing compliant commercial kitchen that we get to serve our beautiful food from,” Tracy said. She continued, “After going through all we did to get this business started, it was a stark reminder of how important it is for us to support local businesses.” The duo sources a majority of their products from local vendors, while also offering choice items from famous international regions. “Our jams, chocolate, produce, hummus, pecans, plus more are all sourced from other local, small businesses. We are also proud to offer imported European cheeses and charcuterie from Spain as well,” Tracy mentioned.
Along with sourcing items from reputable distributors, Tracy and Mandy are conscious of the impacts their pieces have on the environment. Tracy explains, “We do our best to be as eco-friendly as we can. Our boards, boxes, utensils, and plates are served on palm leaves and bamboo products, which are completely biodegradable. In addition, all of our produce is all washed in an organic, 100% chemical-free wash.” With so many more people being conscious of “green” businesses, these days, this practice alone acts as a selling point for the local company.
All of GrazeAcadiana’s delicious spreads are uniquely made each and every day. They strive to ensure that you receive the freshest, finest quality grazing experience. With that in mind, they do request at least one day notice for platters and boxes and 14 days notice for large grazing tables. Orders can be placed online 24 hours in advance for boxes and platters. You will be prompted to choose your pickup date and time at checkout, but keep in mind to directly contact them for a large Graze event to ensure ample time for importing and planning when you’re expecting large groups. The beauty of Graze experiences lies in the versatility of the experience. Any box or platter can be made for small, intimate date nights or for larger occasions like baby showers, home entertaining, business meetings, birthdays, engagement parties, bachelor parties, any gathering really. Tracy and Mandy love to do this “Because all of life’s moments should be celebrated.”We agree. You can normally catch them in-store Wednesdays through Fridays 9:30 am-3:00 pm or Saturdays 9:30 am-Noon. If you go by their shop and miss them, they’re most likely outsourcing local goods, setting up for an event, or fulfilling orders for the day. Just message or call them and you can get in on the Graze Acadiana goodness, too.
Visit www.grazeacadiana.com to purchase your own hand-crafted charcuterie board.