We had the good fortune of connecting with Brianna Arroyo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brianna, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started Cheese & Honey in August of 2020. In July of 2020, I made a charcuterie board every day for one week. I realized that I loved making these boards and how fun it was fun to put together different foods that paired so well together and I loved that I got to decide what the end result of the board was. After I went on my strict charcuterie board-only diet, I constantly joked around about starting my own charcuterie business and everyone around me told me to go for it. I kept putting it off until one night at around 2 A.M., I finally created my Instagram account. I had to block all of the negative thoughts- the constant “I will never reach more than 100 followers” and “Nobody will order from me”, and I had to just take a leap for it. It was one of the first things that I truly felt passionate about doing, and I still love doing it to this day. Another reason for starting my business was that I knew that I had to have some type of income, especially with my first quarter at UC San Diego coming up in the Fall of 2020. I love that I get to help financially help myself through school while doing something that I love.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I specialize in creating charcuterie boards. I love what I do and am very passionate about my business. I can create one individual box that will feed one person and can create a grazing table that can feed hundreds of people. I love hearing what my customers want and what they have in mind for their grazing experience, and I try my best to create the best grazing experience for them. I can accommodate everyone’s dietary needs. I have created vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free boards. I am most proud of the amount of effort and time I have spent on this business. Every board is created with love and I make sure to make every board as aesthetically pleasing, and delicious, as possible. I am most excited about what the future holds for me. I am excited for new opportunities that will come my way during the summertime and the events that I will get to cater for. It is still overwhelming to think that people want my boards at their special events, it is the best feeling ever. It has not been easy to get to where I am today. A lot of work and time goes into having a business. Such as hours spent creating my pricing, and all of the time that is spent creating new content for my followers. Personally, I have struggled with prioritizing my mental health and education. I sometimes have to take a step back from my business and just focus on myself first. Finding a balance between my school, business, and mental health has been one of my most difficult struggles, and I am still learning how to balance everything to this day. However, I know that my business makes me happy and makes me feel like I have some sort of purpose right now, and I love that.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would hit up all of the breakfast/brunch places: Morning Glory, Breakfast Republic, Cocina 35, El Carrito, and Cuatro Milpas. And for lunch and dinner: RK Sushi, any Korean BBQ, Kura Revolving Sushi, King and Queen Cantina, and Din Tai Fung. Some places to visit in San Diego are Sunset Cliffs, Kate Sessions Park, Balboa Park, San Diego Museum of Art, walk around the Farmers Market in Little Italy on Saturday mornings, and walk around Seaport Village.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and boyfriend deserve so much recognition for Cheese & Honey. I have a huge support system and I am very grateful for that. I honestly would not be able to go on with this business without them. As the demand for orders increases, especially during holidays, having their help is the only way I can successfully make it through the day. My boyfriend does all of my deliveries for me and when he is unavailable to do them, my dad does them for me. My boyfriend also helps me a lot with driving to different stores and getting different supplies for my business. He is a huge help and I would truly be struggling without him. He is always there for me when I am having mental breakdowns and when I feel overwhelmed with my business. Whenever I am dealing with a conflict in regards to my business, or just have simple, “what should I do?” questions, my family and boyfriend are the first people I go to. Although I am the only person that creates the charcuterie boards, my family and boyfriend help my business all come together.