We had the good fortune of connecting with Emilie Swearingen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emilie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I always thought I’d go back to work after my children were all in school full-day.
But I also knew I needed something flexible that would allow me to still do all the “mom things”, volunteer at their school, etc. That plan was put on hold for a couple years once Covid hit – but that was also when I got inspired to turn something I enjoyed into a business. I created my own perfect job. It allows me a creative outlet, the flexibility I need and extra income for my family.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Starting a business is harder than it looks. I wondered a couple times if it was going to be worth it. Especially in my particular field which straddles a line between food service and art. For someone who wants to just jump in and let the creative inspirations flow, slowing down enough to make sure that I was following all the appropriate regulations and getting the correct licensing was a challenge. I asked a lot of questions – from other entrepreneur friends, from the licensing agencies, from other caterers. Everyone was so helpful and within a couple months I was officially license, insured and operating out of a commercial kitchen. Which, by the way, was not even something I knew I would need to do when I got started. The challenges now are making sure that I’m sourcing the best and most beautiful charcuterie options while still covering my costs and making a profit. My previous work experience was in the event planning & hospitality industry and I get a lot of joy in creating beautiful and cohesive themes. To me, the charcuterie business is more than just putting together a pretty food tray, but really providing my customers with an art piece that will be the highlight of their party or the finishing touch to a special dinner.
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.
So many options!!! One of my favorite local areas is the developing North City area of San Marcos. Within a couple blocks you have incredible sushi, Italian food, draft brews, entertainment (bowling, rock wall climbing) and national award-winning ice cream from Wynston’s! On Tuesdays there is even a great farmers market with live music. What I love about living in the North County of San Diego is that we can easily spend a day downtown visiting the Gaslamp District and visiting the USS Midway, spend the next day relaxing at the beach (with a charcuterie Bougie Board of course), and then another day driving a half-hour north and touring the Temecula wine country.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
About a year ago a sweet friend suggested this business to me. She’s a teacher at our school and I took care of her newborn when she went back teaching after mat leave. The more I thought about it, the better it sounded to me. It was already something I enjoyed doing. I presented the idea to a “focus group” which consisted of my husband, sisters, and best friends and they all helped fine-tune the name, marketing plan, and still are giving me great feedback and suggestions along the way.