The past year has created challenges for everyone in the hospitality industry. Amy Martinez had built a successful catering organization, only to see her business slow dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic caused people to stop gathering. Many small businesses had to just shut their doors and abandon their dreams, but that’s not Amy’s style. Leaving behind a career in nursing to pursue her passion in food, she wasn’t ready to stop making people happy with her culinary creativity, so Amy executed a difficult maneuver and pivoted her business.
The result is Grazeables, a company that creates gourmet charcuterie and grazing boxes in a commercial kitchen here in the Woodlands. This isn’t a kitchen-table operation; the Grazeable facility is a commercial space, inspected and approved by the health department. (Other charcuterie operations operate out of home kitchens with questionable sanitation practices; you don’t want the family pets wandering around customers food.) Perishables are inspected, dated, and stored in commercial refrigerators, other components are neatly organized in a warehouse area in the facility.
Working with her team (which is composed of members of her family) Amy creates delicious boxes in a variety of sizes and combinations. A typical Grazeable contains interesting cheeses, savory meats, crackers, nuts, fruits, veggies, dips, spreads, chocolates, and more. Each component is hand selected by Amy; great flavor, quality, uniqueness, and beautiful presentation all factor into the choices. These aren’t products you find at the local grocery store, and they change based on availability; Amy searches for unique, delicious foods that will surprised and delight her customers.
We sampled two different Grazeable boxes, and were blown away by the attention to detail. Meats were artistically folded, two slices to a fold, to create a perfect bite. Cheeses were cut precisely. Fruit and veggies were garden fresh; even the mixed greens that formed the bed upon which the other components were composed were high quality (and became a delicious salad.) We were delighted by little surprises, like a stash of pistachios tucked into a corner, and a wheel of creamy, soft cheese snuggled under an edible flower. The boxes are designed to be appealing and to insure a positive experience: Crackers are sealed in a separate container to preserve crispness, olives are tucked into their own tub so their liquids don’t ooze into neighboring veggies and cheeses, and the entire box has a transparent top so the contents can be devoured with your eyes before you take the first bite.
Grazeables are typically ordered in advance; Amy and her team request a 24 hour notice to create your custom box. But as word has spread and demand for last-minute pickup has grown, Amy is considering creating premade boxes fresh each morning, available for immediate pickup. Of course, as with craft BBQ, quantities will be limited, and once they’re gone, they’re gone, so we strongly recommend calling in advance.
We were impressed by both the delicious Grazeables boxes that we sampled, and the impressive, professional organization that Amy Martinez has put together with her family. We predict great success for this hard working team, and look forward to sampling more of Amy’s creations in the very near future.