“The presentation is just lovely.”
As a customizable charcuterie business, Excelsior’s Graze Local makes made-to-order graze boxes and boards that are perfectly fit for any occasion. Created with an array of artisan cheese, cured meat, fresh fruit and handcrafted sweets, these spreads go beyond your average finger food. “I’ve always loved making people happy, making connections, entertaining and [offering] nice gifts,” says Kelsey Lang, founder and owner. “This kind of brings it all together.”
Putting action behind the “local” in the business’s moniker, Lang sources products from local merchants, and she hopes to eventually partner with Minnesota-based creameries and meat companies.
Featuring fresh flavors that “appeal to the masses,” Lang incorporates classics, including salami, prosciutto, Brie, Manchego, BellaVitano and assorted fresh or dried fruit, like strawberries, blueberries, apricots and Craisins. Offering standard boards, customers can order them to fit their dietary needs. (Think meat-, nut-, dairy-, fruit- or gluten-free.) For those who are game for a more unique spin, Graze Local also features customizable options to suit every craving and hankering.
“It’s the color, the texture and the variety. The presentation is just lovely, and it makes the food taste even better,” says customer Stephanie Anderson, who featured large graze boards at her family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Taking into consideration the amount of time it takes to shop for food items and prepare and arrange them on a board, Anderson says ordering from Graze Local is well worth the price.
With no prior culinary experience, Lang says that her passion for eating good food, love for entertaining and eye for beauty is what drew her to the business—that and her desire to bring simple, yet delicious food to social and home-based gatherings. “I just feel like there was never an option for something to bring that tasted really good and looked really good,” she says.
Lang wanted to start her business for quite some time, and she, like many of us, found herself with an ample helping of free time during the recent pandemic. Originally creating these tasty boards as a hobby and a way for her to connect with friends and family, it has since transformed into a successful business adventure. “I didn’t anticipate this—the happiness factor and the happiness that it brings to people,” Lang says.
Connecting beyond Excelsior, Lang has worked with companies and nonprofit organizations to fuel their fundraisers and provide tasty snacks for their employees. Lauren Sundick of the Skin Sisters and a physician assistant heard about Graze Local and recommended it to her employers, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants and the Hennepin Healthcare Foundation, which, in turn, offered the boards to staff members to take home for a virtual holiday party.
“I really think that it is the personal touch that sets it apart,” Sundick says. “There are a million places in town that you can send food from, of course, but Kelsey is … doing it herself and making everything perfect. The delivery is fantastic, it is wrapped beautifully, and it really feels like something special with love—and it is also delicious.”
Graze Local’s standard box and board offerings
Individual Grazing Box, $18
Graze Box (serves 2-3), $45
Medium Grazing Board (serves 4-6), $90
Large Grazing Board: (serves 8-10), $120
Choose Your Spread
Breakfast board: Start mornings right with an array of pastries, fresh fruits, yogurts, hard boiled eggs and juice.
The FM board: Satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth with decadent candy, chocolate-covered snacks, gummies, cookies and more.
Standard board: Indulge in a variety of cured meats, artisan cheese, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, olives, veggies, crackers and spreads.
Holiday Boards: Load up on seasonal favorites.