Starting any sort of business during COVID-19 sounds unimaginable — not to mention, opening a storefront — but Courtney Bowman of Raleigh Cheesy did just that. Luckily, we got the chance to sit down with Courtney + see what the actual cheddar she was thinking.
We’re hoping this Q&A inspires you all to chase your own cheesy dreams. Oh, and to #shoplocal.
🧀 What is Raleigh Cheesy?
Raleigh Cheesy was created by me (Courtney Bowman) as a way to celebrate all of life’s events, big or small, with delicious food — specifically cheese. We make custom cheese and charcuterie boards for any and all occasions.
🧀 How did you get into creating charcuterie boards?
I made my first cheeseboard in July of 2019 for my daughter’s second birthday. I had seen Cheese Gal make these stunning cheeseboards and I thought I’d try my hand at it. The rest is history.
🧀 What’s your favorite type of cheese?
Soft ripened and triple cream cheeses.
🧀 Why do you think it’s so important to highlight small businesses?
Small businesses are the foundation of our community. They’re the epitome of the American economy + dream.
🧀 What’s it like opening your very own storefront? How has it been?
Surreal. I honestly never thought this would happen. Opening a store has always been a distant dream. I’ve never known how I would connect the dots so it always seemed like an impossibility. It’s stressful and exhilarating at the same time.
🧀 How did the pandemic affect business?
I’m very grateful that business steadily grew throughout 2020 and that people were looking for ways to make “at home” events still feel celebratory. Cheese boards seemed to be a great way to make people’s events feel a little more special amidst a pandemic.
🧀 You say Raleigh Cheesy is a big fan of parties. Why?
We love celebrating all the things. Good food is central to our connection to each other as humans. It’s one of the most universal connectors there is. There’s always a chance that a party you go to can be awkward but with a cheeseboard there, there seems to be less opportunity for awkward silences.
If all this talk about cheese is making you hungry — make sure to check out these other local charcuterie board pros too.