We had the good fortune of connecting with Donna Schienle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Donna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started CharcuterieMama in 2018 after helping out a dear friend with her daughter’s cocktail hour for her wedding. I had created many grazing boards for family parties and was challenged at this event to recreate it for 200 people who would be attending the wedding, many of them whom I knew. The event was at a beautiful venue in the South Bay and after I created the board, I was approached by the wedding planner for a business card. With some ample persuasion from my family, I decided to give it a go! By trade, I am dental hygienist . I work in a very specific field which allows for little creativity. Cooking was always my outlet which gave me the chance to explore my creative side. I am lucky that my two daughters are so very creative and share my love for food! With their encouragement and help, we I devised a brand for my company and utilized the internet as my vehicle to get my work out.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am dental hygienist and have been blessed to have worked in the same dental practice for 41 years. It is there that I grew to enjoy creating relationships with people. I thrive on the scientific part of my profession and the ability to share my knowledge to teach patients about maintaining optimum dental care and overall health. I served on the California Dental Hygienist Association board for many years and was the VP for a total of two years working directly with our state legislators. On the flip side , I always new I had a creative side that just needed to be explored. My parents were both very creative both in the kitchen and around our homes. My Italian heritage stressed food and family and ever since I was a little girl, I would make antipasto plates for our family . Flash forward to the present and my antipasto plate has evolved to charcuterie boards and boxes and a business I truly enjoy .
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.
My first place to explore would have to be the California coastline. There are so many fantastic towns to explore with their own flare and flavor. I would start heading up Kanan Canyon Rd and stop at the Malibu Cafe for a delicious lunch prepared by my son, James who is the executive chef there, Yes , he is the biggest foodie in our house schooled at the Corden Blu in Pasadena. After that I would head down PCH and drive up the coast pointing out the beautiful Malibu mansions and hills . I would make my way to Ventura and stroll down Main Street stopping in all the cute shops and boutiques. Hidden in the north end of Ventura is a fabulous succulent farm where we can pick up some great buys to make some fun creations when we got home. Dinner would be in Santa Barbara at one of the many delicious restaurants on State street. I would spend the night there at the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel…. one of my all time favorites. Shopping , eating ,sightseeing , what else could be better. My next stop would be the quaint town of Los Alamos for a fabulous breakfast at Bobs Well Bread Bakery for a croque Monsieur sandwich followed up by some wine tasting there and the in Los Olivos. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really have to dedicate my shoutout to my daughters, Jaycee and Jaymee. They have literally put me on the map with the knowledge of the internet and social media. My daughter Jaymee is a graphic designer and has created my brand for me. She is responsible for my business model from color schemes of business cards to stickers , invoices and packaging. My daughter Jaycee is instrumental in making sure all our projects are esthetically appealing, along with tasting delicious. Creating this business with them has been so rewarding .We have been blessed to be a part of some amazing events and weddings and truly just love meeting the people in the industry and the families that are intrusting us to make their special day just what they envision.