We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Vargas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started this small business in August of 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic. Like many others, I found myself wanting to do something fun with my time while utilizing my passions. I have always loved to cook and be creative but it wasn’t until 2019 when I learned what a Charcuterie board was. I started making boards for family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, you name it! My boards became a staple at all events. The question was always asked, “Is Michelle bringing a board?” I loved to get creative with boards, adding new flavors, textures, designs, or elements. I started researching which cheeses complimented each meat, different accents that added a surprise, wines that paired well.
My three sisters begged me to create a separate Instagram specifically for my boards – on a whim, I finally did. I quickly realized that people were interested in buying my boards and a business opportunity was born. After much research and planning, I finally opened on September 14, 2020. After just two weeks, I had over 40 orders and my growth on Instagram grew fast. I quickly decided to file my little business as an LLC and on September 21, 2020 Thyme For Cheese became an official small business. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Before opening, I tried my best to do as much research as I could. I followed different charcuterie small business, compared pricing, drafted menus, etc. I started my website, bought some supplies, created my logo, and even had a photoshoot to tie it all together. It’s been a learning process but I think I have it down. I make sure to stay as organized and consistent as I can. It definitely took a few orders before I found my flow, but now I am able to prepare and execute every order with ease.
Thyme For Cheese specializes in Charcuterie boxes and boards, serving the LA and OC areas. Boxes and boards are filled with an array of meats and cheese, as well as accompanying fruits, veggies, nuts, and spreads. All orders made uniquely, allowing customers to experience new and exciting flavors! Boxes are perfect for on-the-go adventures, date nights, or picnics. Did I mention boxes are also ideal for social distancing? Boards, on the other hand, are great for family gatherings, cocktail hour, and barbecues. Thyme For Cheese stands apart from other charcuterie services because we offer vegetarian and vegan options. I want to make sure that every lifestyle is catered to. I was vegan for three years so I was able to explore the world of vegan cheeses. I am so proud of how fast we are growing and the communities we have reached. I love hearing how much customers loved their order or how fun their event was!
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.
LA is my home. I grew up in Cerritos, graduated from Whittier College, and moved to my home in La Palma with my husband. Technically our home is in the OC County but we could walk to the LA County boarder! I love the variety and community LA has. I grew up with a Mexican grandma who cooked us incredible authentic Mexican food, so to find the same plates she cooked right here in LA is super comforting. I loved exploring the different areas of LA throughout college. Visiting museums, finding fun desserts, shopping for vintage clothes, and dancing with friends will be some of my best memories.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My 3 sisters, Melissa, Mackenzie, and Marie & My husband, Julio Vargas
Kelsey Whirledge (Dimas)