We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Di Raimondo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I started The Graze Mama in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, I thought, “will anyone even buy platters from me during a pandemic?” “What if I fail?” “What if no one supports me?” I went back and forth for a few months, doubting myself. But I wanted something to keep me busy, something for myself. At the time I was “just” a stay at home mom to 4 children. Two of which were adjusting to distance learning, a 3 year old and a newborn. I was already a mom, a wife, a personal driver, a cook, a housekeeper, a teacher and a principle amongst other roles. What was adding “business owner” to my list of roles going to do? So I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own small business.
I’ve always been artistic & I’ve always searched for ways to bring an additional source of income. Creating The Graze Mama gave me the outlet to achieve both.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Graze Mama was founded in 2020. We’re based in Santa Clarita, California and we service the Los Angeles Area & Santa Clarita Valley. We are a small business that focuses on cheese & charcuterie platters & tables for events big & small. Our smallest platter is perfect for couples who can enjoy it on a date night or just because. We also cater larger events like weddings, corporate events, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties etc. Thats the great thing about working with food. People love to eat. Food makes people happy especially when its presented in pretty fashion. In my opinion, the presentation & aesthetic is just as important as the taste. When you hire The Graze Mama you can assure that you’ll have tasty quality produce and a statement piece that your guests will talk about for days to come. It hasn’t been easy getting a business off the ground while being a full time mother. There are days when the work load feels overwhelming but I love what I do so I find the strength to push through and keep moving and grooving. What I have learned along the way is that running a business isn’t easy. It requires a lot of time and energy. All the hard work and time invested pays off when my clients give me incredible feedback and tell me that my creations were the talk of the party. There is no better compliment than repeat business or referrals. My name is Natalie Di Raimondo and I am the owner and founder of The Graze Mama. I was born and raised in North Hollywood. Growing up and going through college I always thought I wanted to be a teacher. But life throws you curve balls and here I am running a successful charcuterie business. When I’m not slicing up cheese and salami you can find my family and I exploring a national or state park. We love the outdoors!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Fortunately, for anyone visiting me from out of town, I am an amazing planner and I like to maximize the most out of my time. If I’m putting together an agenda for you, you will get the most bank for your buck. We’d start off with a nice hike to the wisdom tree in the Hollywood Hills. It is challenging but rewarding with an awesome view of Los Angeles. Post hike, we would go to brunch with (of course) bottomless mimosas at The Old Town Junction in Santa Clarita. And of course, while in town you have to visit places like Joshua Tree, which is short 2 hour drive away, visit Bass Lake or take a drive up the pacific coast highway. You can not leave town without having breakfast at The Griddle on Sunset for the largest pancakes I’ve ever seen in my life. If you want to feel like a true local and experience some amazing street food, we’ll visit the corner of Vineland and Burbank in North Hollywood on a Friday night for some deep fried quesadillas that will blow your mind.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Graze Mama wouldn’t be what it is without the help & support of my family. My kids cheer me on whenever I book an event. Their geniuene excitement fuels my drive to continue to improve my craft. My 11 year old daughter helps me edit my reels. & the look of excitement on her face when my videos get traction is amazing. I wouldn’t be able to execute these events without the support of my parents, mother in-law and siblings. It really does take a village to raise, in my case babysit my kids while I’m out creating artful displays of food. Lastly, I’d like to shoutout my top investor, first employee, and biggest fan. Without my husband The Graze Mama couldn’t have made it past a hobby. When I first began booking big tables and I needed a second pair of hands aka an employee, my husband was there to help me prep, help with the heavy lifting and help me stay motivated along the way. These tables can be very draining and it takes a lot of work and he’s cheered me on the entire way.
Other: Pinterest @thegrazemama