We had the good fortune of connecting with Silvia Guerra and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Silvia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Funny enough, I never had a dream to own my own business— Goodland Graze started as a passion project. The amazing response it received and then the need to pivot due to the pandemic is what made me realize I had to pursue this business venture. I have always had a deep passion for food, beverages, hosting, and entertaining. Cheese and charcuterie platters have always been one of my favorite things to enjoy with friends and loved ones paired with a fun cocktail or some delicious wine. In 2019, I created an Instagram account where I was hoping to share my passion for hosting, share entertaining tips and easy recipes for small bites andgrazing platters. A few months later, I decided to make a grazing box for Friendsgiving and all of my friends were in awe by the box filled with cheeses, cured meats, seasonal fruits and other goodies from the farmers market. I mentioned to them that I thought it would be fun to start a business named Goodland Graze and it was then that they encouraged me to go for it. I cstarted to focus solely on grazing boxesplatters, dips and shared as much as I could on social media. There was a day in November shortly after Friendsgiving when Nicole from SB Picnic Co. reached out to me and asked if I had availability to create a grazing box for one of her client’s styled picnics, I knew I had to jump on that opportunity. I am thankful for my relationship with Nicole she has become a really close friend on this journey and I enjoy working with her often!

My Instagram following grew quickly and then a few months later, the pandemic rocked our world. After being laid off from my job as an Event Manager and then working reduced hours due to the huge hit the event industry took, there were so many unknowns around the pandemic but I just knew I had to make this business happen to have something to fall back on in case I lost my job for goodThe pandemic hit the event industry really hard so I was asked to only work every other week for a few months. During my off weeks I spent the time building my website, creating content, spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and making connections with other in the industry. I wanted to make sure I did something with all of the time I had on my hands and I have to say this was a huge opportunity for me to get creative and really gave me a push to create my business. Goodland Graze was inspired by my love for the seasonal items found at local farmers marketsI love that I get to provide beautiful food for my clients to enjoy in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria. Although I never imagined owning a business, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I absolutely love what I do and I learn something new everyday. The hustle never ends when you own a small business!

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.
Of course! And thank you again for this opportunity. I am a huge supporter of small businesses and it has been so fun to get to know your platform and read about other amazing small business owners in our community. I consider myself a Creative and a Hospitality Professional. I have worked in the hospitality industry since I was 14 years old and I absolutely love it. My passion for food, beverage, and hospitality is what has brought me to where I am at today with Goodland Graze. I believe that food is a love language and nothing makes me happier than seeing people come together around an amazing grazing platter that I have thoughtfully and artfully curated. I love going to Farmers Markets and seeing all of the beautiful seasonal produce and of course supporting the local farmers from the central coast and beyond. That is what inspires me to create beautiful and bountiful platters for events! Before fully launching Goodland Graze I worked at Acme Hospitality as a Server, Event Coordinator, then Event Manager. Acme Hospitality owns and operates an innovative collection of boutique food and beverage concepts in Santa Barbara’s arts and entertainment district, called the Funk Zone. I worked there for over seven year and is a huge part of why I fell in love with the food and beverage world. I was coached by so many amazing hospitality professionals and was inspired by all of the epic chefs I worked with.

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.
I feel so incredibly lucky to live in Santa Barbara. It is such a beautiful beach town with so many fun things to do! The best way to start a weekend in Santa Barbara is with Handlebar Coffee and walking around downtown or heading down to the Farmers Market!

There are so many fun lunch spots to visit; La Playa Azul is one of my favorite’s and I recommend a skinny margarita and their crab tostada. Another favorite lunch spot is Lucky Penny– Lucky Penny is located in the Funk Zone and offers amazing seasonal wood-fired pizzas and salads. 

When I have friends in town, I always recommend booking a picnic with Santa Barbara Picnic Co. owned by my sweet friend Nicole Leza! I have had the honor to work closely with Nicole for the past year and the picnics are such a special way to enjoy the afternoon at the beach or a local park. Shameless plug here but Goodland Graze provides handcrafted grazing platter for these styled picnics, so I definitely recommend adding on a grazing spread and some seasonal hummus made by yours truly!

In the evening, a drink at Good Lion is a must—my personal favorite drink is the Tangerine Gimlet followed by dinner at one of the following; Sakana for the best sushi, Loquita for the best gin and tonics, carpaccio, and pulpo, or The Lark for some delicious Mediterrenean inspired dishes created by my talented friends Executive Chef Jason Paluska and Chef de Cusine Logan Jones. The Roasted Rainbow Carrots with feta, honey and dukkah are a must have! 

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My amazing boyfriend, friends, and family deserve all of the credit and recognition for pushing me and encouraging me to pursue this small business venture. They push me to keep on creating and remind me daily that I can do this as well as remind me to believe in myself and my passion. Additionally, I am forever grateful for my time at Acme Hospitality. I learned so much in the seven and a half years there and I grew both personally and professionally. Sherry Villanueva, owner and managing partner, is someone I look up to and admire so much. She is a badass woman in business and I hope to be on her level in the future.

Website: www.goodlandgraze.com

Instagram: @goodlandgraze

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Goodland-Graze-111374190429564/?ref=bookmarks

Other: Tiktok: @goodlandgraze Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/goodlandgraze/

Image Credits
Ali Beck Photography Amber Lynn Photography

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