Charcuterie is having a moment and EG’s new Graze on Main – “a charcuterie provisions shop” – is riding that wave. Charcuterie boards, fancy meat-and-cheese platters with extras like fruit or nuts or olives or honey, starting popping up all over Instagram in 2020 and suddenly we all want one. Enter Graze on Main.
The irony is owners Elyse Paré and Geza Tanner, who live in town, thought by opening during the pandemic they could ease into their new business, especially since Paré works full time as tax assessor for the City of Providence. Instead, they’ve been slammed since their first day, just before Thanksgiving.
“We thought it was going to be a hobby,” said Paré in a recent interview. Instead, it was immediately everyone’s choice for the holidays. By the time Gail Ciampa from the Providence Journal wrote about the new shop, they were already booked through Christmas. Leading up to Dec. 25, they were making 70 platters a day.
Fortunately, Paré and Tanner absolutely love charcuterie. In fact, it’s how they met. Paré was on the ferry from New London to Long Island several years ago with a couple of friends. As she often did, Paré brought a charcuterie board to share with her friends during the ride. Tanner happened to be on the same ferry and when he saw what she’d brought, he had to comment.
“He was like, did you really show up on a ferry with your own charcuterie board?” she recalled. Then he whipped out his phone and started showing her some of the boards he’d made.
They’ve been a couple ever since. And, after years of always being asked to bring a charcuterie board when going to a friend’s house, Paré says they realized they could make it into a business. Tanner, who has made a career in the food and beverage industry, is the full-time force behind the shop, with Paré helping on weekends (her knowledge of municipal government came in handy with the necessary permits and approvals as well).
Tanner grew up in Hungary and many of their platters showcase Eastern European cured meats not often found in Rhode Island. They focus on what’s in season and introduce new products when they can. “We like providing the option for customers to say, ‘Surprise me!’”
A big favorite these days – with large events a no-no – are the smaller platters, for date night or even just one person. You can also order a board for Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day.
They opened in a space at 58 Main Street, around the back (parking is easy). Right now it’s take out only but they envision using the counter inside as well as the lawn outside so people could make it a destination. After the pandemic.
Boards need to be ordered at least a day ahead. Find out more at their website HERE.