When I started Ripen Company in 2018, cheese & charcuterie boards had just started to trend. Then and now, lots of people in Instagram or on their business pages choose to call them "grazing boards," graze tables, or grazing platters.
I decided from the beginning not to use the word "graze" to describe what I do, instead naming them "gathering boards," which I haven't seen anyone else use.
I realize this can be confusing for people, as it's not a well-known term (since I made it up!) and doesn't immediately make clear what I provide. It probably doesn't help sales, either, as it means I won't show up as well when people search for "grazing boards Bay Area" on google. But I feel somewhat stubborn about using the term gathering boards and wanted to explain why.
I think a lot about the human experience of our produce - the person ordering it, what they might be celebrating, how they'll enjoy it. The term "gathering," for me, invokes an intentionality that's important to me. It implies togetherness, curation, and intimacy. Grazing, on the other hand, feels passive to me - as if the food is an afterthought. We put a lot of love and effort into curating each board, and so do the vendors and farmers who make each ingredient. I want to use language in a way that honors that work and care, and treats the beautiful cheeses, cured meats, and other ingredients as precious. We hope this comes across in each board and in the words we choose - thank you for choosing us!