Today we’d like to introduce you to Emmy Rener.
Hi Emmy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
At the age of 18 and during the peak of the coronavirus’ lockdowns, I launched Sophisticated Spreads, a cheese and charcuterie board company that hones in on the tastes of California culture and features locally sourced ingredients through showstopping grazing table displays. The cultivation process of grazing tables was an organic creative outlet for me during my adolescence. Scanning through farmer’s markets has always provided a vision for me, and the slicing of black mission figs paired with warm camembert cheese drizzled with herbaceous lavender honey is simply where my creative imagination lay to rest.
Throughout high school, I used the combination of my advanced flavor palette and eye for aesthetics to create aperitif boards that have become a staple for my circle of friends and family. However, in March my clientele was broadly expanded as a high net worth individual sourced me to fly to Miami and make a spread for 65 people. After creating a grazing table of epic proportions with over 10 feet of interactive “art”, the event’s private chef sought me out and bestowed all his confidence in the concept I had displayed that evening. His words planted a seed for a vision I had not yet seen, and the wheels immediately spun in my mind as I began constructing my own vision for my business.
A week after my first official event, the world was shut down due to the pandemic. My decision to take a gap year was initially born out of a desire to stay at home and settle my qualms about the uncertainties of a freshman year during Covid-19. However, the concept of Sophisticated Spreads was born out of this serendipitous decision.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I like to believe that my company is one of the many silver linings born out of the darkness of COVID-19. Launching this company during the peak of Coronavirus lockdowns forced us to re-imagine what gatherings would look like; our typical grazing table spreads and large event presentations were swapped out for individual “to-go” cheeseboards and more intimate gatherings. Sophisticated Spreads has been taking precautions from day one as we do contactless deliveries, wear gloves and masks while preparing boxes, and socially distance for meetings/events.
Furthermore, like any business, we have hit many bumps along the way in our first nine months of business. I choose to laugh about our silly mistakes, like when we overbought on produce for our first large corporate order of 150 boxes and ended up with enough fruit left over to feed the neighborhood!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Sophisticated Spreads?
Sophisticated Spreads provides a taste of California Culture with locally sourced ingredients, with an eye for a boho inspired grazing table experience! Our small business launched mid pandemic, and we have been extremely lucky to have a crazy success story.
What sets us apart is that we curate boxes that focus on sourcing the highest quality items to put into our boxes. After visiting the creameries that we source our cheese from and meeting the goats, sheep and cows that are the hard workers behind the magic, I can confidently say that we are making something special at Sophisticated Spreads.
Additionally, I appreciate the importance of supporting small businesses which is why I locally source items like Naked Grandma Pepper Jam in all my boxes. From pepper jam to homemade chocolate bars from a young local female baker, my boxes not only support local companies but lift up the community that supports us and helps us continue to do what we do.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I have met endless people who are willing to offer free support, tidbits of wisdom, and encouragement throughout my journey. My biggest advice is consistently giving every person you meet your full attention and understanding. I have done multiple pop-up shops all over Los Angeles and met incredibly well-connected individuals because I spent the time to hear their story, and open myself up to the opportunities before me. I also think that people value candidness and vulnerability, and I have committed myself to asking people for help and realize I can’t do this alone.
- Small Box for 3-4 People – $50
- Medium Box for 8-10 People – $100
- Large Box for 15 People – $200
- Events — minimum of $200, $18 per person on average
- Email: Emmy@sophisticatedspreads.net
- Website: Sophisticatedspreads.net
- Instagram: @sophisticatedspreads
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophisticatedspreads