The Latest in Small Business Collaboration  

By Tim Moran  

Small business collaboration is a key component of the fabric of the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Countless times we see local business owners lift each other up and find ways to help make each other successful. Here’s the latest:  

  

All A’Board Cheese & Charcuterie Opens Inside Live and Believe Nutrition. 

  

Alicia Starks is a local woman who nearly a year ago left her well-paid, full-time job as a senior account executive for a third-party logistics company to chase her dream of entrepreneurism.  

Now, All A’Board Cheese & Charcuterie is believed to be the first place on the South Side where customers can walk in and out with a custom-ordered charcuterie board in 10 minutes. The business that Starks officially started out of her home in the fall of 2021 is now operating three days a week inside the Live and Believe Nutrition studio at 2025 W. 95th Street.  

Her boards can come in a wide range of sizes, all available on her website, allaboardcheeseandcharcuterie.com, and feature offerings packed with cured meats, artisan cheeses and seasonal fruit.  

“This all really just started as a hobby,” Starks said. “I just started putting together different creations during the pandemic.” 

But after posting photos of her work on social media, people started asking if they were for sale. 

“That’s when I started thinking, this could get me out of that 9-5 mindset,” she said.  

Food, particularly from the esthetic standpoint, is something that Starks has long been fascinated with. The Sutherland Elementary School and Morgan Park High School alum is a self-described “foodie.”  

“It’s really the esthetics for me,” she said in describing her passion. “I’ve always been drawn to food that is esthetically pleasing to the eye. I like quantity and also variety, and you can get that all in one board.”  

From making custom orders for friends, Starks soon expanded to sharing her newly-found talent at special events and kitchen rentals. She had a table present at the BAPA Home Tour and Sip & Shop events, and eventually got in touch with Auriel Bannister at Bani’s Beets to create her first pickup location.  

Now, she’s found a location that looks to be permanent.  

Starks and Morgan Martin from L.A.B. first partnered about a year ago in a collaborative workshop in which Martin made energy tea to complement Starks’ work.  

“(The workshop) was amazing,” Starks said. “We sold out.”  

That collaboration will continue in what Starks sees as something that could turn into a big plus for the community. She plans to be open inside L.A.B. from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  

“We’re bringing you delicious and nutritious options,” she said. “We want to make this a place where you can come in, sit down and relax.”  

Pre-ordered charcuterie boards will remain available for pickup and delivery on Starks’ website. Options range from 10×10 disposable boxes and similar-sized charcuterie boards to a grazing table that can serve up to 35 people.  

  

‘Local Love Box’ Returns to Oleander & Artesian for Parade Day 

  

Oleander & Artesian, 9911 S. Walden Parkway is bringing back their “Local Love Box” from this past Christmas as another way to support local businesses for another marquee yearly holiday, South Side Irish Parade Day.  

The love box will be in the form of a tote bag complete with a variety of goodies from Oleander & Artesian, including a watercolor shamrock made by local artist Vivian Nash, Parade Day bottle opener, koozies and coasters.  

Items from Beverly Bakery, including their popular Irish soda bread and ground coffee, will also be included, Oleander & Artesian co-owner Caitlyn Ray said.  

“The idea came from our commitment to curating the best gifts for your home and those it holds,” Ray said. “We love going to and hosting parties and there is something so special and thoughtful about a carefully chosen gift for your hosts. When we curated our first box we wanted to make sure we were supporting other small businesses in our community who have welcomed us with open arms.”  

Find the QR code to buy the local love box at Beverly Bakery, or online at oleanderandartesian.com. Parade Day tote orders, going for $85, will close on March 10, with pickup days set for March 13-16 at Oleander & Artesian. 

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