by Victoria Bourne
One thing the pandemic has taught us is that just about everything can be delivered to our door: groceries, craft beer, coffee, and yes, if you’re feeling fancy, even charcuterie.
On a random Thursday night in early December, we decided to treat ourselves to an assemblage of cured meats and cheeses. We turned to Long Board Charcuterie, based in Virginia Beach and owned by Katie Eckhardt.
Eckhardt, who calls herself the “Chief of Grazing,” custom curates each board by hand. We opted for the Chicks Beach Board ($65) over the Date Night Box ($35). Yes, it feeds three to four, but we figured it would help quell snack attacks throughout the weekend and besides, there are worse things than having leftover cheese.
Our board arrived wrapped in clear plastic enclosed by a shiny white bow. Neatly folded slivers of prosciutto and capocollo were tucked in between diagonal rows of goat and Toscano cheeses and French baguette slices. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries provided pops of color and surprising sweetness, given the lateness of the season. Truffle-roasted almonds and dried figs were pleasant discoveries as well, as was the cutest little jar of honey and most adorable tiny honey dipper we ever did see.
It was certainly more than enough food for two people, and we found ourselves returning to it again and again until there was nothing left but the garnishes, which included lovely and fragrant dried orange slices.
Eckhardt, a recent Raleigh transplant, says she started Long Board Charcuterie early last year as a way to get better acquainted with Virginia Beach and make it feel more like home. It was a side hustle while she worked remotely as the marketing director for a healthcare IT company. She made the leap to full-time charcuterie in early October.
“It was a big jump, a really scary jump, from healthcare IT to cheese – not really a lateral move from a career perspective,” she says. “It’s just something that I truly have a passion for, and I love doing. And getting people’s reactions when I drop off the board is just one of the most fun things for me.”
Eckhardt delivers up to 15 miles from the commercial kitchen space she rents just off Virginia Beach Boulevard near Little Creek Road and within 10 miles is included with a purchase; I paid an extra $10 to get a board delivered to central Norfolk. Although she’s exclusively delivery now, Eckhardt’s goal in 2021 is to open a storefront where people can gather to enjoy a board and a bottle of wine or they can simply grab some charcuterie and go.
She says “never in a million years” did she expect the business to take off like it has. “It’s been an unexpected success that I’m so grateful for, and I have the community of Virginia Beach to thank for that.”