Bayou Boards by Gabrielle, LLC
by Stefanie Powers
Charcuterie is a French word that translates to “cooked flesh,” and refers to the butcher shops in 15th century France that sold cooked, salted and smoked pork products. But the culinary art of smoking and salting meat dates back to ancient Rome. Think salami, prosciutto, and sausages, among others. Thank you, Rome!
This type of meat preparation came about due to the lack of refrigeration in those times. Since preserving meats was a necessity, smoking, salting, and aging were used to change the meat texture and give it a longer shelf life.
The charcuterie of today includes so much more, such as cheeses, olives, pickles, crackers and/or bread, raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts. What’s not to love about a fine assortment of upscale finger food, whether you’re at a big event, or in the comfort of your own home?
That’s where Bayou Boards by Gabrielle, LLC, comes in. Southwest Louisiana locals Gabrielle and John Wainwright started their charcuterie business in 2020. Gabrielle got the idea while traveling overseas. “I went to Europe in 2015 to visit my sister and to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain,” she recalls. “During my trip, before every dinner, the chef/owner would create a charcuterie board for us. We also visited outside markets that had every accompaniment, charcuterie, and cheese that you could use to create small plates. This began my love for charcuterie. Afterwards, I started creating charcuterie boards for family events.”
Gabrielle and John each have their own unique role in the business. Gabrielle does the marketing, board creation, inventory management and more. John, having a compliance background, ensures that Bayou Boards operates in compliance with the rules and regulations that go with a food enterprise. He also enjoys keeping up with the accounting books. “We really do complement each other well,” she says.
Bayou Boards began as an online-only business while they worked towards establishing a storefront. Coincidentally, they opened a week before Hurricane Laura hit, but were able to reopen a few weeks later. Stop in to pick up wine, jams, crackers, wooden charcuterie boards, ready-made boards and sparkling waters. You can also place an order via their website and click on “Book a Board.” You have a choice of either a spicy, sweet, or savory spread to complement your order. There’s even a S’mores Board for your sweet tooth.
Currently, Gabrielle says that Adult Lunchables, Smalls, and Mediums are their most popular boards. “Our BYOB (build your own board) platform has also been a huge success. BYOB allows you to customize your board and can be used on most of our board sizes.” And they now have a permit to sell liquor. “We all know that cheese and wine go perfectly together,” she says. “We will also be offering cold alcoholic beverages in cans so that you can grab a board and something yummy to drink this summer!”
Every morsel of food is inspected for quality, and Gabrielle and John ensure they provide the cleanest, most sterile environment for their food items so that your board is as safe as it is delicious.
“My husband and I treat our customers like our own family,” she says. “We want that warm, welcoming experience when you come into our store. We thank Southwest Louisiana for their continued support and we look forward to what we can bring to this area in the near future!”
Speaking of family, the Wainwrights welcomed their new baby boy into the world last month. Thrive magazine wishes them the very best!
Bayou Boards, LLC is located at 1508 Hodges Street, Suite A, Lake Charles. 337- 317-3600,
www.bayouboardsbygabrielle.com Open M-F, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.