CASCADE, Michigan — A new business opened this week on 28th Street in Cascade, filling a hole left nearly vacant in the West Michigan food scene.
Behind it all is a couple who have been married for 31 years — and they're putting the "cute" in "charcuterie."
The duo, both from West Michigan, raised their two sons in the Cascade area and decided it was time to follow a new dream.
Thom and Julie Goodyke opened Graze Craze, a charcuterie restaurant that serves everything from personal-sized boards to grazing tables for large groups.
“Julie and I have always loved making food together. And we also love bringing people together to enjoy that food. So, when we saw this opportunity, it seemed like a great fix," said co-owner Thom.
The two have always made charcuterie boards for their friends and family, but just last year, they decided to make it into a business.
"Now we get to share that passion by making boards for other people to take to their events and hopefully create a little magic for them as well," said Thom.
“It's a great creative outlet, as well as playing with our food," smiled Julie.
They serve grab-and-go boards, boards for date nights, even ones for weddings and business events.
“[They're] just a great way to celebrate everything," said Julie.
Their favorite part of small business ownership is seeing their customer’s reactions to their designs.
“That wow factor when they put that board down and 'whoa,'” Thom said.
They say the reason they feel so passionate about charcuterie is the rewarding feeling they get from owning their own business in a community they love.
"We're very proud of Grand Rapids," said Thom. "So, it is fun to be able to give back and be part of the community in that way.”
Most of all, though, they love they get to do it by each others’ sides every day.
“We get to be together, we have a lot of fun together. And it makes people happy. So it's a win win," said Julie.
“After 31 years, we realized that really, for us, two are definitely better than one," smiled Thom.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.
Have a news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.