Got cheese? Charcuterie franchise Graze Craze opens first New Mexico location

Graze Fad workers Joe Riboni, suitable, and Austin Palmer prepare to-go charcuterie boxes. The charcuterie franchise opened in Albuquerque in early February. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

It is been about a dozen a long time considering that Albuquerque resident John Flores has cooked skillfully. Just after graduating from culinary college and slicing his teeth at Albuquerque establishments like the Artichoke Cafe and given that-shut Graze, he took a split from cooking, doing work as an alternative in resorts and household wellbeing administration.

But Flores by no means shed his enthusiasm for foodstuff. On Monday, Flores opened New Mexico’s initial location of charcuterie chain Graze Craze at 4770 Montgomery NE, tucked behind a quickly-to-open up Raising Cane’s.

“Honestly, it’s a very little surreal,” Flores said. “I really feel like I will need to pinch myself.”

The Albuquerque Graze Fad place is just one of 34 — a range that will shortly soar to 60 as the franchise opened 26 new areas. The organization was started by Kerry Sylvester in 2018 in Oklahoma, and now has destinations in 17 states.

Flores didn’t usually feel he’d do the job in the foodstuff business. Originally, he desired to be a medical doctor and pursued medicine for one semester at the University of New Mexico. Combining his like for foodstuff with an entrepreneurial zest, he followed his culinary education and learning with a small business degree from Central New Mexico Community Higher education.

“I discovered extremely quickly in my 1st semester at UNM that (drugs) was not heading to be my profession,” Flores claimed. “… My next enthusiasm driving medication was cooking, so I determined I required to be a chef and possess my have restaurant.”

A first-time company operator, Flores required to begin with a franchise. And charcuterie was previously in his wheelhouse, thinking about he made meat and cheese boards for household even ahead of the charcuterie “craze.”

The menu contains 5 diverse sized boards and packing containers — ranging from the “Lone Grazer” for the solitary snacker and the “Picnic Box” which serves 2-4 people, to the substantial board, which serves 8-10. Buyers can also choose from four different variations, which includes keto and vegetarian selections.

“When I made charcuterie boards prior to this, I’d have to go to a number of different suppliers just to come across the particular meats and cheeses that I desired,” Flores stated. “It charges a large amount of dollars, especially now with inflation, to resource individuals substances. We’re in a position to obtain them at a wholesale charge, get ready them for you, and make a board for you that is pressure totally free.”

Flores is planning to include charcuterie-developing classes in the coming months and is functioning with the franchise to create a “local board” which will incorporate the flavors of New Mexico. Despite the fact that, customers can by now enhance their boards to incorporate Hatch environmentally friendly chile cheese at any Graze Trend place.

Additionally, Graze Craze provides seasonal boards, like the “Indulgence Board” for Valentine’s Day and the “Game Day” board for Super Bowl Sunday. The restaurant features no cost shipping to Northeast Albuquerque for orders above $50.

A grand opening is planned for March. Flores explained he could possibly consider opening a Graze Fad Westside or Santa Fe locale in the long term, but right now has no definite options to broaden.