Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jo-Al Meilleur, founder of Rosemary Charcuterie, located in Powell River, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I make ready-to-go charcuterie boxes, platters, and grazing tables with sizes to suit every occasion. I use vibrant colors, fresh produce, artisanal meats and cheeses, and local ingredients. I want to provide a local product made with quality ingredients while supporting other local suppliers. Bringing people together over a spread of beautiful food is the dream. I love that I can be a part of friends and families making memories. My customers share charcuterie in celebration of birthdays, weddings, store openings, going up the lake, picnics on the beach, staff parties; the list is endless!

Tell us about yourself

I was initially inspired to start my business by childhood memories of picnic lunches with my grandmother. I have fond memories of both of my grandmother's love of great food and fresh, quality ingredients. My grandma was born in Italy. She would tell stories of caravanning with her family through Europe and eating picnic lunches from local shops. I want to provide my customers with a local product with high-quality ingredients, charcuterie boards crafted with love. Real food with an authentic story. My family has been in Powell River for over 100 years, and sharing and supporting locals is my passion. We have some amazing people in our small town, and having the opportunity to highlight their talent in my business is a joy.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of the things I'm most proud of is working to be more Eco-friendly and eliminate waste. I'm proud to use palm leaf platter and bowls as well as the cutlery that can simply be added to your backyard compost. They are all produced with sustainable resources made from fallen palm leaves, 100% natural. They are sturdy and compliment my platters beautifully.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest parts is the pressure of wanting each of my bespoke platters and grazing tables to be unique and personalized for each customer. Offering different options to customers based on like and dietary restrictions while also making sure they include a wide variety of tasty local accompaniments.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Have a solid business plan before you start; knowing where you want to end up will help you get started and stay focused. To start small and trust the process, it's tempting to want to build bigger right away but let your customers be your guide. Yes, have your big dream, but don't grow too big too quickly. Finally, get your name out there! Don't just rely on word of mouth, as important as that is. Pass out flyers, use social media, drop business cards off to other companies along with a small sample of your product. Offer incentives for customers to order from you, loyalty programs, or promotions. You need to get people as excited about your business as you are!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I started this business because of my passion for artisanal, handmade products. I have a love of discovering and sharing great food, and I am thankful for all my customers who allow me to share my passion with them. My hope is for all my customers to enjoy 'grazing' on my boards as much as I enjoy creating them!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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