Erika Dibble wasn’t the first to broadcast her grazing board creations on social media, and she won’t be the last. But in the wide world of charcuterie Instagram, the Saratogian may just be the meat-and-cheese influencer with the most personality—a fact that helped her @saratogagrazingco account crest 100K followers earlier this year. “I was just myself and very weird,” she says of her personality-driven reels. “And people were like ‘Yes, she’s like me. She’s weird, too.’”
If you’ve been living under a block of Beaufort and aren’t up on the latest happenings in the coagulated milk-meets-social media scene, charcuterie boards have taken up residence in one quirky corner of Instagram and TikTok dedicated to those who find satisfaction in a perfectly plated parmesan or expertly carved wheel of brie—often carved into Christmas tree shapes and paired with all sorts of festival holiday goodies this time of year.
And once your algorithm catches on to your double-tapping tendencies, get ready for more—much more. “The salami rose is a very controversial charcuterie trend,” she continues. And that’s not to mention the polarizing butter boards—a trend in which Dibble vows never to dabble—that involve dipping bread into copious amounts of butter and toppings spread on a wooden board. She does however venture into the realms of veggie-filled crudités boards, cookie-clad goodie boards and bread-heavy carb boards, as well as the hot chocolate boards that are extra hot this time of year. “During the holidays you’ll see people make charcuterie chalets”—gingerbread house-like structures made of charcuterie. “I call them meat huts.”
While keeping up with a wildly successful Instagram account requires staying hip to all the trends and creating a steady stream of content to feed the insatiable social media beast, running a wildly successful grazing board business is no walk in the park, either. On the day before Thanksgiving 2021, Dibble singlehandedly constructed 43 boards, and counts a 12-foot grazing table among her most impressive feats. ”It was completely covered,” she says. “I did that by myself, because my mom was on vacation. How dare she. She is voluntold to help me. She doesn’t volunteer—she’s voluntold.”
In her free time—you know, between making upwards of 50 boards a week, and more during the busy Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s season—Dibble, a former teacher, is a mother of two and an instructor at Pure Barre. “I saw they were opening the studio and I just reached out and was like, ‘Hey, I’m not teaching anymore…Can I do this? Do you need teachers?’” she says. “’I have zero experience, but hire me.’ And they did.”
That dive-in-and-learn-how-to-swim-later attitude extends to Dibble’s fall into the charcuterie world, too. Growing up on Long Island, food was the main attraction at holidays, with her family—Dad is from Switzerland, where “cheese is a big part of the culture”—often gathered around a fondue pot. It wasn’t until she had 10 years of teaching under her belt, and had landed in Saratoga vis-à-vis Florida, that she began toying with the idea of a charcuterie business. “I posted my logo on March 12, 2020, and on March 13, the world shut down,” she says. After that slight setback, Saratoga Grazing Co was up and running by Memorial Day Weekend 2020, and the rest is history. “The first year I got about 10,000 followers and I hit 20,000 right around my two-year anniversary,” she says. “And then over this summer it blew up. I gained 63,000 followers in 90 days.”
And how? Consistency, posting a ton of Instagram reels, and being herself. A scroll through Dibble’s Instagram account reveals plenty of gorgeous grazing boards being assembled, with the occasional cameo by Dibble—dancing in the fall foods aisle of Trader Joe’s, dancing in front of grazing tables, making a late-night snack of popcorn and melted shredded cheese. In one reel that’s racked up a whopping 8.1 million views, Dibble, in front of an empty table, counts to four on her fingers at which point the video jumps to the table completely covered in charcuterie. “I can just be my weird, creative self,” she says. “It’s a nice outlet, especially when you’re home being a mom. Like, I can be the mom, and I can also own a business and be creative.”