What It's About
A remote worker's gift turns into an unexpected business. You won't get board with this story!
Words of Wisdom
When it comes to starting a side hustle, Monisha encourages people to not get swept up in what other people are doing. “Protect your brand. It's easy to get really caught up when you're new. Trust your gut and do what's best for your business.”
The word charcuterie is derived from the French words “char” which means “flesh” and “cuit” which means “cooked.”
Notes from Chris
Monisha Misra loves charcuterie and cheese boards. The delicious and aesthetically pleasing displays of crackers, cheese, cured meats, fruits and spreads are hard not to like, and in college Monisha and her friends began to make them for fun. Creating platters quickly became their go-to thing when guests came to visit. Ten years later, Monisha’s college days were behind her and she was living in Boston while working in software sales. She still loved making charcuterie platters for evenings with friends, but those gatherings were about to halt. It was March 2020, and she had recently been sent home from work due to a mysterious virus. Monisha watched from home as her friends, family members and countless strangers in healthcare worked 12-15 hour shifts trying to keep the pandemic under control. She felt lazy sitting around in her sweatpants, all while knowing so many people were working to manage the emerging crisis. Monisha realized that after those long days, a charcuterie board or cheese platter would be the perfect way to recharge. So she contacted with a doctor friend to drop off her speciality creations to the hospital staff—all for free. Monisha loved giving the boards away for free, and hadn’t even thought about selling them—but she decided to give it a try, starting with selling one to a friend for Mother’s Day. She created an Instagram account called @BoardsbyMo, and planned a launch at the end of May. In her words, she had no direction, no strategy and no supplies. Instead, she began to post, tag, and hashtag to get her product in front of as many eyes as she could. Then, she set up a website, BoardsbyMo.com. She wanted to make sure that her website was 100% ecommerce, since she didn’t have a lot of time to manage emails or write blog posts. All you could do was look at pretty pictures of food platters … and make a purchase. Not only that, but in August 2020, she decided to add a new component to her business: online courses. Whoa, how did we go from food sales to online courses? Now on month six of the pandemic, people were craving new, safe ways to have experiences with their friends—and what better way to do that than with a charcuterie building class? The virtual classes were a huge hit. Monisha is making about $14,00 worth of sales each month, with a 44% profit margin. Her Instagram account now has 46,000 followers and is constantly growing—she’s even partnered with companies like GrubHub and TjMaxx. For now, the day job continues, but at some point she hopes to franchise BoardsbyMo and do it full-time.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Learn more about Mo and her delicious boards at her website,, boardsbymo.com.
- Eat, Graze, Love: Massive Cheese Platters Become Life of the Party: An Aussie woman quits her job to earn a full-time income from catering mega-sized snack boards at parties.
- What’s In the Box? Low-Carb, Low-Sugar Snacks: A CPA and Side Hustle School listener learns to start her own subscription box. In less than a year, it brings in more than $5,000/month!
- Sales Rep Seasons the Day with “Bad Spanish Tacos”: When a soft drink sales rep starts bringing cooked lunches to work, his co-workers fall in love with his food—so he seasons the day and tacos a chance on his own pop-up kitchen.
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