SOUTH WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) -- So many business owners are stepping up and working harder than ever to keep the doors open.
However, some businesses were born out of the pandemic, like Make Food Lovely in South Windsor.
Emily Love Leserman works at Connecticut Children's Medical Center as an audiologist.
During the pandemic, she was furloughed from May until June of 2020.
That June, she also helped throw a small, socially distant gathering for her resident who was set to graduate.
“I brought these little boxes filled with what is now the first mini at this social distancing gathering everyone asked, ‘oh is this something you would ever do?’ and I was like ‘oh no, you have to get a catering license, and you have to find a DPH regulated kitchen, it'd just be too much.’ And I started looking into it a little bit more and I realized this could be something that was really fun,” she explained.
So, in August, she created Make Food Lovely, a custom charcuterie business.
“The goal was really one week of daycare per month. That was the goal. And the community has come around me so strongly, and not even just South Windsor, but Windsor, Enfield, Ellington, Glastonbury, West Hartford. The Hartford County area has really been so supportive and generous in regard to being wonderful clients, coming to my classes, booking private classes, so this wasn't anything I anticipated,” she said.
She’s seen huge growth in less than a year, providing ‘Instagramable’ boards, boxes, or cones for weddings, showers, and parties.
"The adult lunchable,” she calls it.
"Luckily Connecticut’s doing wonderfully in terms of vaccinations, so people are itching to get back together and spend time with one another. But I don't think everyone wants to touch each other's food. So, this is a way where you can get your own serving of all the food that you want and you don't have to touch anyone else’s. These have been the real big sellers so far this spring and summer,” Leserman said.
She starts with the cheeses, like brie, sharp cheddar, and manchego.
Then she adds the meat, which she crafts into a rose.
Then the extras, like jams, honeys, and fruits.
The bright light shining at the end of the tunnel has been this creative outlet for Leserman. And even though she says it's a lot of work, she loves her job.
Both of them.
"I would never want to give either up, but I would also never want to lose the passion for either of them,” she said.