We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Vanderburg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Truthfully, I am a little bit of a workaholic. I grew up watching my parents passionately work long hours, both as entrepreneurs. Their hard work and dedication to their jobs inspired me as a young girl to be just like them someday. Ever since I started working in the Hospitality Industry, I craved more hours and more experience. So, I started my own business as a “side gig”. My full-time job only keeps me busy through a peak catering season of March-November, and it was one November that I thought “well, I must keep going”. Beyond Gouda was born with the intention of creating party platters for the winter holidays. During this time, I realized how special of a moment grazing boards create for group gatherings. Grazing boards are a way for loved ones, and new friends, to socialize over an artfully displayed food array. How cool, right?! Or maybe I’m just a nerd for food and good times. To this day, Beyond Gouda strives to create beautifully designed charcuterie gift boxes, to give or to share with others.
What should our readers know about your business?
Beyond Gouda was born from my passion for delivering hospitable and memorable moments for others to enjoy together. So, aside from designing charcuterie gift boxes, Beyond Gouda hosts Charcuterie 101 Workshops. These curated experiences take place in pop-up locations around Denver, or in the comfort of your own home. This part of Beyond Gouda is what hypes me up most; I get to teach others how to beautifully assemble charcuterie while enjoying their great company. There is nothing more exciting to me than the act of people coming together over food and drink to create good memories. Each day I am excited about whatever new challenge or opportunity may arise, but I never thought a global pandemic would be one of them. I feel proud to have made it through this time as a new catering business owner. I have been able to adapt to the concerns of my clients, and the community, on how to safely continue operating and selling gift boxes. My business was the young age of 5 months old when COVID-19 hit. I was in the middle of developing my brand with packaging and website design, and expanding my clientele base. I felt discouraged that I had built a company that was meant to cater to parties and group gatherings, so I had to make a sudden shift. Beyond Gouda quickly became a business that provided zero-contact food delivery. Although this shift was easy for me to accommodate, I have learned that a young business requires so much time, and constant improvement. I spend almost every day thinking about future opportunities, or updated designs for Beyond Gouda. I tweak my website at least once a month, research new eco-friendly packaging options, monitor my financials, and constantly consider next steps. Beyond Gouda has challenged me to stay confident and determined, to keep up with the ever-changing industry and continue delivering products that people love (cheese!). Starting a business by yourself can be difficult at times, but it is certainly possible and anyone is capable!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Thank goodness it’s a week a long, because there is so much to fit in! Aside from taking them on sunrise or sunset hikes in Golden and Boulder, I have a long list of restaurants and bars lined up. However, we would spend most of our time in the RiNo area because Larimer street is great for walking (or scooting) up and down and checking every great place out. Denver Central Market is always a must, especially to walk out the back alley and admire the awesome street art. I always stop at Izzio for a gooey caramel pecan sticky bun, they make me drool just looking at them. Osaka Ramen is a fun underground restaurant to enjoy some sake and delicious food (and of course with my sweet tooth, we’d get the mochi donuts for desert). For a drink, we’d head over to Ratio and grab a “If You Want Blood” beer, my favorite to enjoy in both hot and cold weather. And then over to Improper City, where I can find a lot of my buddies hanging out, doing computer work, meeting new people and enjoying life. For planned activities and events, I can always count on Archipelago Clubs or Two Parts to have something unique and fun going on around Denver.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I owe a lot of credit to my parents. Each at a young adult age, they became entrepreneurs, working hard to build and grow their businesses. I grew up inspired by their passion and dedication to their businesses, and their strong will to never give up on it. I can always look to them when I need business advice, motivation, or that extra little push to keep growing. Secondly, I owe the two founders of my full-time job, Mountain Crust Catering, a huge recognition. Ryan and Kendall started their own catering company just coming out of college, so naturally, they heavily encouraged me to do the same. They constantly allow me to work on Beyond Gouda around my full-time hours with them at Mountain Crust. They help keep me balanced between work and life and motivate me to keep building Beyond Gouda. Finally, shout out to all of my friends, family, and clients that continue to support my business by purchasing or sharing my page with new friends. The Gouda Family is a community that I cannot thank enough, for constant support and love!!
Sean O’Brien https://www.seanobproductions.com/