China Grove catering business offers charcuterie boards, ‘plucking arrangements’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 28, 2022

CHINA GROVE — When a local hairstylist faced the challenge of being shut down for 10 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to explore some new uses of her skills.

After factoring in her love for cooking, Olivia Carpenter jumpstarted her catering services with the Perfect Pluck in June 2021.

The new business recently became incorporated and offers custom charcuterie boards for events along with what she calls “plucking arrangements.” Her colorful inclusions of fruits and vegetables pairs perfectly with  “charcuterie,” a French term for “cured meats.”

The goal for the business was to sell five arrangements by the July 4th weekend in 2021. When the holiday came, Carpenter surpassed this goal and sold 20. She and her husband, Corey, were spurred by that success to lease a commissary kitchen to become the official business. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, she keeps her schedule open for hair appointments, but the other days are reserved for weekend events and prep work for the Perfect Pluck.

“I had always just made them for family and friends,” Olivia Carpenter said. “My husband and I also love to host in our home. I’ve always enjoyed being in the kitchen and sharing it.”

Last week, she received the news that the Perfect Pluck had been accepted to become a limited liability company.

She has been a hairstylist for 13 years and seven years as a hair and makeup artist for weddings, a career path she decided to take after attempting to enroll in culinary school. However, with a program that was already full, she instead attended cosmetology school. Some of that training taught her skills that could be used for decorative theory in her food arrangements.

“The rule is to always put things in three,” she said. “If I have something red like three strawberries, I’ll think about what three of green that would go with the scheme.”

Color theory to add dimension is the major takeaway from what she has learned as a hair stylist. Additionally, she shared that it was still a way for her to be creative with an art that has followed her since middle school. She recalled the afternoons of coming home to watch Rachel Ray on the Food Network and cooking meals as a teenager. Italian and grilled foods were among her favorites to prepare.

The Perfect Pluck’s kitchen is at Nunya Commissary in Concord, where she and Corey cook, assemble and distribute the charcuterie boards. Most of the time, she stays in the kitchen while her husband makes deliveries.

They cover the Kannapolis and China Grove areas. Olivia also said there are no fees for delivery, but most customers decide to pick up from her home.

She said they’ve purchased a food truck that will be used for pre-made charcuterie board purchases and custom orders. It is the next business project and Olivia hopes to have that up and running by next spring.

Pre-made plucking boxes and boards can be found on perfectpluck.com while catering inquiries can be emailed to info@theperfectpluck.com

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