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Small Business Holiday Shopping: NOLA BOARDS, local ‘handcrafted cutting boards’

Written by  IntheNOLA.com
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring several small businesses for our Small Business Holiday Shopping series. Be sure to support your LOCALS this holiday season!
 
NOLA BOARDS
 
Last week, we gave you a great idea for stocking stuffers for our NOLA ladies with LaPierre Cosmetics, a local luxury nail polish brand. This week, we have something for NOLA women and men with NOLA BOARDS, local “handcrafted cutting boards.”
Small Business Holiday Shopping: NOLA BOARDS, local ‘handcrafted cutting boards’ | IntheNOLA.comMandy Simpson, owner of NOLA BOARDS, and her husband Daren started the company last fall. “Daren is a woodworker and last year, a friend asked him to make a cutting board for a wedding present,” said Mandy. “The board came out so pretty that I posted it on social media and everyone started asking about it. We started getting requests and using the leftover scrap wood from Daren’s larger projects with his company, New Orleans Woodworking, for these side projects, but before long, we were making so many cutting boards that we actually had to start buying a ton of wood locally to meet the demand.”

“This year has been a whirlwind!” she added. “We have been at several markets this holiday season and we have had a warm welcome from New Orleanians who have helped us grow overnight. Our biggest highlight of the year, though, was being featured in Rachael Ray’s magazine on her number one list of holiday ‘must- haves.’ Now, we are shipping our boards non stop around the country!”
Small Business Holiday Shopping: NOLA BOARDS, local ‘handcrafted cutting boards’ | IntheNOLA.comShe continued, “A variety of domestic and exotic hardwoods are used to make the boards including Louisiana Sinker Cypress in the ATCHAFALAYA board. No scrap is left behind and new products are continually added to the mix depending on the size of wood left over. After each cutting board is sanded to a smooth finish, all of them are soaked overnight with a food-grade mineral oil to condition the wood. This brings out the rich colors and unique wood grain in each one. To complete the process, a combination of mineral oil and beeswax made by local bees and their beekeeper at Fleur de Bees is added to seal the wood.”
 
As a Born, Raised, and Still Here New Orleanian, Mandy personally names all the boards. “New Orleans runs deep in my blood and each board has been named by the things that I’ve been surrounded by all my life. The names are chosen after we design them; sometimes it just feels right, like ROUX, which is made of cherry, maple, and walnut woods. The three colors look exactly like a light, medium, and dark roux. I use the board to teach our kids what the proper color of a roux should look like!” 
 
Small Business Holiday Shopping: NOLA BOARDS, local ‘handcrafted cutting boards’ | IntheNOLA.comThe most popular boards include the previously mentioned ATCHAFALAYA and WILD CHOP-itoulas. In addition to the boards, Mandy has big plans for 2016. “We have a kitchen furniture line that will be coming out in the beginning of the year and will include butcher-block islands and countertops as well as our more refined NOLA BOARDS look in other accent pieces. We will also be coming out with a line of handmade spoons and kitchen utensils to go with our cutting boards.”
 
She concluded, “Owning a business has been the most rewarding things I could imagine. We are a family business and we love getting our three teenagers involved when we can. NOLA BOARDS has allowed us the opportunity to give back to the community in ways that weren’t possible before. We are really excited to be starting a new program in January. People can trade in their old cutting boards for a discount on our boards. We are going to completely refurbish them and donate them to culinary training schools around town. Here in New Orleans, food is the backbone of our culture, known all around the world, and we believe it’s important to contribute to OUR traditions.”
Small Business Holiday Shopping: NOLA BOARDS, local ‘handcrafted cutting boards’ | IntheNOLA.com
We can’t wait to get our hands on one of these gorgeous boards! In Mandy’s words: “Friends don't let friends use bamboo.” :-)
 
For more information about NOLA BOARDS, please visit the website and Instagram.
 
See previous Small Business Holiday features:
LaPierre Cosmetics
Last modified on Tuesday, 15 December 2015
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