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Marissa is a wife to one and mom to four in Tampa, Florida. She is a published and award winning photographer, turned accidental food stylist who started Salumi Custom Charcuterie. When she's not creating, you can find her in the bathtub, drinking wine or answering "why" for the 4,643rd time, typically all three, at the same time.

1. How did you start your business?


Accidentally. Like I do all things. I've always been drawn to all things creative. I accidentally started a photography business about 10 years ago. I was determined to get tack sharp photos of my never-sit still 9 month old twins and realized quickly the only way to do that was to learn photography from a technical standpoint. After pouring myself into that, people started asking if I was taking clients. So one day I had the gumption to say "yes' and accidentally started a photography business. For Salumi it was a similar....I've always loved charcuterie....even before I knew charcuterie was charcuterie. I had taken boards to a few get togethers and people eventually started asking (one of the first being our very own, Mrs. Hadley!) if I would sell them, I thought to myself "am I really going to accidentally take on another business?' And the answer ended up being yes. The marriage between my love for food and creative expression has been exactly what I never knew I needed.


2. For someone wanting to start their own business but are hesitant...what’s your best piece of advice?


Do itttttttt! I've always been a "dive in headfirst, we'll figure out the details later" type of girl and I recognize that is not within everyone's comfort zone. But I truly believe saying yes, especially when things seem scary, is good for the soul and definitely helps you grow. Especially if you find yourself home with four children, four years apart and need a little something just for you. I have grown both businesses very organically and without a laser sharp long term vision. I think that alleviates a lot of pressure that may come with the seemingly scary part of putting yourself out there and starting a business. Both businesses have scaled at an exhilarating, yet manageable pace and I think being comfortable the growth to happen organically has helped tremendously. I'm happiest when I'm running at a sustainable but maintainable pace, so it feels fun but still profitable.


3. How did you come up with your business name?


Oh I love this question! As I mentioned, food and I are really tight. I grew up in a family where as my son would say "we feel our food". Yes, he got the gene, too. I'm Italian and my mom, dad, grandparents and even us kids cooked. I took an incredible trip to Italy with my brother a few years ago and just marveled in all things Italian. The people, the food, the architecture, the art. I knew I wanted to pay homage to my Italian side, so I decided on Salumi  which is the Italian word for charcuterie, which is French. 


4. How does someone go about ordering a charcuterie board from you?


Slide into my dm's @salumi.tampa on IG. or call me! Everything I do is custom, so we walk through what you are looking for, what are must haves and no-os and go from there. 


5. What gets your creative juices flowing? How do you decide on your design and theme for your boards?

Ahhhhhhh....something as simple as a theme. Or a color palette, and I love a good, creative challenge. I geek out on a concept in my mind, usually around 4:00 am the night before, and cross my fingers I'm able to execute it on board. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I really strive to create with equal parts beautiful aesthetic and tastes delicious. I put it together, take it apart, move things, put it back together and never make the same board twice, so it's always fun watching it all come together. 

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