Observing a charcuterie creation from Yeah Baby Boards is akin to studying a painting. The eye is guided along by artfully sliced cheese and flowers of salami, while dips and snacks punctuate the composition. Fresh produce such as berries or peppers give the arrangement a pop of color. Overall, it’s evident that every element is intentional and considered.
“I have a process,” explains Crystal Stewart, owner and creative force behind Yeah Baby Boards. “First I put dishes, then I put cheese, then I build everything around that. When I do larger [spreads], I draw them out. I would say that this all took time, though. In the beginning I was cutting cheese so ugly!”
Stewart has had ample opportunity to refine her cheese-cutting technique since these early days. Since opening her business, she estimates to have assembled thousands of custom charcuterie boards for weddings and events. Now clients can also stop in for a board and a glass of wine at Yeah Baby’s newly opened Ferndale storefront, open as of fall 2021.
After relocating with her family from California to Ferndale, finding work amid the COVID-19 pandemic proved challenging for Stewart. However, she found motivation in her passion for food and long-standing dream of business ownership. Taking a charcuterie board hobby to the professional level felt like a natural leap.
Stewart opened her business in late 2020, naming it “Yeah Baby” in homage to her father’s favorite catchphrase. The endeavor paid off quickly– reception for Yeah Baby Boards has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Moving here has been honestly the biggest blessing my family’s ever received,” says Stewart. “This is not normal, this area. It’s amazing for what I do. All the cheese farms, all the berry farms, all the honeycomb, just everything!”
Most ingredients on the boards are locally sourced, and vendors include Acme Cheese Farms and Ferndale Farmstead. Curated products from collaborating vendors are also available at Yeah Baby’s brick-and-mortar storefront.
When sourcing ingredients at farmers markets, Stewart doesn’t shy away from incorporating unusual produce into her boards. At Yeah Baby Boards, nontraditional charcuterie arrangements are a mainstay, and even the boards’ names are whimsical (Cheese Will Give You Wings, Loaf Me, and Easy Briezzy Baby are just a few examples). Stewart is also careful to work around clients’ allergies and intolerances.
“I learned that [non-dairy] cheese is so good,” she says. “I like when people include sweet treats. I work with Anna’s Bread in Blaine when I do bread, and I work with Sweet Indulgence when [clients] ask for macarons or scones or anything to make their day special.”
Of course, sweets are only a small part of what makes the Yeah Baby Boards experience so memorable. Speaking with Stewart, it’s clear that she brings passion, positivity, and energy to every order she undertakes. Opening a business inevitably comes with a learning curve; however, these logistics and late nights are handled with tenacity. As a veteran and woman of color, Stewart is proud to set an example of “fierce womanhood” for her two daughters.
“It’s been good to be able to do this and have my girls watch and have such a supportive husband,” says Stewart. “I just want to thank my family.” 2015 Main St., Ferndale, 360.220.7345, yeahbabyboards.com