The latest trend captivating food enthusiasts worldwide is the craft of charcuterie boards. Karreno Alexanyan, a former corporate banker turned food entrepreneur, is at the forefront of this trend. His story is not just about reinvention, but also heart and altruism.
Alexanyan, with a 14-year tenure in corporate banking, opted for a sabbatical year, during which he ventured into diverse culinary experiences while traveling across the world. His curiosity about global cuisine inspired him to work as a private chef, a venture cut short by the pandemic. However, an intriguing proposition from a friend to create a “grazing table in a box” led to the conception of Charqute, an ingenious fusion of “charcuterie” and “cute.”
Charqute was poised for an October 2020 launch, yet plans were abruptly thwarted by the onset of the Artsakh War. Amid such dire circumstances, launching a business seemed inappropriate to Alexanyan. Therefore, he chose to support the war-affected families by crafting charcuterie boards and channeling all proceeds toward Armenian organizations and families.
Charqute was officially launched on December 1, 2020. Alexanyan strategically utilized social media, specifically Tik Tok and Instagram, where he has since amassed over 160,000 followers through his innovative videos.
Alexanyan’s social media success has garnered the attention of celebrities. He has received a collaboration invitation from Netflix for the Emmy Awards, closely followed by a partnership with Paramount Pictures. His content, featuring products from local and chain markets such as Costco and Trader Joe’s, has even caught the attention of Barbara Cochran from Shark Tank. He has also collaborated with 99 Cents Only Stores and Amazon Fresh.
Reflecting on his journey, Alexanyan said, “It’s a cycle. The money that comes in is reinvested in the business. I started engaging with schools and contributing to fundraisers. Charqute is not a business operating solely for profit, but aims to give back to society. Every day presents a new adventure.” Emphasizing the importance of authenticity, relationship-building and loving one’s work, he inspires others to remain genuine, enjoy the process and support those who bolster our community.