How it all started
Ankit moved to NYC in September of 2021. After having (a little too much) wine with friends & family one weekend, Ankit typed in "cheeseboards" into Uber Eats, hoping to find an amazing spread that would be delivered on demand. Unfortunately, it did not exist! The next day, Ankit thought about creating a "magical button that you can push to get a cheese or charcuterie board, on-demand", and started learning everything about the food industry. While Ankit was busy learning everything about the food industry, Chef Nelson Cienfuegos was busy wrapping up his final gig in the restaurant industry. After 20+ years of working in some of NYC's most memorable restaurants, due to COVID-19, Chef Nelson was ready to find a new career.
Ankit moves to New York City and hosts a get-together. After having a little too much wine, Ankit types "Cheeseboard" into Uber Eats hoping for an instant and on-demand cheesy experience but is surprised that there were no options available. The next day, he shares the "problem" with his now Chief of Staff, Darleen, and asks to her learn more about the cheese and charcuterie business.
After spending the prior month learning all about cheese (and ghost kitchens, procurement, supply chains, packaging, on-demand delivery, and more..!), Ankit decides that it is time to take the next step and recruit a Head Chef to the team. After several conversations, Ankit meets Chef Nelson Cienfuegos. Nelson grew up in Brooklyn and has been in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years, and has been an integral team member at well-known restaurants like Balthazar... Ankit shared the vision for HappyBoards and Nelson agreed to join the team as a Co-Founder and Head Chef!
November & December, 2021
Ankit, Nelson and Darleen spent several months researching ankd thinking about the HappyBoards concept (the initial brand name was ‘Cheeseboard.Life’ – glad we found HappyBoards.com for sale!). By the end of the year, we made a collective decision to go for it and launch in 2022!
The HappyBoards team kicked off the year with a series of private tastings. In a week, we hosted over 100 guests who sampled our ingredients, shared their preferences, and freely discussed ideas for our product roadmap! Thanks to everyone for participating!
Launch month! The HappyBoards team spent several weeks perfecting recipes, tasting ingredients, figuring out logistics and packaging, and counting down the days till launch. We officially went live on February 24, 2022!
The HappyBoards team launched with over a dozen different charcuterie boards and… crickets. The menu was too confusing. Within a week and after several customer conversations, the team launched the “Make Your Own” HappyBoard. This would go on to become the top-selling item on the HappyBoards menu. In March, the HappyBoards team also launched its first partnership with ClubFeast, a corporate catering platform that serves New YorK City. New hires: Surenda Deora joined the HappyBoards team to lead our operations.
October was full of events! You could find HappyBoards for a cheesy tasting at the New York City Wine & Food Festivate, Manhattan Wine Festival, Diwali Party and the EnCourage Kids Foundation Event