Sarah Tucker and Kyle Hubbs co-founded Honeyboards (@honeyboards), which handcrafts one-of-a-kind serving pieces from local cypress. Tucker and Hubbs spoke with Gambit about the transition from making crafts to opening a company.
How did the idea of Honeyboards come about?
Tucker: We are both crafty and like to do different kinds of things like that — gardening, stained glass — and one day we had been working with wood and had a scrap piece left over. We put some chalkboard paint on it, sanded it down and didn't think too much more about it at the time, but the seed was planted.
Later on, we were interested in doing a project together, so we said, "What about cheese and charcuterie boards?"
What's the process for creating each board?
T: We're both from New Orleans, so we started thinking about local woods and ways to incorporate that and we started thinking cypress wood.
Hubbs: Cypress wood is very hard to come by — we use the knees and the stumps of the trees — and there are a lot of legalities involved. So we work with people who are willing to go in after commercial operations leave and salvage the stumps and the knees of the trees no one wants. Some of the time we ask them to leave the bark on the pieces they bring back to us for one kind of look, other times we take the bark off the edges.
It takes a long time to cure each piece of wood into a board because we're doing everything by hand. We finish them with a food-safe mineral oil and beeswax that we get from the Gretna Farmers Market. Every piece is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind, so no two pieces look the same. We have to remind people that they can't use these as cutting boards and to make sure and wash them with soap and water.
T: We've been thinking about giving each of the boards their own names, since each piece is original tableware.
H: I'd eventually like to work with other woods, like walnut, as well. It's great, though, because everything is local, down to how to the boards smell like honey from the local beeswax.
Has there been a favorite piece you've created so far?
H: Since every piece is different, each time we make a new board and the final product comes out, we end up showing it to each other and saying, "Look at this one, it's amazing. It's my favorite now." [There is] all the different shading that happens and shapes are natural, so we get longer boards, some shaped like maple leaves, all sorts of different things.
T: A bride wanted a giant, two-by-two (foot) board for her wedding cake, and I was like, "That's going to take a little bit longer." — SARAH BAIRD