Businesswoman Simone Metlege is experiencing one of her busiest weeks.
Running between local vendors, the owner of Boxed Bites is picking up products to complete 20 sweet and 10 savoury boxes for Valentine’s Day. While it might be challenging to keep that all straight while tending to her toddler Mia, Metlege is happy to spread the love this season through her creations.
Boxed Bites is a catering company creating “grazing boxes,” artistically packaged selections of charcuterie, appetizers, and desserts.
“I always approach a box as something out of the ordinary,” Metlege says. “Emphasizing something that encompasses everything suitable, not just one individual’s tasting profile but all different sorts of people. It’s interesting because it seems like people are looking for more things outside the typical charcuterie.”
When the new year came along, Metlege felt the first specialty grazing box company in the city needed to elevate its grazing game. The company has reinvented its menu with the aim to support local as much as possible. She still goes to Ratinaud for meats and cheeses, and get local-favourite rosemary and garlic almonds from Maritime Gourmet Nut Company.
“I wanted to reinvent it in a way that a lot of the ingredients are harder to get a hold of,” she says. “I wanted to make it easy for people to get a high-end box.”
And as the business grew, so did Metlege’s knowledge and creativity. “I started because I like playing with food and the way things look,” she adds. “I just started learning more. I wanted to showcase my growth in the menu, so it looks good, but you’re getting perfect pairings and quality, and supporting local. It’s nice learning from each other and being able to support each other, but they are giving me so much advice in return.”
Metlege started the company a year ago, fuelled by a family passion for food. Once restrictions are eased, Metlege will expand her offerings with a new take on outdoor grazing tables. She also plans to introduce a new way of party planning: luxury picnics complete with pillows and candles—ideal for bridal and baby showers and proposals.
A former social worker, Metlege is keen to give back to her community. In March, she plans to donate $5 from each box sold to Easter Seals. She also often does fundraising efforts with the Mental Foundation of Nova Scotia.
With the charitable causes, as with the business, it’s about spreading love. “When I left my job to do this full time, it was important to me that I took that with me,” she says. “They are two different fields; I am just trying to find a way to bring them together.”