Feast & Graze is opening a retail shop. This charcuterie and cheese box company used to only be available by preorder, but that all changes Feb. 1 when the new shop at 55. S. Main St. opens.
Feast & Graze owner Cristina McCarter said she is excited about the expansion of her business. “I’ll be back Downtown, just not with tours,” she said, as she referred to her former food business, City Tasting Tours, that has been sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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What you will find
The new shop will feature a grab-and-go case filled with Feast & Graze’s “Just for Me” grazing boxes, plus there will be a pickup location for those ordering larger charcuterie spreads.
The location will also feature a retail area showcasing products from Memphis-based food artisans. This addition is no surprise considering McCarter also runs City Tasting Box (a mail-order food tasting box) and Craft Food & Wine Festival (an annual festival that features local food artisans and their products).
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Expect to find many of the items she features in City Tasting Box.
“And of course we will have City Tasting Boxes there for people to pick up,” she said, adding they just launched a new “Majority Box” that features Black food makers in Memphis.
McCarter said she plans to add café items like bagel sandwiches made with bagels from Memphis-based Dave’s Bagels. Feast & Graze’s chef, Raneisha Myers, will help her design the additional food offerings.
Open on Main
McCarter was chosen by the Downtown Memphis Commission to be part of its internationally award-winning “Open on Main” pop-up initiative.
The program pairs emerging retailers and entrepreneurs with vacant storefronts Downtown. The program is designed to help retailers test their market-strategies and create a stronger retail ecosystem and better pedestrian experience in the core city. The spaces available provide rent-free opportunities for tenants to temporarily showcase their businesses on Main Street.
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“This is a chance to see if expansion is truly a business model we want to pursue,” said McCarter, adding she will have free rent for one year for her pop-up. “The DMC has been a supporter and partner of many of my ventures, and this was a perfect next step in my business model to expand.”
Filling ground-floor vacancies along the Main Street Mall is a top priority of the commission, said Brett Roler, Downtown Memphis Commission’s senior vice president of planning and development.
“Our retail strategy recognizes that building a strong critical mass of stores and other commercial offerings needs to start in the Downtown core and within established retail nodes, like Main Street,” he said. “The Open on Main Pop-Up program has been an effective tool to move the needle on activating previously dark and empty retail bays.”
Roler believes Feast & Graze will be a great addition to the retail offerings Downtown.
“We think this business has the real potential to drive traffic Downtown with their unique offerings and strong ties within the community. Moreover, convenience goods, like curated cheese and charcuterie boxes, provide an additional amenity for those already living, working or visiting Downtown,” Roler said.
“The beauty of the Open on Main program is that it gives local entrepreneurs like Cristina a low-risk way to try a brick-and-mortar location Downtown. Our hope is that her pop-up is so successful that she wants to make Downtown the permanent home for this exciting business.”
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining Reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.