Latino Life: Student earns cash for college by selling charcuterie

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Tulare County college student is earning cash for college thanks to her creativity in the kitchen.

"I love when I go down to my customers and I hand them their platters their first reaction is, 'Oh my God, wow, this looks so good!'," said Karina Ramirez.

Karina created her own charcuterie board business in Visalia earlier this year.

"I love the aesthetic of the colors. The different kinds of boards I can make with that. And I actually love to cook. I love to bake. I love to be in the kitchen and I always love to whip up something new. It's just, it's little crackers, cheese, salami, fruits, but you make it amazing! I usually do different designs with the salami. I like to do little roses. I like to do a little squiggly with them. I do the Kiwis, flowers, shapes. I enjoy making these party platters. I love making the platters for, you know, these awesome women that are making these awesome events with their girlfriends," said Karina.

Karina's friend encouraged her to turn her passion into profits.

"I was like, should I like, I don't know, I feel like a lot of people do it. I don't want people to think that I'm stealing their hustle," said Karina. Charcuterie is derived from the French words "chair" and "cuit," which translate to "flesh" and "cooked." Ramirez adds, "I sell Keto platters. I sell vegan platters. I sell meat-based platters."

Charcuterie goes back to the 1400s but is a recent Instagram hit with young adults who love the eye-catching creations.

Agnes Saghatelian is the owner of the Valley Lahvosh Baking Company in downtown Fresno. She says the company sells crackers that are popular on boards.

"You're just seeing that that wonderful snackability feature to it. They're able to customize their boards with either a celebratory event or a holiday and then they can use our hearts to tie into that customization. They are also able to customize individual boxes, especially now with COVID, they are able to have personalized boxes. They can do little cones and so I think that concept as a whole, individual really delicious pieces of food that can either be shared amongst people or held individually," said Saghatelian.

Karina is 20 years old and attends the College of the Sequoias in Visalia. She paid her own college tuition with profits of her new business, Kravings by Kari.

"My inspiration was having to take that burden off my dad and being able to help him out help myself out and help my family out," Karina said.

Karina's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and she recalls having difficulty in the classroom as a child.

"It was always a struggle for me growing up not knowing English not understanding certain things. I remember for a long time my only words that I knew was cherry, pink and dollars," Karina said.

Karina wants to expand her business and become a teacher. She wants children to know they can overcome obstacles.

"I really hope if any Latina little girls are watching this, I hope you guys know that anything is possible. You guys can do absolutely anything that you put your mind to restrictions are temporary. I love knowing that what I brought to the table was delicious. You know, everybody ate and left no crumbs," Karina said.

Contact KravingsbyKari via Instagram.
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