Feast and Floral, a Palo Alto-based catering business that supplies flowers along with cheese and charcuterie boards for events, is opening a brick-and-mortar shop at downtown Palo Alto wine bar Salvaje this summer.
Menlo Park resident Ashley Higashi started Feast and Floral with her sister in 2019. Inspired by Pinterest pictures of “grazing tables” – artfully crafted cheese and charcuterie boards complemented by fruits and vegetables, nuts, dips and crackers and breads – Higashi recreated one at a party she hosted. After rave reviews, Higashi was encouraged to start selling the boards and approached Kasim Syed, a friend of her sister’s and the owner of Salvaje, Palo Alto’s first dedicated natural wine bar, about the idea.
Syed supported the endeavor, offering his bar for Feast and Floral’s launch party and later his commercial kitchen for the business’ use. Feast and Floral started off catering private and corporate events, but the pandemic changed its course.
“We had to completely pivot the business and turn it into small boards, and the boards kept getting smaller as the pandemic went on,” Higashi says. “It went as small as a tiny snack box so everyone could eat individually.”
With demand growing again for larger cheese boards, Higashi recognized that the business was outgrowing its current commercial kitchen space in Palo Alto and told Syed she was looking for a space to open a shop.
“It’s a perfect match: cheese and charcuterie and wine,” Higashi says. “We’re hoping to create a really unique gathering spot for dining.”
Salvaje will retain indoor and outdoor patio seating and pivot its menu toward smaller bites that work well with Feast and Floral’s boards, which will range from individually sized to 4-foot-long grazing tables that serve 20. In addition to serving the boards alongside Salvaje’s natural wines for in-person dining, Higashi also plans to sell grab-and-go cheese and charcuterie boxes, floral arrangements and cheese board accessories. She hopes to turn the outdoor dining areas into “garden patios,” with houseplants and succulents for sale as well.
“I want to make it a really beautiful place to come and hang out, but also leave with something pretty,” Higashi says.
The new storefront, which is slated to open at the end of June, and the catering business are being run by Higashi and her son. She grew up in Palo Alto and attended Palo Alto High School, as did her children and her mother.
“It’s a privilege to be able to be a part of my hometown and give back in this way,” she says. “It’s a really exciting new family business for us.”
Feast and Floral coming to Salvaje, 369 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto; 650-433-1897, feastandfloral.com. Instagram: @feastandfloral.