A Bergen County native with a knack for entertaining is bringing a handmade charcuterie board shop to the area.
Dylan Elias, 23, will open PlatedByD, on Main Street in Lodi come Nov. 1.
The company specializes in handmade charcuterie boards with artisan meats, cheeses, fruits and more. PlatedByD launched in March during the early stages of the pandemic.
Though many people advised Elias against going forward with an opening, she had already started gaining momentum -- and there was no stopping her.
“I know it’s been a crazy time and everyone was thinking, ‘This is such a bad time to start a business,’" Elias told Daily Voice.
“But it was the best time, because people were stuck at home, restaurants were still figuring out how to service people, and I felt like maybe I had a way to service people in a different way than just bringing them hot food, pizza, or something like that.”
Born in Manhattan, Elias lived in Edgewater before moving to Lodi and graduating from Immaculate Conception High School, she said.
Elias has plenty of experience with the fast-paced atmosphere of a busy kitchen. She’s previously worked as a hostess at Madison Bar & Grill in Hoboken, Chart House in Weehawken and Capital Grille in Paramus.
Add that to her natural-born love of food and entertaining, and PlatedByD is a perfect fit.
“I always had friends over and I always loved entertaining, and my friends would always say, ‘Dylan, you have the best food and the best decorations.’ I would make a charcuterie board and little mimosas.”
Though she intended for the business to focus on wedding catering, it’s taken off much faster than she anticipated — so fast that she moved her workspace from the kitchen of her father’s Bridgewater ice cream shop to a shared commissary space before biting the bullet and deciding on a storefront in Lodi, all in a matter of months.
Elias is also channeling her creativity into the storefront’s design so that it truly reflects her unique space and business.
“On the inside there’s going to be a swing and a couch because it’s meant for consultations for when people want to come in and order,” Elias said. it’s going to be super fun.”
Meanwhile, Elias’ sister, Alexi Maynard, helps with the administration side of the business, as well as social media.
Elias also aims to make connections and support local businesses with her product sourcing. She’s currently using microgreens and edible flowers from Bergen Greens in Hawthorne, while PlatedByD’s desserts come from Black Magic Bake House in Paramus, which she says has “the best brioche donuts ever.”
While Elias’ store doesn’t open until November, she’s already thinking about the unlimited potential the future holds.
She’s toying with the idea of putting together a book of photos depicting her charcuterie boards for easy ordering. A podcast with local chefs and members of the food industry may also be in the works. The ultimate goal, she said, is to turn Plated into a “brand and household name.”
But for now, Elias loves having the opportunity to make people happy while pursuing her own passion — one charcuterie board at a time.
“I brought them something where they felt connected again,” said Elias. “That was the best part of everything, was being able to connect families.”
“I’m excited," Elias said. "This wasn’t necessarily a dream that I had, but it turned into something that I just don’t want to stop.”
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