We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Lea and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, how does your business help the community?
In the grand scheme of things do I think I’m changing the world with my charcuterie boards, no. But I do like to think they make people smile. I get to be part of people’s major life events like birthdays, anniversaries, new homeownership, weddings, graduations, and even celebrations of life. And if I can bring a little happiness to those special events, then I think I’m helping the community. I have so enjoyed being a part of these events and meeting so many amazing people.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well if you would’ve told me 10 years ago that I would own my own business involving food, I would’ve probably laughed in your face. I have a masters degree in occupational therapy and I was working as an occupational therapist up until my second son was born. I absolutely loved my job but my heart was at home with my boys. My plan was always to go back to work in the field of occupational therapy after my 3rd son started kindergarten (Yes, I have 3 boys…3 very loud boys). But as we all know, life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. In February 2020, my Dad unexpectedly passed away. To say this rocked my world would be an understatement. I was in a rut, the lowest of lows but I was completely unaware.I was trying to be everything for everyone and I hit a wall. Starting Charcuter-Lea was something I didn’t know I wanted but it was everything I needed. Making charcuterie boards is something I have loved doing for years now and with the encouragement of my family and friends (and the power of social media) I turned a passion into a reality. Everyday I get to create what I like to call “edible art”. Each board is unique and customized to the client’s preferences. I get to make people smile and be a part of their big life moments. I’m learning as I go and I’m challenged everyday. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. And I know my Dad would be so proud of me.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m obsessed with where I live. I know I’m biased, but I think Milton is absolutely beautiful. I love that it’s rural but still has everything a city needs. I love walking down scenic wood road, eating at Milton’s, live music at Matildas or the Painted Horse Winery, and just enjoying the lovely scenery that surrounds me. The Milton community is wonderful and has been so supportive.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well that’s easy, it’s my husband Ryan. There is no way that I could do this without his unwavering love and support. He’s my main squeeze, my best friend, and my biggest cheerleader (and sometimes he even fills in as my charcuterie delivery boy). And secondly I couldn’t do this without the support of my friends. They are the ones that encouraged me to do this and I am forever grateful. It’s is because of them that I am living a dream that I didn’t even no I had.

Website: COMING SOON! http://www.charcuterlea.com/

Instagram: @charcuterlea

Facebook: @Charcuter-Lea

Other: charcuterleaorders@gmail.com

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