By Chris Bavender
When 317 Charcuterie opens its doors Nov. 19 at Carmel City Center, it will be a dream come true for owner Emily Houser.
“I’m not even sure it’s completely hit me yet,” Houser said. “I’m so excited to use this opportunity to make a positive impact.”
The location at 61 City Center Dr., adjacent to divvy, will be 317 Charcuterie’s first storefront location. For the last few months Houser has taken orders out of a commercial kitchen for pre-order and catering only.
“I’m so excited to be in Carmel because it’s an established, but still growing community, and the City Center is so great because it is it’s own community within Carmel,” she said. “I’ve gotten to meet some of the residents that live above the stores and some of the other business owners. They are all so welcoming. It’s been great.”
Houser, a Butler University graduate, is drawing on her time studying abroad in Italy for 317 Charcuterie’s concept.
“Everything moves at a slower pace and family, community, food and wine are central to every day there. They take ‘pausa’ which is the Italian equivalent to a ‘siesta.’ They drink wine at lunch and dinner, when dining they don’t bring you the check until you ask for it, and they have many more descriptive words in Italian relating to taste and emotion than we do,” she said. “I’ve always been drawn to creating a concept that creates that feeling – a ‘pausa’ in your day to relax, disconnect from the stressors of life and connect to your food and the people around you. Charcuterie helps to create this because it gets people engaged with each other.”
It’s that connection Houser hopes 317 Charcuterie will provide to customers.
“A board brings people to one spot physically. It’s a shared experience. You get to come together and talk about what you’re seeing and what you’re tasting,” she said. “What you enjoy most might differ from the person next to you, or maybe together you find you love a specific cheese and wine combo.”
Houser believes charcuterie boards are popular not only because of their beauty but because of the slower pace of eating.
“I think people are excited to have something they can snack on for hours instead of always sitting down for a more traditional dinner. Charcuterie is also a fairly healthy option,” Houser said. “Lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. accompany the meats and cheeses, so I think people feel better about indulging on a charcuterie board versus a heavier meal.”
The eatery will offer dine in and take out options.
“I expect that the carry out and catering side of the business will always be strong since people like to have boards created for their house and company parties as well as sending gifts to loved ones,” Houser said. “But I am very excited about dine-in. I think people are going to really enjoy coming in to sit and enjoy a board and a glass of wine or beer.”
317 Charcuterie will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. A grand opening is set for Dec. 4.