At Pink Verbena, we don’t always view home improvement in conventional ways. We believe that you can improve your home by creating unique and positive experiences within it. Whether that be with a great family meal, a house warming with friends or by movie night with the kids, memories and key moments are what makes a house or an apartment a home. Enter: Charleston Epicurean.
From time to time – – or, quite often actually – – we’re going to share some of our favorite local finds with our readers. Trust us, they’re sure to brighten the mood of any home. Our latest find, Charleston Epicurean, is no exception.
We were able to chat with the co-founder of this awesome, Charleston based subscription service, Ms. Jamie Minster, and learn more about how she helps deliver a little happiness to the doorsteps of homes around the country.
Pink Verbena: What is Charleston Epicurean?
Jamie Minster: Charleston Epicurean is a gift box company as well as a monthly subscription box, shipped all over the country. Every month 4-6 Charleston food, beverage and home products are packaged and sent to our subscribers. We believe that Charleston products are simply the finest and created by talented artisans, because of this we are able to offer recipients something that is exciting and ever changing.
PV: What inspired you create Charleston Epicurean?
JM: I was given a subscription box for a birthday gift and immediately the question was raised, “Why doesn’t Charleston have a subscription box company?” From there, as they say, the rest is history.
PV: How long has CE been in existence?
JM: We will be celebrating our second year next month [March 2016].
PV: What experience do you want to provide for subscribers?
JM: I love mail, I have always loved getting mail and packages, partner that with a good surprise and you are onto something wonderful. Getting a surprise package is a thrilling experience and that is what I want our subscribers to feel, a thrill and excitement, every month. A monthly surprise package on your porch, it doesn’t get much better than that.
PV: Who is CE for? What type of person is he/she?
JM: Charleston Epicurean really is for everyone. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer but it is a great gift for yourself, your mother, brother, boss, friend, wedding gift, welcome gift, corporate gift, thank you gift… we can keep going.
In addition to our monthly subscribers we also work with is creating gifts for wedding parties, corporate gifts, incentive trip winners, realtors, vacation rental companies and really anyone who needs a Charleston gift.
PV: Are you a native Charlestonian? If not, where are you from and what brought you here?
JM: No, I was not born in Charleston but I have been told by an older Charleston gentleman, one must be third generation before you can claim that you are a Charlestonian. So I guess my great-grandchildren may have something to strive for in the coming century. I was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and moved to Charleston in 1999 to attend Johnson & Wales University.
PV: List the thing(s) you love best about creating and growing CE.
JM: From the beginning this was great fun, creating the concept, developing the website, the content, marketing plan and finding products is always exciting. I can honestly say, I love it all, even the accounting part.
PV: What do you love about Charleston or the Lowcountry in general?
JM: We are truly live in a beautiful place and that is what I love the most, the bridges, creeks, architecture, weather and of course, our people all come together to make Charleston a very special place. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
PV: Have you been successful sharing CE with customers outside of the area?
JM: Yes, very successful, most of our boxes are shipped out of town. We currently have subscribers as far away as Hawaii and even on a base in Italy.
PV: How do you find and select the items you feature in each box?
JM: It’s a grueling job, but lots of tasting, and eating, going to farmers markets, I try to keep up via social media. The South Carolina Specialty Foods organization is also a great resource.
PV: Describe your personal tastes (food,culture & etc.)
JM: I have to say that I enjoy just about any type of food, as long as it is well prepared. I have a distain for fast food and everything it stands for, I believe that quality and respect should be the key component of our food. Respect for the soil, the farmer, the produce, our animals, the creator of our dishes, respect is a core belief that permeates my personal tastes.
PV: What makes you most proud about CE?
JM: Hearing from artisans about the additional orders they’ve received from our customers once they’ve gotten a box from Charleston Epicurean. It makes me so pleased to know that they enjoyed it enough to seek it out and purchase it again. It is rewarding to hear our vendors getting more business because we exposed someone to a local product.