Nestled between historic buildings in Beacon Hill sits a store that specializes in cheese and is operated by a young entrepreneur.
Kured, a charcuterie shop offering takeout and delivery for their Instagrammable-boards, has scored a spot on the iconic Charles Street. Instead of spending time and money on a cheese and cracker haul at the grocery store, Kured lets their customers choose their favorite meats, cheeses and complimentary deliciousness to build a personalized board.
Gillian Rozynek, the founder of the business, can be found twirling salami roses and serving customers on the weekend in the shop. The Boston College alumna’s inspiration all stemmed from a trip to Spain. Rozynek never expected that a semester abroad in college would lead to a passion project that would eventually turn into a business.
“I really fell in love with this relationship-oriented culture,” Rozynek said. “It sounds cheesy but I found that charcuterie was a way to bring people together and a centerpoint for conversation.”
During the pandemic, a year after returning home, Rozynek found herself thinking more about her business idea and how she could keep Spanish culture alive in her everyday life. Determined not to lose what she found across the ocean, Rozynek got to work.
Kured’s humble beginnings started through Boston College’s summer accelerator program, where student entrepreneurs can build their ideas into an early-stage venture with guidance from mentors. Through the program, Kured acquired its first mentors and investors.
The business began with an e-commerce setup, where Rozynek found herself worn out from sourcing products, building boards and traveling four hours a day to deliver her creations. Rozynek knew she needed to make a change towards a more sustainable business model and began searching for a physical storefront, when space in Beacon Hill appeared.
“We asked ourselves, ‘why is there no brand that’s solely focused on charcuterie and giving it to people in an easy, cost-effective and efficient manner?’” Rozynek said.
From there, Kured opened its doors to the public in June and has garnered a following both in-person and online. One TikTok video posted by the store garnered 60,000 likes and sent Bostonians flocking to the new storefront.
The response so far has been positive, with Rozynek crediting the Beacon Hill community for welcoming the storefront into the small business community. The business also plays up its prime location as an opportunity for reaching larger audiences, with the financial district only a 20-minute walk away.
“I was walking home one day in the North End and I crossed someone with a Kured bag with a box in it … I had never seen someone walking on the street in their natural habitat with my product,” Rozynek said.
Rozynek often felt societal pushback about her age, as it’s uncommon for someone just out of college to open their own business. When launching the physical location, Rozynek said she felt inadequate or not credible when dealing with architects or construction workers.
“One thing I want to come out of this with is to show people, especially my age, that it doesn’t matter what age you are,” Rozynek said. “You need to swing and get people on your team that are good assets and can support you.”
Since opening, Rozynek has been working everyday on improving Kured, including spending time making boards in the shop on the weekends. Luckily the business is no longer a one-woman show, with staff and interns supporting the team.
Kured is also supporting local artists with “Kured canvas,” a collaboration between the shop and artists to foster conversation, including limited edition charcuterie boxes. Customers can expect lively designs when they walk into the storefront. On display currently is a dragon mural from Henry Dunkelberger’s “Please Smile” collection. The collection features the mural, a clothing line available in store and a limited-edition charcuterie box designed by the artist.
“We provide artists digital space, physical space and product space to speak their voice and build their vision on a different kind of canvas,” according to the shop’s website.
As for the business model, Rozynek doesn’t see charcuterie going away. The young entrepreneur sees Kured becoming a household name that will be synonymous with the word charcuterie. In five years, Rozynek’s goal is to open more stores in new markets, including Chicago, New York and Washington D.C.
“Our whole value proposition rests on the foundation of making charcuterie more accessible,” Rozynek said. “Let’s make it easy for people to come and pick what they want and get a charcuterie board in five minutes for a really reasonable price.”
Kured currently offers delivery in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. The store is open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m.- 7:30 p.m. and is located at 83 Charles St. Box prices range from $17-$38 and charcuterie cones are $6.