Candace Smith has been a ‘foodie’ since she was a child. Growing up watching Food Network, specifically Julia Child, she always knew that food was in her future, she just hadn’t mapped out the route she would take get there. Then, in late 2019 she began reading a book by author Maegan Brown about snack boards. She became so enamored with the content; she was inspired to launch her own innovative spin on charcuterie – the delightful artistry of Grazeful. Her first customer came by happenstance; after mentioning her new business idea in office chit chat, her coworker booked her for an event they were hosting. Soon after, Smith committed to curating her brand with great care and people at the center. Grazeful, a name that plays off of ‘grateful’, offers carefully crafted charcuterie style boards for different types of occasions and grazing tables for larger events, like weddings. Although she began just as the pandemic hit, she forged through, often designing boards for customers who couldn’t see their families and wanted to say ‘I love you’ in a special way. Smith prioritizes supporting her local community, always sourcing her ingredients close to home, “I truly believe in community and uplifting each other.” Knowing that people eat with their eyes first and that food gives them a simple but strong connection, Smith has implemented the philosophy, “Beautiful food is good for the soul.” She takes pride in designing an authentic, unique, and creative experience for each customer.
In early 2020, Smith went on the hunt for a marketing team. She visited a firm to see what services they could offer and if it was right for her business. Shortly after her meeting, serendipitously, Moises Cardenas, owner of Social Connection Marketing, reached out to offer his assistance. She elected to go with Cardenas,
“I decided to trust Moises because of his direct approach. We’re both also from diverse backgrounds, so there was a genuine connection.”
Grazeful was the first business offering this type of artful charcuterie service in the area. Smith says,
“He helped me set myself apart early on.”
Social Connection offers Smith an individualized plan tailored to her specific needs. Along with videography services and styled shoots, Smith enjoys her customized website that was built and continues to be maintained by Social Connection.
“I get so many compliments on my website. People tell me it is one of the best that they’ve seen for what I do.”
Social Connection Marketing prides itself on its responsiveness and flexibility. Smith states,
“Anytime I need something updated on my website he responds immediately and does it right then, even if I tell him it’s not an immediate need.”
Smith believes that Social Connection’s services are a significant factor in the success of her business expressing,
“I will give him so much credit, he is what pivoted my business.”
“He helped me create this caliber of quality with my website – he told my story and really captured it,” continues Smith.
A special project that stays at the forefront of Smith’s mind in regards to the work Social Connection has done for the business is the hands-on training Cardenas provided for her staff on their POS system.
“He came in and spent 2-3 hours training my staff. He didn’t have to do that, but he did,” Smith says gratefully.
Social Connection Marketing is continually going above and beyond to ensure clients are not just satisfied, but genuinely happy with their marketing plan. Smith shares,
“He (Cardenas) is truly looking out for you and your business. He is always thinking of different ways to approach things and offering new ideas. He is not just about business, he truly focuses on the client and making them happy and creating an experience for them.”
“He is changing the industry standard,” she continues.
Smith’s favorite part of working with Social Connection’s team is knowing that character, community, and integrity are at the core of everything they do.
“He (Cardenas) is just the epitome of how to run a good business, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good human-that’s Moises,” Smith enthuses.
Community and innovation are at forefront of Social Connection’s business philosophy. Smith believes,
“Moises is a true pillar of the community, being helpful and resourceful.”
She elaborates, “He’s always involved in community events, and does whatever he can do.”
Recently, Cardenas opened his new studio, SC Studios, in Martinsburg. Smith expands on this,
“Even with creating the new studio- what an amazing way to bring the community together and offer these amazing resources that we did not have. If you’re recording a podcast, a photographer, a videographer, or even a business owner who needs to record content, he created a place for everyone in this area.”
Social Connection Marketing is honored to collaborate with Grazeful and shares in their philosophy to add thoughtfulness and consideration to each customer’s product. They are excited to share in their successes as Grazeful is becoming a staple within the community. Social Connection looks forward to their continued growth.