When I first launched CRAVEInfused, it was with 3-branches. CRAVEInfused Cosmetics, CRAVEInfused Cooks, & CRAVEInfused Confections. We launched with 3 branches with a plan to expand to more as time continued but with most businesses, I knew I had to pivot, so I did.
After the launch, I focused on CRAVEInfused Cosmetics so I could sell a product without having to outsource talent. I also continued to create content for CRAVEInfused Cooks as a way to give back via way of education; teaching people how to infuse cannabis into plant-based foods so they wouldn't have to rely on heavily inflated dispensary prices. And ultimately, I nixed CRAVEInfused Confections though you never know what will happen once we get our consumable hemp license ;)
Anywho! Over the past 4-years, I've solely focused on the Cosmetics and Cooks branches with a much larger emphasis on Cosmetics as I wanted to hand-craft a product that I was comfortable selling to the public. By January 2022, my product line was complete, by January 2023, we started to make online sales, and by May 2023, after 4-years, we've finally launched our 3rd branch in CRAVEInfused Curated Events!
CRAVEInfused Curated Events are plant-based gatherings where cannabis can add an element of luxury to any event! With an events background spanning nearly a decade, I thought it would be a natural next-step and boy, was I right!
For our first event, A Cinco de Mayo themed Cannabis Brunch, we collaborated with Chef Keyla of Liquid Gold and Chef Nick of Ki.thc.en. Chef Keyla is a seasoned pastry chef trained by one of the world's premier culinary colleges, The Culinary Institute of America. Her background in events was a key component to our collaboration as we worked together to bring this event to life.
Chef Nick paired his chef training in Europe with his Dominican roots as he welcomed guests with a Blackberry Michelada and a Crispy Artichoke Chip w/ Guacamole Mousse.
(When I say the guests could not get enough of these tasty little chips! #Yummmy!!!)
The actual meal started off with a bread course but not just any bread course!
A Hashwater Sourdough Foccacia served in the style of croque madame complete with a smoked watermelon 'ham', melted dairy-free cheese, and topped with a sunny side up, yellow tomato 'egg.'
Nick's 1st course was an Oaxacan Fiddlehead Caesar that blended cured and confit wild mushrooms with grilled fiddleheads, a creamy, Caesar miso dressing, fried ramps, a ramp pesto, blue corn crouton crumble, and a dairy free parmesan.
His final course blended southern cuisine with flavors from south of the border in the 'Pollo' & Waffles.
A maduro waffle topped with several pieces of fried hen of the woods mushroom, drizzled with a chili maple syrup.
Dessert brought Chef Keyla's featured dish in a Spring Berry Tres Leches, an airy chiffon cake soaked in a vegan tres leches, piped with whipped cream, and topped with a strawberry sauce, matcha drizzle, cocoa nib Florentine, aquafaba meringues and fresh berries. When I say that, that dessert was a STAR! I almost forgot I was the host and started licking the plate, it was that good!
Chef Nick and Chef Keyla curated a vegan menu that rivaled any gourmet restaurant! With CRAVEInfused Curated Events, I want people to focus on the quality of the food. The fact that it's vegan and infused should be an afterthought. I want guests to walk away feeling like their tastebuds were personally massaged by President Obama's masseuse and that the service they experienced was comparable to any Michelin Starred restaurant.
I am super thankful to our collaborators, Liquid Gold and Ki.thc.en! While I'm sure you will see all 3 of us working together again, Liquid Gold and CRAVEInfused Curated Events already have some more collaborations in the work so stay tuned!
In the meantime, CRAVEInfused Curated Events is always looking to collaborate with different chefs and no, they don't have to be exclusively vegan chefs, just chefs who would be willing to create a vegan experience for our guests to enjoy. If that's you, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
With Gratitude, Love, & Abundance,
Zara Ayanna Salmon
Founder & CEO, CRAVEInfused