Getting to Know: Graze Craze

Graze Craze

Embracing the rising trend of "Grazing," Eniola Akintayo opened her own Graze Craze franchise. The company has crafted a dining experience that transcends traditional meals, offering customers the flexibility to enjoy a diverse array of flavors throughout the day. That approach appealed to Eniola innately.

The Graze Craze Days Begin

Originally from Nigeria and with a background rooted in a family of food entrepreneurs, Eniola's journey to Graze Craze was paved with a deep-seated passion for serving others. "When I had the opportunity to open up a Graze Craze in Austin, it seemed like a natural fit because I enjoy celebrations, I enjoy helping people host parties," she explains. "I enjoy celebrating around food."

Eniola recognized a gap in the market for a concept that caters to modern dining preferences, where people crave variety and the ability to sample a little bit of everything. "People want to be able to graze essentially, and there wasn't really a concept that kind of tied all of it together where you can get a little bit of everything," she notes.

Drawing from her diverse background in entrepreneurship and technology, Eniola has leveraged her skills to propel Graze Craze to success. "I'm able to leverage my software background to evaluate areas where we would use software to speed up our processes," she explains. "The beauty about Graze Craze is that we offer a concierge-type service to people... we're able to customize our boards to whatever the client's dietary needs are or celebratory needs are."

Hearts Beat the Same

The heart of Graze Craze lies in its ability to cater to the individual needs and preferences of each customer, whether it's crafting a custom charcuterie board for a special occasion or providing a diverse selection of grazing options for corporate events. Eniola emphasizes the importance of tailoring each experience to create a memorable culinary journey for her customer through the art of community.

“There was one customer who wanted us to feed 4,000 people over 4 days,” she recalls. “They only gave us a week's time to turn that around. We called in some partners in the charcuterie business as well to support us and help us, and we were able to get all of that done.”

Similarly it’s the fellowship of the Austin Food Community that Eniola feels is at the heart of everything they do and helps every local business in the area really thrive. “What's exciting for me being part of the food community is the camaraderie. We help each other and I think that it speaks to the Austin fabric,” she says. “People really just come together and help each other here. I'm also a member of the Austin Chamber, and in my first meeting, it just felt really warm. I felt really excited to be part of a community that really, really supports small business owners.”

Future Craze

Eniola's vision for Graze Craze’s future involves getting even more entrenched in the Austin community with plans for expansion and partnerships on the horizon.

"We're looking forward to all of those partnerships. Currently, there are two Graze Craze locations open in the Austin area, with another one set to open in January, and a fourth in development in the North Austin area,” she shares. “Overall, there are actually over 50 Graze Craze establishments across the country, with several more in development. The brand is experiencing significant growth, with great year-over-year sales."

Despite facing challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry, Eniola remains resilient, buoyed by the support of her community and loyal customers. At Graze Craze, every bite tells a story, and every celebration is an invitation to indulge in the art of living fully together.

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