Fig and Honey Lavish Grazing is the 2020 winner of the Create Here Business Plan Competition, taking home $10,000 to assist in creating their new business concept. Image via Fig and Honey Facebook page
Written by Breanna Hardy
The Downtown Fresno Partnership’s Create Here business plan competition announced Fig and Honey Lavish Grazing as the 2020 winner, taking home $10,000 to assist in creating their new business concept.
Fig and Honey Lavish Grazing, which specializes in catering charcuterie boards, developed a business plan to add a wine bar and market concept to the Brewery District of Downtown Fresno to be unveiled at a later date. The Downtown Fresno Partnership is excited to offer more options to add to Fresno’s nightlife.
Allison Cassabon, co-owner of Fig and Honey Lavish Grazing, said they have done a lot of weddings and events offering a “grazing” table — a table-long charcuterie board. She and Kellie Hasson formed their limited liability corporation on July 24, 2018.
“We’ve been wanting to expand our business, but obviously last year, Covid hit,” Cassabon said. “We’ve been able to adapt and offer smaller boxes and offer contactless pickup and delivery.”
She and Hasson have had the concept of a wine and cheese bar for a long time.
“It’s really exciting because it’s going to be small plates, mostly focusing on cheese and wine, but we will have a few beer taps,” Cassabon said.
Cassabon said their market will have sandwiches, salads and small to-go food items for the Downtown Fresno workforce. They’ll also offer some produce from local farmers.
They plan to open late this year in the fall. Cassabon looks to host workshops and events, but if restrictions are still in place then, they will offer private events.
“We have our catering side still, so if anything happens we have backup,” she said.
She described it as “fresh and different,” dreaming of workshops to host local cheese and wine makers and chefs to do wine and cheese pairings and plated dinners.
“We feel like it’s going to fill in the gap, because there’s no wine bar in downtown,” Cassabon said.
The competition awards a total of $25,000 to launch downtown businesses. The grand prize is $10,000, and there are two $5,000 prizes and two $2,500 prizes. The prize money is provided by a grant from the Central Valley Community Foundation and JP Morgan Chase’s PRO Neighborhoods Grant.
Among Fig and Honey Lavish Grazing cash-prize winners include $5,000 winners Barb’s Drive-In and Tumbleweed Baking, and $2,500 winners Quail State and Living Together LLC.
Barb’s Drive-In recently opened a drive-in theater at Fresno and Broadway streets, showing movies focusing on African American culture. Owner Brandon Knight also operates Barb’s Soul Food Truck and frequents downtown events.
Tumbleweed Baking will look to serve pastries, lunch, coffee and after-dinner nightcaps. Owner Meagan Anton hopes to package and manufacture baked goods for local retailers and markets.
Quail State recently opened its rooftop bar at the Pacific Southwest Building during Covid, but has since adapted to stay open as an essential business under current restrictions to bars. Owners Hayley Wolf and Joshua Islas currently serve natural wines and food, but hope to reopen their rooftop bar when restrictions are lifted.
Living Together LLC plans to bring curated potted plants to Downtown Fresno. Owner Everardo Barragan will intersect art and botany, showcasing handmade ceramic art and indoor specimen plants. Living Together LLC will focus on relationships with each other and the natural world.