Missy Harlin opens Splendid Graze
Missy Harlin is back in the Old Harlin House kitchen, this time crafting unique “grazing boards” under a new business called Splendid Graze. The boards are filled with homemade spreads, cheeses, meats, crackers or bread, seasonal fruits, veggies, olives, pickles, nuts and surprises.
“My girls, Abbi and Faith, and I have always considered ourselves ‘the cheeseboard queens’ because we order a cheese or charcuterie board everywhere we go,” Harlin said. “I’ve ordered them for parties, get-togethers and gatherings of all types. It’s the best thing to show up with for a party or any type of event. We even had mini cheeseboards at Abbi’s wedding, and I thought, ‘Hey, I could do that. And so I did!”
Harlin said it’s nice to be back working at the Old Harlin House, which was a popular lunch spot in Gainesville a few years ago. Missy and her husband, Chris, and his parents, John and Linda Harlin, along with other members of the Harlin family, bought the family’s former home on Harlin Drive in 2001 and began a massive restoration project. The grand, three-story house with wrap-around porch was built in 1912 by the late Johnny and Clara Harlin. John Harlin’s father, the late Hugh Harlin, was born in the house that same year.
Missy and her brother, Aaron Workman, operated the cafe there from 2005 to 2012. Now Missy is using the former restaurant’s kitchen to create her Spendid Graze boards, which will be available for carry-out only. The restaurant itself is not reopening; the Harlin House will only serve as Missy’s worksite and customers’ pick-up point.
“So many good memories hit me every time I walk through the door,” Missy said. “I am very much enjoying spending time in there creating fun and tasty grazing boards.”
The boards are as much fun to look at as they are to eat, she said. “When one goes off to a customer, it’s like sending off an art project. And we don’t have to limit it to meat and cheese. We can do anything on a board – candy, chocolates, breakfast. You name it, and I can help create it.”
Harlin is still working on her marketing plan, and she said the best way to reach her for price lists or to place an order is by sending a message to her on Facebook.