Today we’d like to introduce you to Lindsay DiDonna.
Hi Lindsay, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My husband has Italian heritage, we married there years ago. Fell in love with charcuterie and the “finer things in life” while there. Have always been an entertainer and have been making these boards for my own gatherings for years. April 2020, I decided to transition some of my extra time into something creative and productive. During the day, I’m the Director of Admissions for a college in Utah so I crunch numbers and look at strategy all day. Ornery Olive was a way for me to keep myself going and let it serve as my creative outlet. Also, my parents were entrepreneurs (Dad was a custom home builder and Mom owned a Mortgage Company). Entrepreneurship is in my blood! Started out early COVID with goal to make a board a week….slowly progressed to one per day…now, my day is full of balancing between the many orders I receive and my full-time career but wouldn’t have it any other way! My mission is to bring my love for charcuterie and the tradition of providing the “ultimate social dining experience” to everyone here in Colorado! We just hit our 1-year anniversary on April 26th!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Thankfully, yes. The last year has been full of investment, risk, challenges, balancing and tons of rewards. I’m so appreciative of those I’ve met along the way. I’d have to say the relationships I’ve built while starting this will be something that I will hold close to me forever. It’s amazing how food brings people together and also, I’ve met some amazing small-business owners who have been nothing but supportive and have taught me many things along the way. I’m thankful for my MBA, as it taught me a lot about financial stability and helped me to understand the importance of a strong foundation while starting a small business. I would say that the biggest struggle has been balancing my full-time career and the success that I’ve seen with Ornery Olive. I’ve had to adapt very quickly and manage an ever-growing customer base while maintaining success in my full-time role.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I want to provide people with the ultimate social dining experience. All good conversation at a gathering starts with excellent food. In addition, people love eating anything that is aesthetically pleasing and I vow to bring both to them! We’re not here to just toss a bunch of items on a board. Each ingredient is handpicked, carefully paired and sourced locally, wherever possible. To include, I’ll always look to support another small business by featuring their products with my work.
Something I’ve been known for with my boards is how I pair them and at the same time, make them look so pretty! I make each board/table custom and use only the freshest ingredients. What sets me apart is the work I showcase on my social media is the work that goes out to my clients! I’ve seen some that will create boards to promote on social and when you order something from them, what is delivered is totally different. I will always bring my customers the best product possible.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
You won’t believe it but I am not a fan of olives! Ha! I actually can’t stand the taste of them! Too salty and briny for me. This is actually how the name “Ornery Olive” came to life. I love the color of Castlevetrano olives and knew I wanted to incorporate that into my brand and it’s only natural to showcase olives with charcuterie. Since I’m not a fan but they’re on every board, I knew it was the perfect name!
Also, I am a one-woman operation but do have a very supportive family that helps when/where I need it!
- Mini Board (feeding 1-2)-$45
- Small Board (feeding 2-3)-$75
- Large Board (feeding 4-6)-$100
- XL Board (feeding 6+-$200
- Email: OrneryOlive@gmail.com
- Website: www.orneryolive.com
- Instagram: OrneryOlive
- Facebook: OrneryOlive
Image Credits 1. Images of boards courtesy of Ornery Olive (Lindsay DiDonna) 2. Images with me courtesy of Jenna Sparks Photography