Hospitality leads to sharing hope
By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Lauren Aragon
The art of creating charcuterie boards has increased in popularity in the past year. Social media platforms are filled with beautifully designed trays of finger foods. In July, resident Lauren Aragon launched Comfort & Joy Food Boards as a way to give back to the Kempe Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit organization that focuses on the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
Aragon grew up in Florida. The oldest of three sisters, she has memories of her mom hosting holiday meals and big family celebrations. Her father was an artist and sculptor. Aragon said she grew up in a very visual home.
Ten years ago, Aragon moved to Colorado to work in the hospitality industry. Her career progressed from concierge management to her current position – helping the elite traveler plan vacations. The creativity she draws from to create her charcuterie boards comes inherently from the home she grew up in, but also from the experience she gained creating welcome amenities for her clients when they arrive at their vacation destination.
During the past months, the hospitality industry has taken a significant slowdown. As a single mom with four-year-old twins, Aragon found herself looking for a second income stream as well as a way to give back to the community. She and a friend, who is a social worker, were talking about the impact that remaining at home due to the pandemic could have on a child who happened to share their home with an abuser. After doing some research, Aragon decided to partner with the Kempe Foundation. “Every board sold can make a difference in the lives of children at risk of maltreatment, abuse and neglect,” said Aragon.
While Aragon loves her work in the hospitality industry, she is hoping to create a legacy of giving with Comfort & Joy Food Boards. “Something happens when you are raising kids,” said Aragon. Planning vacations for the 1% is great, but I want to do something more.”