All Aboard By Jessalyn

Mom Boss Monday

By Melissa Wudzki, Publisher, Toms River Macaroni Kid March 29, 2021

Our community is full of mamas chasing their dreams. Each month we are going to spotlight a different Wonder Woman who's building a business while raising a family.

Meet Jessalyn Cleaver, owner of All Aboard by Jessalyn. A mom of two, Addison and Donnie, she has turned her hobby and passion into a budding business.

All Aboard by Jessalyn makes custom food boards. It may have started as just charcuterie but has quickly grown to include brunch and dessert boards along with to go boxes and more.

Just one year ago, Jessalyn was asked to make a charcuterie board for a friend’s sister’s engagement party - something she had been doing at home for her own get-togethers for some time. One Instagram page later, and she was getting orders from others.

Jessalyn’s passion for creating charcuterie began as a way to put art on a plate. It gave her a sense of peace and relaxation to create these boards for her guests. As a busy mom, it became a form of therapy. “When I do it, I don’t think about anything else for a few hours,” Jessalyn told me when we met. It’s a chance to just create. As her business has grown, one of her favorite things about her boards is being able to introduce people to new foods. She loves receiving texts and messages, asking her about a specific cheese or item on her board.

In just a short year, Jessalyn has grown All Aboard from just charcuterie boards to other types of boards. She can make you a “board” of any size to suit your needs, whether it is one of her Mini-Grazing Boxes which made the perfect little Valentine’s Day gift to her Girls Night Board, suitable for 4-6 people and perfect for a night with your closest girlfriends!

Jessalyn has also ventured into events, including Charcuterie 101 classes at Refresh Your Pallet, in both Toms River and Point Pleasant,  as well as Charcuterie To Go boxes paired with Wine Tastings at Stumpy’s Hatchet House in Eatontown. With Covid, her individual boxes have made a great addition to many showers and brunch events! 

With all this business growth, Jessalyn finds herself trying to balance between creating custom boards for clients with the success of her events. The most challenging lesson for her has been learning not to take on too much and knowing when to say no. 

Starting a new business after being a full-time stay at home mom has not been without its adjustments in the Cleaver household. With the support of her husband, Donnie, she is able to get much of her work done early in the morning on weekends while he helps get the kids sorted with breakfast. “Late nights, early mornings and lots of help from my husband,” is how Jessalyn told me she manages it all. That and tons of notes everywhere to make sure nothing is missed or forgotten.

As a busy mom and a business owner trying to build a successful livelihood, Jessalyn still makes time for herself. Breakfast with friends and quiet moments are necessary to take a step away from the hustle and bustle of life. As a family, they love to travel. Jessalyn explained how important it is to take time “away from sports, work, business and everything. We are away from the world. We make it a priority.” It gives them a chance to unplug, take a break and reconnect without the pressure of commitments.

Even though Jessalyn has turned her hobby into a career, she still loves every second of it. Jessalyn’s dream is to open a storefront. “I would love to have a BYOB … where people can come in, order a cheese board and sit with their girlfriends, have a bottle of wine and enjoy my food.” 

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for Jessalyn and her family. From adjustments at home to figuring out which direction to take her business, there is always a lot on her plate these days. The one constant that always remains is the support from her family and friends. From sharing her social media posts to encouraging her along the way, they are the backbone that has kickstarted the success of All Aboard by Jessalyn and she is so grateful. 

For the latest creations from All Aboard by Jessalyn, be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Orders for her custom food boards can be placed here. Message Jessalyn on Instagram to discuss catering options for your next event.