Take two food-obsessed Brooklynites with a family history in rock mining, add an entrepreneurial spirit, and you have Brooklyn Slate Company. In 2009 co-founders Kristy Hadeka and Sean Tice started making cheeseboards using slate from Hadeka's third-generation family quarry in upstate New York. The two saw the idea as "the perfect opportunity to participate in the local food movement" and since have hired on an intimate group of artisanal craftsman to help create elegant boards in their South Brooklyn studio.
After cutting down larger slabs, each platter is then hand selected for proper thickness and ideal hue. And because of the specific geological location of the source quarry, all cheeseboards are available in either a smokey black and dark red color, with red being unique to the New York Slate Valley.
Aside from the obvious aesthetic advantage over traditional wooden serving trays, the non-porous properties of slate make it impervious to mold and fungus while also resisting decay and discoloring over time. Due to their natural origins and minimal processing, each product is one-of-a-kind, having unique shapes, cuts and colors.
The finishing touch, a soapstone pencil included with each cheeseboard offers a clever route to identifying your freshest find from the local farmer's market. Available for just $26, look to Brooklyn Slate Company online for stockists. While you're there check out their slate coasters and garden markers that sell for $20 and $12, respectively.