We had the good fortune of connecting with Krista Carpenter Beasley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Krista, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve been in the financial change industry for almost 20 years, and building boards became an outlet for me to tap into my creative side and embrace something I really loved. My love of cheese is something that people who have known me for years have always teased me about (I will literally rhapsodize about a cheese when I really find a special one). The joy of being a Turophile (cheese lover) meant that everyone would always come to me about what cheese to buy or what goes best with what, so when I started making boards at home, they quickly became a hit. I’d been doing what I like to call “lazy catering” for a few years now for my boozy cupcakes, and the cheese boards jumped on board. The last year or so, I found myself doing more cheese boards and charcuterie cups (and cupcakes) for friends and family for their parties and events, and it just started to expand by word of mouth, and The Beas Knees Cheese Boards & More was born.

The boards can be customized with traditional meats and cheeses, in addition to bright produce, spreads and crackers. I like use the freshest products and like to support local produce and goods around Phoenix, especially down here in the East Valley (it helps being so close to the Queen Creek Olive Mill and Hayden Flour Mill) . I also get a lot of the food from Whole Foods, Costco, Trader Joe’s and my local Frys (that happens to have a Murrays Cheese Shop inside!) to make sure my customers get high-quality ingredients.

While the business is technically a side gig, (I work for Silicon Valley Bank) it brings a little spark to my ‘normal’ work week by bringing people joy through food, and for that, I am grateful,

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was a single mom of an amazing daughter for the majority of her childhood, so for me, its always been about how can I make myself someone she can be proud of, someone she could look at as a role model. Making sure that she could see you can have a strong work ethic, a drive to be successful, and still be a good parent (and good person) was always the primary goal while raising her. She is now an adult, out on her own, chasing her own dreams back home in Los Angeles, and I couldn’t be more proud. But with her growth and success came a whole, new challenge, and one that every parent at some point does, Empty Nester Syndrome. Which meant all my time, energy and passion had to go somewhere else.

The majority of my career has been in the financial industry. But several years ago when my daughter was in college, I had the opportunity to shift from being part of the business to being able to help the industry as a whole. I’ve been able to travel around the country, working with different financial institutions to look at what challenges they have, and how to turn them to opportunity, focusing on how to make change happen and in turn, better improve the banking experience. All through this travel, it opened up the opportunity to be able to explore more, experience different cultures, foods, cities, which is how my Instagram, EatLoveTravelPlay got started. I’ve always been a small business fan, and anytime I traveled, I always talked to locals to understand where to go, what to eat, which provided the opportunity to begin to share those with others. And this is where I laugh and call myself an accidental influencer. But you can only travel so much, and then you come home, which is where part 2 comes from, my love of cooking and sharing food with others. but that’s another story on how The Beas Knees was born.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh my gosh. So recently my husband and I took a little weekend adventure down South. We normally head North, especially when friends are in town, and love to take people to Jerome, Cottonwood, Prescott, and Sedona. This time, however, we decided to explore more of our beautiful state and headed to Bisbee. It had been on my radar for awhile, and just had never gone, but with me now at home more, it was the perfect time. And man, I can’t wait to go back. It’s officially on my must-take-visitors to list!

There are a couple of cute hotels in town, but I’m a Ghost Hunters kinda gal, so we ended up staying at the Copper Queen. While everything is super walkable in Bisbee, the Copper Queen is right in the middle of it all which made a perfect base to start. We happen to be fans of the occasional libation or two, and since we weren’t driving, we did an old school pup crawl.
Stop 1: Old Bisbee Brewing Company for some great beers out on the patio
Stop 2: You have to pop into the Room 4 bar, which is known as the Smallest Bar in Arizona (and it really is!)
Stop 3: St Elmos Bar, where quirky isn’t even the strongest name to describe it, but is a must
Stop 4: The Courtyard, which next to Stop 5, is probably one of my favorite spots. The atmosphere and the patio are both dreamy, and a great spot for a refreshing Rose’
Stop 5: Bisbee Table, where I found probably one of the best bartenders I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch, Miranda (and let me tell you, those drinks are not only IG worthy, but some of the best darn drinks in Southern Arizona!)
Stop 5: The spirit Room at the Copper Queen has local, live entertainment, and was a fun way to end the evening.
The next morning we woke up early ( know, hard to believe after all that!) to do the Queen Mine Tour, which was an awesome (and educational) way to wrap up Bisbee.

I can’t wait to take folks there!

If we are taking people to Phoenix or Scottsdale, our go to spots are The Americano, Oceans44 or Steak 44 for dinner (Chop if we want to stay close to home), Lons at Hermosa Inn (literally my favorite spot in the Valley) or Buck and Rider for brunch and AZ88 to finish the night.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
One of the positives that came out of the pandemic was a passionate need to support our community. Being someone who calls themselves an accidental influencer, I always look to shouting out all of our local restaurants, bars, foods, services, and really, no one needed more support through Covid than those folks. I had created EatLoveTravelPlay well before the pandemic to showcase special finds, experiences, and foods throughout my travels for work (and play), but it really made a shift through those rough months to focus on helping others shine, whether in shares, stories, or in using their products in my recipes. I always try to use my Social Media to keep lifting those folks, whether its my local Barre3 studio, the Gilbert Farmers Market and all of their amazing vendors, and local restaurants, because everyone deserves to be given a shoutout to ensure that they stay visible, relevant and celebrated.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eatlovetravelplay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thebeaskneescheeseandmore

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.