Grazeables, one of Old Town Tomball’s newest businesses, offers small bites with a big heart. Founder Amy Martinez’s compassion for people propelled her to start the charcuterie and edible artistry business. The former oncology nurse creatively curates food, while delivering a warm atmosphere and appreciation for customers.
For ten years, Martinez witnessed the mental and physical toll of cancer and chemotherapy. She began making snack boxes for her patients who did not have access or energy to get a meal.
“When I got into oncology, it was a rude awakening realizing just how many people endure it alone. A lot of patients had to choose between treatment and food,” said Martinez. “I had a small catering company at the time that we just did on the weekends. I would make snack boxes for my patients that I knew were going to be alone or might forget a meal.”
Soon doctors, nurses, and patients' families began requesting the healthy and hearty snacks. What started as a kind gesture grew into something larger, eventually leading Martinez to pursue the culinary venture full-time. The lessons and methods learned as a nurse helped lead to Grazeables’ success today.
“It organically grew into a business that I think I was always destined to do, but it was the path that led me there. I’ve always loved cooking for people and taking care of people. Having to go through that journey of oncology nursing to take it to the level that it is now is something that I’m grateful for. It gave me a strong basis of knowing how to safely prepare food, take care of people to feed them a healthy option, and love them in a different way. It’s like I still get to be a nurse, just in a different way,” offered Martinez.
Commencing Charcuterie Creations
Joined by her children, Avery, Arianne, and Alden, Martinez officially launched Grazeables in March 2019 focused exclusively on delivery and private events. Utilizing a commercial kitchen in Montgomery County, Grazeables served a 30 mile radius.
The success of the business led Martinez to consider opening a retail option. While searching for a central location and a welcoming environment, she discovered the available storefront at 406 W Main Street in Old Town.
Taking Talents to Tomball
Utilizing grants from the Tomball Economic Development Corporation, Grazeables designed the store to fit their needs. They were able to add a commercial kitchen and a retail component to accompany the food selections.
“Having someone partner with us to really help with our vision was instrumental. Everyone there [at Tomball Economic Development Corporation] was so kind, so nice and willing to answer questions. It was a huge blessing for them to partner with us,” said Martinez. “That’s how we made our store look like a store.”
Grazeables opened the doors in July 2023 offering sandwiches, charcuterie, desserts, and more. Customers can grab-and-go or enjoy an intimate lunch. They can also shop for unique culinary gifts, nearly all of which are produced by women-owned businesses. Roughly half of Grazeables’ business is now pick-up or walk-in.
Caring at the Core
Despite the booming business, Martinez does not define success by dollar signs. At the end of the day, Grazeables was created by a desire to serve those in need. That mission is still prevalent in the business today.
“I think success is operating every day in my gift of being able to bring something unique and different to people that makes them feel valued, seen, and heard. That is the goal in everything that I do so that everyone always feels that they matter,” offered Martinez. “It’s not the amount of money we make a year. We’re excited to pay our bills and have enough left to do a little extra. Being able to give back to our community, that’s what we like to do. It’s very important to me that we’re part of a community that all works together to help those less fortunate and be a resource for those that are overlooked.”