Couple Handcrafts Kosher Butcher Boards and Judaica

Seriously Kosher butcher boards have “milk” or “meat”
laser-engraved on them.

Cutting boards are essential in every kitchen. But for those who need cutting boards for a kosher kitchen, a local business has you covered.

Words with Boards — a Baltimore business run by married couple Kim Strassner and Mike Parara — has a line of Jewish gifts called Seriously Kosher with cutting boards made for kosher kitchens.

The boards are laser-engraved either with “meat” or “milk” to prevent cross-contamination during food preparation. The engravings are made with food-grade mineral oil to observe the rules of kashrut. The boards can also be customized with names.

Neither Strassner nor Parara are Jewish, but thought of adding a Jewish line of cutting boards when they wanted to give a gift to their niece’s husband.

“My husband and I have a niece, and she married a Jewish man,” Strassner said. “So we were like, ‘We’d love to be able to give our own products as gifts to them.’ And my best friend growing up was Jewish, so I spent a lot of time in their home and around the kitchen. So we came up with the Seriously Kosher line. He actually helped us design the line. And then another [Jewish] friend helped design seder plates and a personalized menorah to give them.”

Now the company has begun taking orders for personalized seder plates and menorahs.

The company gained a national following when it appeared on Oprah’s Favorite Things list and was a finalist in Martha Stewart’s American Made contest, but Strassner is most proud of the local support.

“We ship all over the world and U.S., but we have a big, core customer base in this area,” Strassner said. “People love to support local businesses, and we’ve definitely felt that.”

Alex Rychwalski is an intern at Mid-Atlantic Media, the parent company of the Baltimore Jewish Times.

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