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Industry Innovators 2023: Kabrel Geller

The founder of This Messy Table LA creates perfectly imperfect grazing tables that double as art installations.

Industry Innovators 2023: Kabrel Geller
"I've found that when This Messy Table is the main-stage food at parties, those parties usually last an hour or two longer than they normally would," Geller told BizBash in a previous interview, "because everyone just mills around the table. Everyone keeps coming back for more. They'll see something they didn't see the first time and their plate was full, but they want to make sure they try a certain combination."
Photo: Courtesy of This Messy Table

Industry Innovators 2023: Kabrel GellerThis Messy Table founder Kabrel GellerPhoto: Courtesy of This Messy TableKabrel Geller is the founder of This Messy Table LA, which specializes in perfectly imperfect grazing tables composed of locally sourced fruits and veggies, cheeses, cured meats, dips, fresh-baked bread, and more. She's based in Los Angeles.

How she got her start: "Prior to launching This Messy Table, my only experience in the event industry was attending them!" remembers Geller. "Messy Table started with a charcuterie board I created for a small dinner party I was having in my home. To be honest, I had never heard the word charcuterie. I built a beautiful board that night, and when my friends arrived they all said, 'You should make this a business.'"

Ultimately, someone at that party hired Geller to do a board—and from there, her business took off. "I haven't stopped working and have never looked back. That was four-and-a-half years ago," she says. Since launching This Messy Table LA in 2018, Geller has catered for premiere parties, executive events, and events for celebrities, as well as social events like weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries.

Industry Innovators 2023: Kabrel Geller"It's thinking outside the box that takes our tables from great to unforgettable," says Geller.Photo: Courtesy of This Messy TableWhat innovation means to her: Geller sees innovation as a new idea, or an improvement on an old one. "Constant innovation is the way we have been able to stand out. If you look back at how our tables have evolved, you can see we create more than grazing tables—we create a food experience," she says, describing grazing tables as art installations of sorts. 

"I constantly use the word 'elevate.' It's not enough to bring your theme to life using the obvious techniques, tools, and resources—it's thinking outside the box that takes our tables from great to unforgettable," she adds. "I get inspiration from everywhere and anywhere. It can be an heirloom tomato from the farmers market to a vintage teapot at the flea market."

Memorable moments: Geller particularly loves the events she's able to center around a specific theme. "Whether it's a Game of Thrones premiere, a Beauty and the Beast re-launch, a birthday party recreating the Ritz Carlton in Florence, an all-red party, or a picnic on the beach—we will bring it to life!"

Her all-time favorite food: "Easy. Crusty baguette, great olive oil, and salt. All day, any day."

Her biggest hope for the F&B industry: More collaboration, she says. "I feel so blessed and honored to have been embraced and welcomed by so many people in this industry. I came into it over four years ago not knowing an event planner from a barista. It's the people I've met along the way that have allowed me to soar. I hope to see, in the next several years, more collaborations and partnerships."

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