You can't swing a few links of artisanal salami these days without hitting a restaurant that serves cheese and charcuterie boards.

You can't swing a few links of artisanal salami these days without hitting a restaurant that serves cheese and charcuterie boards.

Steven Fisher, a Marysville native with restaurant experience and design chops (he holds a masters in advertising and art direction), saw an opportunity in the trend.

After working in Chicago restaurants and at The Refectory, Fisher left the restaurant industry, but wanted to combine his passion for design with his love for food. So, two years ago Fisher started Cre8ive Wood as an antidote to foreign-made, uninspired square and rectangular charcuterie boards.

Fisher says he spends hours looking for the right pieces of wood at various sawmills' rare wood or uncut collections; or among fallen trees. At his Marysville workshop (which pairs as a painting studio), he cuts and sands each piece by hand. He loves organic shapes and is partial to box elder for its fiery red raspberry streaks. "When you find a piece that has a lot of fire in it, you've found a special piece," he says.

Clients have included Gallerie Bar and Bistro, The Refectory and The Blanchard, named Chicago's Best New Restaurant this year by Chicago Magazine. He also sells boards to private homes and as wedding gifts.

Fisher continues to work in the design and advertising world, but likes the outlet Cre8ive Wood provides. "I don't think I'm a potted plant creative," he says. "I don't think the one pot should be design, or one pot should be the boards. I should be a little bit of a creative garden." cre8ivewood.com