How One Board Gal (OBG) Started.

My name is Abbi Gibson and I was raised north of San Diego in Oceanside, California. I attended college at the University of California Santa Barbara where I worked in the event planning and hospitality industry while obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. My dad is from the UK so growing up with cheese on the table for every meal was not a foreign concept in our household. My dad’s love and passion for unique cheese, wine, and travel sparked my own curiosity for the foodie world outside of CA. 

During my four months abroad in Granada, Spain, I gained a much larger appreciation for wine and cheese. I saw charcuterie boards for what they are….art forms. Tapas (or little shared plates that often included my favorite cheeses and meats) were much more than a meal to eat while sipping wine, tapas are part of a larger culture. Tapas in Spain are what bring people together after a long day. They give people a reason to gather, share, and celebrate. In the same way, cheese boards remind us to slow down and appreciate the people around us. Sharing tapas and cheese boards means sharing conversations and turning the fast pace of life down a little bit. And for a huge foodie and conversationalist like myself, maybe that is why I felt so at home in Granada.


After college, I moved from Santa Barbara back to San Diego to work in event operations for the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association). The LPGA brought me to Iowa for the first time in 2017. While I may have said “Des Moines: hell no” when I first found out where our next golf tournament (the Solheim Cup) was to be played, I slowly fell in love with the Midwest. The slower pace, the kind people, the beautiful weather…ok just kidding about the weather. No place on earth beats San Diego in the weather category…but once again I found myself feeling at home in this foreign place because of the people and pace of life. 

Before you know it, I am saying yes to a full-time job in West Des Moines with an amazing travel and incentive company.

While I first started One Board Gal as a passion project during the pandemic to avoid boredom while traveling was haulted, OBG has slowly evolved into something I could never have imagined. I have met so many incredible, creative, and kind small business owners in this community who I am forever grateful for. Throughout the past year, I have completed new trainings on food styling and cheese pairings. The exciting part? There is still so much to learn!

My hope is to share my love for cheese through photos and posts. I hope to teach and inspire others to feel a little more confident bringing a board to their next gathering through workshops and classes. I will continue to share recommendations, tastings, and my travel experiences through this blog for the cheese-loving guys and gals in Des Moines, Iowa, and beyond!

Thank you for taking the time to read a little more about me and One Board Gal. Please reach out with comments or questions!