HIGH POINT — If you’re the kind of person who likes to plan picnics — without, you know, the actual planning part — Betty Owens may have just what you’re looking for.
Owens, a former event planner based in High Point, recently launched Gussied Up Picnics, a picnic service that does the planning for you. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the food, fun and fellowship.
“For me, I’ve always been about trying to foster an atmosphere of togetherness for small groups,” Owens says. “I’ve always been into event planning, and I was trying to think of how I could put my own personal spin on things. I came up with this picnic service so others can be encouraged to have small group gatherings instead of large groups during this pandemic.”
After a soft opening in December, the service organized its first official event on Valentine’s Day weekend, “and it just completely took off from there,” Owens says.
For a fee, Gussied Up Picnics will provide everything you need for an indoor or outdoor picnic, from the food and utensils to the extras that will make your special occasion even more special.
“If they want us to do a complete setup — floral arrangements, pillows, blankets, nice tables, real dishes — we’ll do all that,” Owens says. “It all depends on what type of experience they want us to curate for them. We’re able to tailor each experience for their taste.”
Each month will feature a specific theme for picnic kits, according to Owens. In February, for example, the Valentine’s Day theme was “Love In A Pandemic.” This month’s theme is “Friends.” Picnic kits in May and June will be tailored to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Special-occasion gatherings such as birthdays, anniversaries and wedding proposals can also be arranged.
This month’s “Friends” kit includes a double-decker charcuterie box, with lights, a bottle of champagne, three premium meats, three gourmet cheeses, seasonal fruits, crackers, nuts and locally made jam. Owens plans to expand the menu in the coming months, and vegan options are also available.
The service is available throughout the Triad.
When you’re ordering, Owens requires about a four-day lead time to ensure she has all of the materials on hand that she’ll need. The picnic options and pricing are all listed on the Gussied Up Picnics website, www.gussiedupout-ins.com.
So far, Owens says, customer response has been encouraging.
“The positive feedback and response so far has been quite overwhelming,” she says.
“It kind of confirms for me that there are people out there who are looking for more creative and different ways to enjoy the outdoors and to enjoy each other, with a classic spin on it. We’re glad to provide that small niche, and we’ve got some really fun stuff coming up in the summer months.”
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