Gone are the days of lugging around a classic woven picnic basket, going from store to store searching for food, preparing the perfect location, and, of course, no traditional picnic is complete without a red and black checkerboard tablecloth.
Bottomline: there’s nothing wrong with enjoying an old-fashioned picnic, but everyone deserves to add a taste of luxury to their life.
Popularized on the West Coast, luxury picnics are the newest wave flooding the River City. Even if you haven’t experienced one yourself (which you should), you’ve probably seen plenty while scrolling through social media. Whether it’s a proposal, birthday, or engagement, luxury picnics are making their presence known as the new way to celebrate special occasions.
At a time when most businesses were fearful of their futures during the pandemic, Brianna Patterson took a leap of faith. After doing extensive research on luxury picnics and local companies, Patterson discovered they didn’t exist in Jacksonville.
“I am very sincere when I say that I was the first to do it,” Patterson proclaims.
River City Picnics originated as “just an idea” and after major contemplating (and planning), it officially launched in November 2020. Before it’s official establishment, Patterson enjoyed random picnics with her husband, thus growing her love and appreciation for the smaller things in life.
“Just sit down, enjoy nature, have good conversation and have good food with the people that you care about. That’s the small things that bring you joy and one of the underrated things that we have in our lives.”
Patterson values curating experiences that help others create meaningful memories, so she focused on bringing something to Jacksonville that would fulfill that desire. Starting a business when the country was locked down seems like a risky decision, but River City Picnics flourished because it was a safe alternative for getting out of the house and staying socially distant.
“I wasn’t prepared for how popular it became so quickly,” Patterson says. “Before I went live with the website, I already had two bookings.
Since launching Patterson has been consistently booked, to the point of having to turn away clients.
One thing that attracts her constantly revolving clientele is her attention to detail.
“I feel like joy is in the small details,” Patterson says.
Patterson’s design style is a combination of minimalistic characteristics with pops of upscale features.
“I like to keep things simple. I want [each picnic] to be impactful and tasteful, but I don’t like a lot of clutter. What makes my picnics different from other companies is the minimalistic taste [combined with a] luxury feel.”
She didn’t want her business to follow the same cookie cutter standards that’s typical of other picnic companies. Instead, Patterson offers a wide variety of theme options including botanical: a serene garden layout; lux: upscale glam with hints of gold; and coastal: an elegant and nautical scene.
“If I do five picnics in a week, none of them are going to be the same, even if [clients] choose the same color schemes.”
Outside of the luxurious modernized design, luxury picnics are beneficial because of their convenience. Unlike a traditional picnic, you don’t have to do any of the work to prepare for your event. You simply choose a theme with the colors you desire and select a location then River City Picnics does the rest.
“We take all of the work out of making your experience enjoyable.”
They are also suitable for any occasion – date night, birthday, baby shower, retirement, you name it.
“This experience is about you. My number one priority is to ensure people enjoy their picnics. I want them to have a smile on their face, and I want them to say ‘this was so good, I want to do it again.’”
For Patterson, the only fulfillment she needs is her clients’ smiles.
“Seeing the reactions and people enjoying themselves is the most enjoyable part for me.”
Building community is an essential element in her life. As a school counselor, she naturally has a helper spirit, and River City Picnics gives her an opportunity to make things better for other people.
As we transition to the fall, be sure to elevate your style (and social life) and book a picnic with River City Picnics.
“Fall is the absolute perfect season for picnics. Cooler temperatures, daylight savings time, nice sunsets, fall colors and adding fall-themed elements like a smore and hot chocolate station to create the perfect vibe.”
Patterson’s advice to anyone who is hesitant to take that leap of faith is to, “not be afraid to take a chance. If you’re passionate about it, that passion will be conveyed in your work and people will support it.”