The sun on your face. Kids running through the sand. And the perfect picnic blanket, tent and atmosphere created just for you––without you having to lift a finger.
Life’s a beach for entrepreneurs Yamila Lopez and Michele Grussemeyer, both of Newark, who launched Delaware Picnics in February 2021. The two creatives fell in love with the concept of luxury picnics after viewing pictures on social media. They realized no one was doing them locally and decided to start their own company.
“Michele and I were friends, and we are both creative, sharing a passion for décor,” Lopez says. “When I brought the idea to her, she loved it.”
They started posting picnic scenes on their social media channels and were surprised by how quickly customers started requesting custom picnics, which include a tablescape (everything from runners to place mats, plates, flatware, glasses, napkins, candles and more), a game basket, Bluetooth speaker, a choice of water or sparkling cider, and all the cleanup. Add-ons include umbrellas, small tents, a Polaroid camera, a balloon garland or custom food items such as a doughnut wall. A typical setup for up to six people runs about $300.
Lopez and Grussemeyer say they love the idea of families gathering on the beach, playing games and enjoying finger foods together. And it makes for great pictures to be enjoyed for years to come.
While they do not make the food, they can source spreads—from charcuterie and cheese boards to doughnuts and personalized cakes—from partnering clients.
Bright bursts of reds and purples from berries; creamy whites and yellows from cheeses; pinks and brown from sliced deli meats; and sprigs of fresh herbs make a splash of color on the table.
“It’s all about being creative with presentation and giving customers something they can enjoy first with their eyes,” says Sofia Michael, owner of Le Fromage by Sofia.
She launched her business in 2020 during COVID-19, reaching potential customers through Instagram who might want “date nights at home when many restaurants were closed,” she says.
Michael’s gift baskets are the most popular request. She’s also created individual macarons, roasted nuts and even salami skewers topped with briny olives.
At a recent picnic in Lewes, Michael combined aged cheddar and Brie with prosciutto, Genoa salami, fresh berries and figs, and rosemary crackers, finishing the board with some nuts and a glass of rosé wine.
Delaware Picnics’ clients can also bring their own nibbles and beach games.
“We have done some amazing picnics already and are looking forward to all the amazing ideas our clients come up with this summer,” Lopez says. She also loves helping clients celebrate big moments, like marriage proposals and gender reveals.
Services are not limited to the outdoors. Recent events include birthday party sleepovers complete with indoor canvas tents for each child, bevies of balloons in tropical colors and party games. A marriage proposal caught the bride-to-be off guard when she happened upon a table set for two, large bouquets of pink roses and the words “Marry Me” spelled out amid candlelight.
It’s as easy as picking a location, a theme and your must-haves. Lopez and Grussemeyer will handle the rest.