June 25, 2022

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Pop-up picnics businesses prove they have staying power

Outdoors, catered, and intimate, a luxury pop-up picnic is a novel way to have an elevated dining experience with a small group at one of Rhode Island’s iconic locales. While restaurants shuttered and events were canceled due to COVID-19 throughout 2020 and 2021, pop-up picnic companies formed and quickly created a thriving cottage industry in southern New England, primarily driven by innovative female entrepreneurs. 

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Salisbury, owner of Premier Picnics.

But now that pandemic restrictions have lifted and the beleaguered hospitality industry is preparing for a much-needed bustling summer season, will the pop-up picnic trend fade away? Not anytime soon, according to owners of three local pop-up picnic brands who say their schedules are already loaded with spring and summer bookings.

“We are still seeing many incoming reservations for our Summer 2022 season and are grateful that so many are still interested in enjoying luxury picnic experiences,” said Alexandra Salisbury, who co-owns Premier Picnics, based in Lincoln, RI along with her mother, Elizabeth Salisbury. 

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Salisbury, owner of Premier Picnics.

Similarly, Ashly Whalen, owner of Menta Graze, said not much has changed since she launched her business in April 2020, other than “more clients feeling more comfortable with being in larger group picnics.”