Loading articles...

Picnic rentals are Vancouver’s cutest new COVID-safe businesses!

Last Updated Apr 14, 2021 at 6:53 pm PDT

Picnic rental companies have been popping up around Vancouver! (Left: PIC your NIC; Right: Picnic Thyme Co.)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Brunch by the beach, charcuterie in the park, and maybe some tea and sweet desserts under the cherry blossoms, anyone? Picnic rental companies have been popping up all over the Lower Mainland — and all over Instagram!

NEWS 1130 and CityNews Vancouver spoke with two of these business owners.

Jasmine Chen, owner of Picnic Thyme Co, says the idea to start a luxury picnic planning business came to her last May, during her birthday.

“I was brainstorming ways to celebrate major milestones whilst still adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. With picnics being outdoors, it made for the ideal alternative to going on vacations or dining out at restaurants,” says Chen.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Picnic Thyme Co. (@picnicthymeco)

Sarah Smith, who owns PIC your NIC, says she also created her company in 2020, “to provide a safe, relaxing environment for guests to enjoy with their core bubble, all while supporting local businesses during this challenging time.”

The way most of these businesses operate is by featuring a variety of packages people can choose from, depending on the number of guests, and the type of picnic you want to have.

Once you’ve picked the package, it’s all about location, location, location! You can choose to surprise a loved one with a romantic picnic at your favourite spot, or take your squad somewhere brand new suggested to you by these companies.

“We currently serve Metro Vancouver and can travel for additional fees. Guests can pick their own spot, or they can choose from our list of suggestions,” says Smith.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by PIC your NIC (@picyournicvancouver)

On picnic day, all the setup is done by the employees beforehand… which often includes laying out comfy blankets and cushions, gorgeous dishes and cutlery, as well as fully-styled tablescapes with lush decor, lanterns, customized message boards, and flower arrangements.

And it’s all pandemic-safe!

“Due to COVID, we currently only book one picnic a day to ensure proper washing and sanitizing of our decor, pillows and rugs.” says Smith.

“We also only allow groups of up to 10 guests. All team members must wear masks at all times and we take guest information for contact tracing purposes, if needed,” Smith explains.

As for how the pandemic has affected business?

“It really hasn’t,” says Chen. “The whole idea was born out of allowing customers to safely celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and more during the pandemic.”

Most picnic companies also include food sourced from local businesses in the packages offered — charcuterie boards are popular — and many of the packages are infinitely customizable and adaptable to suit anyone’s needs and preferences.

PIC your NIC allows guests to order eats and drinks from any restaurant, food vendor, or café within 10 kilometres of the spot, meanwhile Picnic Thyme Co. is in talks with a few local restaurants to offer catering packages for its guests.

With many local restaurant businesses struggling to stay afloat due to pandemic restrictions, and many people exhausted with the new normal, Smith says “It’s the perfect solution to celebrate safely and responsibly, all while supporting local.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Picnic Thyme Co. (@picnicthymeco)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by PIC your NIC (@picyournicvancouver)