RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Dusti Patterson and her boyfriend were looking for a fun date night idea that would fall in line with North Carolina's COVID-19 restrictions. That's when they came up with the idea for a luxury picnic, and decided to bring others in on the fun.
In June, Patterson launched Picnic Raleigh which specializes in luxurious outdoor picnic experiences that are naturally socially distanced.
"I think the most fun part of running this business is seeing the reactions on people's faces when they're surprised by it. Typically it is a surprise," Patterson said. "And we try to be as contactless as possible so I usually run to my car, hide and watch the reaction."
Patterson is a North Carolina State University engineering student and Air Force reservist who has always loved the outdoors.
During a time when so many people are canceling special occasions, she has found her new business venture to be very rewarding.
"People have reached out to me for birthdays, bridal showers, date nights, we've actually done a proposal, which has been my most fun one," Patterson said. "I was hiding back in the trees taking pictures watching the proposal go down. That was pretty special, so that will probably be my highlight for a while."
Picnic Raleigh offers a classic picnic party for four with decorations, a blanket, plush pillows, a picnic basket with plates and utensils, a chalkboard, a small table, and crystal glasses, or a more romantic setting for two including an engagement special.
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Patterson also allows clients to design their own picnic and helps her clients coordinate their locations in open areas across the Triangle. Guests can bring their own snacks or order takeout, which Patterson can pick up. There are add ons including a vintage Polaroid camera, giant Jenga game, corn hole, and balloon art.