Looking to have a Pinterest-worthy celebration or gathering of your dreams? Want to throw a friend or family member a birthday picnic, but don’t want to take the time to plan or set it up yourself? Don’t worry, Emily Huxtable of Seacoast Picnic Co. has you covered.
We sat down with Emily to learn more about why she started her picnic company, the process behind her luxury picnics and a few other surprises that she has up her sleeve for the rest of the year. (Hint: Think your own cozy movie night complete with twinkly lights, popcorn and other savory treats.)
Tell us about your company.
Emily: “For the entirety of my life, my mom has only asked me for gifts that revolve around spending time together. Whenever I would ask what I could buy her for her birthday or Mother’s Day, a physical thing was never the answer. She always wanted time — an experience, tickets to something, or just a day together. Time spent well has always been her focus, and it is a value that was instilled in me from a young age.
For the holidays last year, she gave me a beautiful picnic basket filled with flatware, glasses, linens and a blanket. She asked me several times over the course of the year if I had used it as we couldn’t get together because of the pandemic, but she wondered if I had used it myself. Every time my answer was sadly, ‘No, it’s too heavy and I can’t carry it on the moped!’ I like to scooter around the Seacoast (it’s always easier to find parking).
It was after the fourth or fifth time that I had given this same response that the concept of Seacoast Picnic Co. was born. The combination of the gift from my mom and the desire to start something local led me to realize I could create a local business that sets up these experiences for friends, family, loved ones, coworkers, etc. It occurred to me that I can help people enjoy the gift of time (and in style, nonetheless!)”
Why New Hampshire?
Emily: “I was born in New Hampshire! We moved to Massachusetts for second grade through high school, but after graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2012, I have stuck around the Seacoast area ever since. It is such a beautiful state and there is no better place to be able to access the mountains and the ocean in the same day.”
Who is your company for? What experiences do you create and where?
Emily: “This is another thing that is so cool about Seacoast Picnic Co. — our picnics are literally for anyone! It is a way to celebrate anything from friendship to an engagement to bridal showers, baby showers, anniversaries and birthdays. You name it, we will help create the experience so you can remember it. We can host picnics at someone’s home, in their backyard, in beautiful places like Great Island Common or the Wentworth Coolidge Mansion, and really anywhere that comes to mind we can dream up a perfect picnic.”
Tell us a little bit about the packages that you offer.
Emily: “Our Port Package is all about the experience, the luxury and the memories. This package can accommodate up to 12 guests. Prices vary depending on the number in your party, but it includes our handcrafted tables, a picnic blanket, beautiful pillows, throw blankets, a chic umbrella, gold flatware, table settings, linens, and the ability to incorporate any of our additions listed on our website. Guests can also bring their own food and enjoy the ambiance.
The Starboard package includes the beautiful elements of our Port package, but it also includes a grazing board and Spindrift waters. This package can accommodate up to 12 guests. If you want a picnic for two, twelve, or somewhere in between — we will make it happen! Prices vary depending on the number in your party. When you arrive, you will enjoy your grazing boards already set out on the table. Everything is fresh and made-to-order especially for you.”
What makes your company special?
Emily: “We are very focused on creating a unique experience for each and every person that books with us. We like to customize and personalize the details (like flowers or flower crowns from Wild Valentine or graze boxes from PALETTE), and also like to include the person booking the experience in as much as they want to be included in the planning. We care about every picnic just as much as the other because the gift of the time and experience each person has is really important to our mission.”
Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had setting up an event/picnic.
Emily: “They have all been memorable because everyone is always so happy. Seeing pure happiness radiate from their faces is so nice, especially after how hard the last year and a half has been on everyone. Some of the most exciting picnics have been due to an element of surprise. We only stay for the start of the picnic to greet the guests and leave immediately afterwards. Those moments where we get to see the surprise on someone’s face is really amazing. And when the surprise moves them to tears, it certainly brings a smile to our faces, too.”
What’s new and exciting in the way of offerings, experiences and things to come in the future?
Emily: “We are constantly thinking about how we can evolve. One of the things we are most excited about is the colder months! We were a little concerned at first about how we would be able to sustain through the winter, but we have already done a few indoor picnics and they are just as cool as the outdoor ones. We have plans to offer indoor picnics at The Valentine Room in Dover, which is a beautiful and elegant creative studio space. In addition to The Valentine Room, we are hoping to continue staging picnics in people’s homes. It will be a nice way to get out of the winter rut and bring some joy to the normally darker New England winter months.
We are adding a lot of fun to our winter picnic concepts like twinkling lights, a s’mores station (using a very safe, electric portable s’more maker), a projector for movies, an option to add on a fort setup in addition to the picnic and so much more.”
Editor’s Note: I can confidently say that my experience working with Emily to throw a surprise birthday picnic for a friend far exceeded any expectations that I had walking in. She accommodated our every need from color palettes to flowers to customized balloons to special details like a birthday girl headband, macarons and sweet handwritten birthday note. The whole aesthetic was almost too beautiful to sit down and eat at! Next time you are on the Seacoast looking to plan a memorable day or special event, reach out to Emily and she will surely create a fairytale picnic experience for you to enjoy of your own.