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Making life happy... one picnic at a time

Sunday, February 4, 2018

British playwright, novelist and short story writer, William Somerset Maugham once said, “There are few things so pleasant as a picnic eaten in perfect comfort.” And this is exactly the type of experience that Gabriel and Kerry- Ann Bryant aim to provide for their clients through Picnic-Perfect Ltd.

Based in Couva, the young couple are determined to turn their fledgling business into what they hope will become a main-stay on everyone’s lips in the not too distant future.

Accidentally discovering her entrepreneurial passion on the way to completing her engineering degree at the University of the West Indies, the 28-year-old mother of an 18-month old boy laughed loudly as she explained, “Based on what you tell us you want, we put it together and fashion it to suit the couple or family’s tastes.”

Describing Picnic-Perfect Ltd as a full-service company specialising in outdoor dining experiences, Bryant advised, “Our aim is to create an innovative, instant, hassle-free experience for our clients, and one which will surpass even their vision of the event.”

With their mission and values revolving around their clients, Bryant said their tagline is “Redeem Time & Recapture Fun.”

She said it centered around Picnic- Perfect Ltd taking on the hassle of logistics and aesthetics in order to allow the client and their loved ones to relax and focus on spending quality time with each other.

The 28-year-old engineer claimed, “Basically, we do micro-events.”

“Yes, it’s a picnic and many persons would think it is just a blanket and basket outdoors, but to us it needs to look elegant so we treat it as a mini event.”

Wanting to redefine the concept of what a picnic is, Bryant said they currently offered three different packages—romance, family and group.

The romance packages are extended to include proposals, dates and anniversaries; with family fun packages and special offerings for large groups wanting to just have fun and bond outside of the workplace.

Bryant said clients are free to just show up to the location where everything has already been set up, complete with games, food and drinks.

“We just want them to have fun and relax without the hassle of finding food, buying drinks and cleaning up.”

She added, “It can be simple and fun or as extravagant as you want it to be.”

Although they can cater for a maximum of 25 persons right now, Bryant said they were already making moves to grow the business as the demand for their services appeared to be growing incrementally.

Delving into how Picnic-Perfect Ltd was born, Bryant said, “We took our first family vacation just as our son turned five months.”

“During that time, everywhere we went, it was just literally a touch-down and we didn’t get to spend any time together as a family.”

“We were always just stopping for food and hustling to our destination before rushing off again so we barely got to see the place before having to leave again.”

She recalled, “We went to a beautiful park close to lunch-time but we had to leave to get food and the nearest place was a 30 to 40 minute drive, so needless to say we never returned there.”

Bryant added, “We needed to find a solution and it was this that made us realise we needed to find a solution where we could reach ma place, relax as a family unit and also have fun without worrying about anything in between.”

She said, “Quality time, family time and reconnecting with one another is what this is about.”

Confirming they have been receiving positive feedback thus far, Bryant said they have been told time and again that, “We don’t charge enough.”

She said part of ensuring a successful outcome was getting to know their clients likes and dislikes because, “This is not simply a picnic on Sunday, but it’s being specially planned for so and so, who have been married for however long or will be celebrating a birthday.”

Bryant said part of the process was asking clients to fill out a questionnaire - from which they glean information around which to fashion the picnic.

Still getting accustomed to juggling her many roles as a wife, mother and entrepreneur, Bryant said the secret to their success was learning when and how to lean on each other.

She said, “Over the last couple months as I completed my Masters in Production Management at UWI, he basically took up the entire night shift.”

“He maintained the house and held it together while I got to concentrate on my studies.”

Bryant continued, “In terms of picnics, our son usually comes with us and in that case, we usually bring along his uncle or godmother to keep him occupied while we set up.”

She said this enabled them to focus on setting up as per their clients wishes, but also allowed for quality time as a family as they are never further away than a 30-minute drive from the picnic location.

Bryant said they often stayed close in order to dismantle and collect their stuff following the event, which can start from $630.

Among the locations they have staged picnics at is the Botanical Gardens, Samaan Park, Chaguaramas; Palmiste Park; San Fernando Hills; Country Haven Farm, Guayaguayare; Lopinot; Las Cuevas Beach; Heritage Inn; and San Antonio Farms.

Armed with a burning desire to expand the business to offer tours where clients can experience a luxury experience at the particular location, Bryant said they also wanted to establish a regional presence.

The ultimate aim she claimed, “Was to get people to slow down and actually enjoy life.”

Including interactive games specially designed for clients as another way to get persons to put down their cellphones/IPads and actually talk and interface with each other, Bryant said it was about promoting conversation and dialogue.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Bryant said they were busy organising an event for five couples at a location in Santa Cruz.

Concluding that she and her husband were not immune to the pressures of home, work and business, Bryant said there were times when they had to consciously take a step back and re-focus their attention on themselves as a couple, which also helped to bring them closer to their quest to make life one big happy picnic.


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