Kelly Colman understands that most people seem to lead very busy lives these days, going to work, running errands, and whatever else our days are comprised of. Even weekend and vacation time can generate a "to do" list that often requires more effort that people want to take on. That's why she opened a business called Proper Picnic earlier this year.
I visited with her earlier this week at her office/storage facility in Mukilteo where she is the sole proprietor of this unique small business. She was looking for a career change from the corporate world she left behind and is excited about being able to offer solutions for simplifying everything from family picnics to tailgate parties to corporate luncheons, helping to create good memories for customers in the process.
Whether a pre-packaged or custom-made bundle, there's truly something for everyone.For the kids, one option is a pail filled with such things as a small shovel (perfect for the beach), healthy snacks, crayons, and games such as Barrel of Monkeys. Some of us are old enough to remember when Barrel of Monkeys first hit the shelves in 1965!
For adults, the array in the tailgate party package caught my eye with its gourmet potato chips, Oberto jerky and of course local beer from Diamond Knot. There are lots of other goodies in this offering including a squishy football to toss around and a fleece blanket for those often cold Pacific Northwest days.
Let's not forget the dogs, as I was reminded by Colman's canine companion Comet, who was happily at work with her. Salmon snacks, an impressive dog toy and even a bowl and water are included in the pet picnic department.
The list of well thought out items also includes outdoor game favorites such as badminton sets and Frisbee style discs. And there's no need to hit a pharmacy as she's even thought to stock sunblock and insect repellant.
One of the things Colman is most proud of is the fact that most of her products are produced locally. She works with businesses such as Sydney Bakery and Northwest Biscotti to see this through. One of her new projects involves partnering with Mukilteo-based Tiny Stars Creative to develop custom designed map scarves with some fun local destinations highlighted on each scarf.
How does one try out Proper Picnic and their offerings? There are a lot of different ways.Colman regularly delivers to such locations as Mukilteo Ferry Line and Mukilteo Lighthouse Park but will often be able to accommodate more specific needs. She will also ship her items anywhere that's possible. Recently, Proper Picnic signed on with UberEATS, an on-demand meal delivery service powered by the Uber app.
As far as her future plans are concerned, she pointed out that Valentine's Day is a short couple of months away and has some surprises in the works for that. And then there are thoughts of opening a customer-friendly distribution center, perhaps near the Everett waterfront as that large project comes to fruition.
My final piece of advice: go to the website (below) and browse around, checking out the array of food, wine, games and everything else. Whether you're having a picnic for two or catering a wedding, it's worth a look.
Proper Picnic will be participating in Small Business Saturday on November 26th.Stop by for samples and chat with Kelly from 10am - 4pm at 8221 44th Ave W, Suite B, in Mukilteo, just across the Boeing freeway from The Future of Flight Museum. Save some lemon cracker and toasted marshmallow s'mores for me!