LONDON—If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, look no further than the Swanner family’s own backyard.
After hearing of the idea while vacationing in Virginia Beach, Billie and Richie Swanner knew they had the perfect spot for their own pop-up picnic experience right in their own backyard. And so, Fannie Carol’s Popup Picnic was born.
Billie said that she and her family hated feeling like they had to leave London to find something fun and memorable to do.
“We wanted to create an experience in London, really so people didn’t have to go out of town—something different, something unique,” Billie said. “This is just an experience for someone to do. It’s something different, surrounded by nature because we love the outdoors.”
The name, Fannie Carol’s, came from Billie’s mother who passed away last year.
“Her nickname was Fannie Carol, that was what everybody called her and she loved food and just loved life,” Billie said. “She always loved doing stuff that was fun and unique, so she was kind of my inspiration, so eventually I may try to find ways to incorporate her food because she loved to cook.”
Fannie Carol’s is a family-owned and operated business, as Billie and Richie work to put each picnic together, with the help of their daughters Peyton and Emerson, from cooking to decorating to driving their guests down to the secluded picnic location on a golf cart.
Fannie Carol’s hopes to give guests a unique date night, girls’ night, tea party or birthday party experience, with a completely unique-to-you picnic tucked in the trees, beneath twinkling lights.
The Swanner family officially opened for business two weekends ago after hosting a picnic for their daughter and her boyfriend for their anniversary to help work out any kinks before offering the experience to other guests. Since then, Billie said she has been booking dates for all different events from date nights to tea parties to playdates.
The basic picnic package starts at $100 for two hours. Billie said the basic package includes desserts from London’s own Bluegrass Baker. There is also a gluten-free option with desserts from Beautifully Baked.
Guests can also customize their experience with different foods like a unique-to-you charcuterie board, your choice of beverages, choice of games and even the theme of the picnic. Other add-ons include things like a balloon garland, a photographer, a Polaroid camera or even childcare.
The Swanners hope to create a completely unique experience for their guests. When booking your picnic experience, there is a space to include comments that will “make your experience more memorable” and the Swanners will try to add and accommodate those. For example, Billie said one guest included that she loved mums, so the Swanners added mums to her fall-themed date night.
“The idea would be that you can ask for anything,” Richie said. “We’re probably not there yet but we’ll go far to try to make it happen.”
The Swanner family has lots of ideas to expand upon their pop-up picnic business in the future and look forward to serving new guests as their business grows.
For more information, follow Fannie Carol’s Popup Picnic on Facebook or Instagram. To book your own unique picnic experience, visit https://calendly.com/billieswanner/date-picnic.