Out for Lunch

Want the pic­nic brought to you? Call Spread De­liv­ers

Ottawa Magazine - - TOO HOT TO COOK - — Sarah Brown

Best known for her cor­po­rate break­fasts and lunches, de­liv­ered via bike courier, Julie Har­ri­son of Spread De­liv­ers has par­layed her ex­per­tise into a thriv­ing “pic­nic bou­tique.” Hers is a trav­el­ling can­teen, with a team from 2 Wheels Ahead Courier show­ing up at parks around town to drop off her gourmet pic­nic lunches be­tween May and Septem­ber. Her clien­tele? Of­fice work­ers, stroller moms, and ro­man­tic dates. All you have to do is place an or­der by 5 p.m. the day be­fore, then wait at your des­ig­nated pic­nic spot for lunch to show up.

How did you get the idea to of­fer pic­nics? Sum­mer is short. I’d see ev­ery­one out­side on a nice day, but by the time you’ve lined up for food, there’s hardly any time left to hang out. I started think­ing about all of Ot­tawa’s green spa­ces and how peo­ple would love it if they could just show up at the park and have lunch de­liv­ered. I be­gan of­fer­ing pic­nics in the park to a few of my cor­po­rate clients, and it spread from there through word of mouth.

Why do you think the pic­nic-inthe-park idea has taken off so quickly? There’s so much ap­peal to loung­ing in the grass — a mid­dle-of-the-work­day pic­nic is cooler than any­thing!

Are pic­nic dates a thing? They are. We even had a pic­nic pro­posal a cou­ple of sum­mers ago. It’s a great way to im­press a date — you look pretty good when your pic­nic rolls into the park!

How do your bike couri­ers find the pic­nick­ers? They’re used to search­ing out pic­nick­ers — so, for in­stance, you might tell us that you’ll be at Lans­downe Park at noon by the wa­ter fea­ture and you’ll be wear­ing a blue T-shirt and a Blue Jays cap. The courier will find you. As a last re­sort, they have your cell num­ber, so they can give you a quick call.

What’s the key to a good pic­nic? Keep it not too messy and not too fussy. Pic­nics should be sim­ple and easy to eat.

Top pic­nic spots around town? Our top three de­liv­ery spots are Lans­downe Park, the wa­ter­front at the Cana­dian Mu­seum of His­tory, and the Mu­seum of Na­ture. Dow’s Lake is pretty pop­u­lar, and we get quite a few calls for Ma­jor’s Hill and Vin­cent Massey parks.

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