Lou Wilson and Ryan Bowersox want to elevate your next picnic.
Longtime friends and foodies, Bowersox and Wilson have launched a picnic-inspired independent snack shop opening this Sunday.
The new shop, called Picnic, will host a grand opening party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at 512 E. Ninth St., on the second floor of Repetition Coffee. The space recently was home to sober bar Nostalgia Room, which moved and reopened a block west.
Charcuterie-type meats, artisanal cheeses and matzo chips and crackers are some of the featured products.
“Think about things that you could easily throw in a backpack or throw in a picnic basket or something like that and take to the park and eat,” Wilson said. “… It just kind of makes it easier (for you) to find what you’re looking for because we are focusing on those aspects.”
Carefully curating snacks for their shop, Wilson and Bowersox strived to select products that are ethically produced, artfully packaged and irresistibly tasty. Many of the items they’ll have for sale, such as tinned fish by Fishwife, come from companies that ethically source their foods. They have options for vegan and gluten-free shoppers.
Bowersox and Wilson are also inspired by aesthetics.
“I think when you walk into our business, you’ll be able to see how we really like a design,” Wilson said. “I think a lot of people would go on a picnic or go to the lake and want to take a photo of what they’re doing. They want to make an event out of it. And so we want people to be able to pull those things out of the basket and have that like, ‘Oooh, yeah, I’m taking a picture of this.’”
Eventually, the duo would love to provide pre-built picnics for patrons.
“So if someone’s on a date on a Friday night, and they don’t have time to go home, they can get online and order a basket from us to produce for them. And then they just pay a deposit to bring the basket back at the end of it and get their money back,” Wilson said.
Hopeful that a picnic-focused shop is something Lawrence will embrace, Bowersox wants to inspire more people to eat outside.
“The love of sitting outside and eating has been really reinvigorated recently, and I really hope that people hang on to that because it’s such intentional time,” Bowersox said.
But outdoor eating isn’t the only reason to shop at Picnic, she said.
“Having a really beautiful snack at your desk can kind of transport you maybe to picnic land and that’s hopefully what some folks will use it for as well,” Bowersox said.
They haven’t nailed down their precise hours yet, but plan to be open Friday through Monday when people are most active.
The grand opening party will feature cookies from Cleo and Leo Baking Co. and sandwiches.
“If you like cute things and you like snacks, you should come on Sunday,” Bowersox said. “We’re mostly interested in connecting with our community as much as possible and just, you know, snacking with everybody.”
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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.