Luxury Picnic Business Feature: Oahu Premier Picnics
Meet picnic boss Jamie Siangco of Oahu Premier Picnics.
Hi Jamie, it's so wonderful to have you with us today. To get started can you tell us about and what inspires you?
I am a former classroom teacher and career restaurant server. Like a lot of people, I lost my job during Covid. I happened to see a picnic company out of Dubai while scrolling through Instagram and thought "I could do something similar here in Hawaii". I had spent the previous year during the shutdowns feeding the houseless and learning more about Hawaiian culture and food sovereignty. When I started OPP, I was determined to highlight those issues. I decided that a percentage of each picnic would go toward feeding the houseless and that I would offer discounts for guests that donated to that cause.
I also wanted to honor the aina (land) that would give me an opportunity to have the picnics and started offering a discount to guests that help clean up the beaches. For the culture, I created a package that is based entirely on traditional Native Hawaiian food and local island favorites. The idea behind it is to introduce visitors to traditional Hawaiian foods while offering "comfort food" to Kanaka. over 95% of my supplies and set up were sourced on island. I choose not to use the internet or have anything shipped in to help be more sustainable. My only "off island" supplies are bamboo straws and cutlery that come from another small business. The idea is to keep my company local, sustainable and community minded. That combined with my passion for good food and laughter is what inspires me.
What do you love about being a picnic boss?
I love being part of people's special moments. I've been there for babymoons, gender reveals, graduations, marriage proposals, weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, and end of life celebrations. I've even had picnics for owners and their fur babies who will soon cross the Rainbow Bridge. I love that people trust me to create the setting for important milestones. And I love the people who just want to have a picnic "just because". I also love the fact that it lets me use all the skills I've learned over the years from being in the classroom and on the restaurant floor. I also love the community I've found. I've had the opportunity to picnics for friends of other picnic companies in different states and I've had the opportunity to have my own picnic with companies in other countries. I think it's awesome that there are so many people offering such a luxurious take on a pastime that's been around forever.
What has been the biggest lesson you've learned as a business owner?
My biggest lesson is to just keep pushing. I've had dozens of things go wrong- supplies break or are forgotten, guests are late, weather is unpredictable and things happen. I just keep moving and find a way to make it work with what I have. When you're at the picnic, there's no going into the back to get another cup or plate. You have to find a way and you have to do it in a way that wont take away from the guest experience.
What are you dreaming of? What's next for you?
I want to grow in every direction. I want to have more themes, bigger picnics, more decorations, better charcuterie boards, interesting balloon designs, all of it. I want to constantly improve in every direction. And I want my improvements to directly benefit my community too. The more picnics I do, the more I can donate to my causes. My dream is to have someone I've never met stop me in the grocery store and say, "I know you, you are the picnic lady".
Located - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Follow along on Instagram - @OahuPremierPicnics