Blanket & Board owners Tierra Thorne and Colleen Peddycord love a good picnic. Photo by Marie Thorne.

Life is no picnic right now, but Tierra Thorne and Colleen Peddycord want to change that.

The friends recently started Blanket & Board, a business that creates simple, yet sophisticated, outdoor dining experiences for folks throughout Allegheny County. Whether its two lovebirds on a date or a small business meeting, al fresco eating is all the rage in the era of COVID-19.

“Picnics are a great social distancing activity,” says Thorne, of Wilkinsburg.

Photo by Marie Thorne.

Blanket & Board specializes in charcuterie boards, which are assembled in Peddycord’s Stanton Heights home and delivered to public parks and private properties, along with cups, plates, napkins, utensils and non-alcoholic beverages. Once you book, you will receive contact information and a map of where to meet for your picnic.

Customers can nibble on everything from salami, prosciutto and assorted cheeses to seasonal fruit, mixed nuts and dark chocolate. You can request vegetarian and vegan options or add a touch of romance with pillows, candles and flowers.

The owners, who use products from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, are looking to partner with local farms and food purveyors.

Last month Oakland resident Daniel Salahuddin took part in Blanket & Board’s Self-Care Sunday, an event to help launch the brand.

“The attention to detail was outstanding, as was the conversation and general vibe,” he says. “I found it to be especially healing, therapeutic and reinvigorating since it was about much more than a beautiful charcuterie setup. It was about building community and acknowledging each other’s humanity.”

Thorne and Peddycord, who are mental health counselors for UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, believe picnics can boost post-quarantine morale by allowing people to connect with each other — and nature — while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

They’ll host another Self-Care Saturday on June 27 in Schenley Park. To be added to the guest list, simply contact Blanket & Board on Facebook or Instagram.

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.