Personalized picnic perfection

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Sun Served Bespoke Picnics delivers luxurious outings in lovely settings, including Siesta Key’s beaches

By ChrisAnn Allen

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “bespoke” as “anything made to an individual’s desired specifications.”
And that is exactly what Reni Papalexiou, founder/owner of Sun Served Bespoke Picnics, is providing to the Sarasota area. Siesta Key, naturally, is a popular locale for such a delight.
Papalexiou combined her lifelong passion for hosting and entertaining with an eye for design and attention to customer service, cultivated through more than 14 years of work in architecture.
From curated gift boxes featuring fresh flowers, gourmet chocolate, champagne and keepsakes, to luxurious picnics set up in advance on the beach, park, at a hotel or home — complete with charcuterie boards, candles, place settings and pillows — Papalexiou has thought of everything.
“What I truly love is design and aesthetics and the sense of place, textures, light and all the things that create a beautiful environment,” she said.

Adam, Courtney and 2-year-old Willow Hindman enjoy the “Romantic Package” which included a grazing box, mini cake, champagne, and photo session as part of Courtney’s 30th birthday celebration. (submitted photos)

As repeat customers, Adam and Courtney Hindman can attest to Papalexiou’s vision. Adam surprised Courtney with a bespoke picnic for two for her 30th birthday, complete with cake, champagne and a customized fresh flower arrangement. They enjoyed it so much that they booked again for a combination wedding anniversary and birthday picnic for their daughter Willow’s second birthday, on the beach on Siesta Key.
“She really pays attention and goes above and beyond,” Courtney said of Papalexiou. “She even provided the specific pineapple juice Willow likes and did a mini photoshoot for us. From booking to arrival, she thinks of every detail, makes it special and her services are truly amazing.”
After moving to the area with her husband in June 2020, Papalexiou spent about a year researching and developing the idea for her business while continuing to work on large-scale architectural projects. She launched on social media platforms with minimal capital and six months later left her architecture job to focus on Sun Served.
“The concept had been proven. I truly love doing this and I knew the vision I have would succeed, so I went for it,” she said.
Now, nearly three years later, she has expanded to include small “micro” weddings, private boat rides, spa services and corporate gifting along with picnics, balloons, flower arrangements and bespoke gift boxes — and has even curated boxes and experiences for several celebrity clients.
When handling inquiries, Papalexiou leans on her background to conceptualize what the client wants.
“Much like designing a building, I ask the right questions and help the client figure out exactly what they are looking for,” she said. “And the end result leads to proposing things they weren’t even thinking about, which can turn out to be exactly what they wanted.”
According to Papalexiou, what differentiates Sun Served from similar companies, both locally and nationally, is a variety of uniquely customized options.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re the only bespoke picnic company that offers picnics, flower arrangements and experiences, all one-of-a-kind. We are very experience-centric with a focus on details, all from scratch, and fully curated to the client,” she said.
For Sun Served, Papalexiou works with other area businesses to outfit her experiences and gift boxes, with all baked goods and food items sourced locally.
“I support local business just like I like to be supported,” she said, adding that for boxes that include self-care items like candles, soaps and oils, she patronizes local artisans instead of chain stores.
“I go to the markets in town to get to know the vendors and what they are providing so when I get requests, I know where they can be sourced,” she said.
For more information, visit SunServed.com or call Papalexiou at (609) 947-5237.

Reni Papalexiou of Sun Served Bespoke Picnics. (submitted photo)
ChrisAnn Allen
Author: ChrisAnn Allen

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