local ICU worker turns entrepreneur

Her photos.. are an Instagrammer’s dream. But when the pandemic started, Amanda Biondo’s reality of working in the ICU of a Bay Area hospital was anything but that.

It sparked an idea though far from the ventilators and PPE she was confined to. “I used to have a food blog in the area and so I’ve always been excited about Instagrammable moments I guess,” says Biondo.

In a world of social distancing, the light bulb went off with and mixed with Biondo’s love for food and she came up with the idea of fancy pop-up picnics for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors and good food. “The idea was to eat good food and drink good drinks and walk away and have no clean-up. I mean I don’t know what’s not appealing about that,” says Biondo.

Even more appealing are the pictures she takes of the finished product that may tell more than a thousand words. Biondo just wanted to provide a respite for a few folks in quarantine.

But soon in the middle of a pandemic, the calls came. One after the other. “I was just telling myself if I get two picnics a month that covers my storage unit costs and my website costs and then I have of this fun stuff I can use with my friends,” recalls Amanda. “Now we’re up to 8 to15 [picnics] a week and we’re wildly busy,” she laughs.

She named her company InstaPicnic & Co. The name is a nod to Instagram and its ability to draw its users in with tantalizing photos.

Instapicnic & Co is now branching out to more than picnics for its customers.

They now do everything imaginable from micro-weddings, birthdays, backyard movie nights and marriage proposals. From the ICU to entrepreneur, Biondo is just trying to find a way to help all of her clients rebound out of some of our tougher days. “I would definitely encourage people considering any entrepreneurship to go for it because it has been a serious blessing,” says Biondo.