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Project Best Life | Summertime Picnics

This series is sponsored by Project Best Life. Buffalo Rising and Project Best Life have teamed up to produce a series on wellness inspiration and advice to direct readers to the people, places, and experiences in Buffalo and beyond that will help them fulfill their health, nutrition, and wellness goals. For more information on how you can live your best life, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.

The late chef, Anthony Bourdain once said, “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” It’s true. Communing over one of the primal necessities for survival offers a vulnerability that is unmatched in our society today. Dining alfresco, on the other hand, takes the comradery that Bourdain was talking about and imparts an added level of relief and tranquility. With this kind of reasoning, there’s no better way to enjoy the last fleeting moments of the summer sun than in the great outdoors surrounded by good friends and great food.

The team at Project Best Life decided the best way to test out this sentiment was to take a picnic! Rest assured you don’t have to be an expert planner to get the picnic of your dreams, Buffalo has all of the resources available to make the magic happen.

716 Perfect Picnics

What if I told you there was a way to get a dreamy picnic setup that far exceeds your wildest imagination without any of the work to set up and take down? Well, there is! Our friends at 716 Perfect Picnics have a knack for making your next picnic set-up one that is larger than life!

“When we came up with the idea for 716 Perfect Picnics our purpose was to bring back life during these difficult times. It was created to celebrate holidays, birthdays, love, friendship, and most importantly to bring loved ones together. We provide a fancy tent, tableware, silverware, decorative pillows, cozy blankets, sparkling water, and flowers to take home. And then, we do all the clean up and set up.”

Surprise your loved ones with a setup that is sure to wow the crowd and turn your picnic into an entire experience that is one you won’t forget. 716 Perfect Picnics reminds each of us of the most important things in life,

“This helps people live their best life, have memories and take a step back. It’s important to enjoy the relaxed scenery, nature, and what’s right in front of us.”

716 Perfect Picnics is available for all seasons including holidays. Visit their Instagram page or shoot them a message at to book now!

The Lexington Co-op

Since the set-up is covered with 716 Perfect Picnics, the next step is food. It can be tempting to opt for convenience over nourishment, but it’s important to choose food that encourages our best and healthiest lives. At the Lexington Co-op, convenience and nourishment come one and the same with prepared foods made from locally sourced, organic ingredients. Store manager Tanya Carney shared,

“We’re a community grown and community owned grocery store! We have over 20,000 owners, but we’re open to everybody. So you don’t have to be an owner to shop here. We really focus on local and organic as much as possible and use those ingredients in our prepared foods as much as possible too.”

With a fully functioning production kitchen, all of the prepared foods are made directly in-house and from scratch including hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, and a multitude of different sides and dips. Carney shared some of her personal go-to items that are perfect for a picnic setup,

“I would grab any local produce that is in season, and the buffalo tofu nuggets are really good too-they come in a little parfait cup, so they’re pretty mobile. JECA bars are actually local too. People love kombucha so, I would throw that in the mix of things as well.”

The Lexington Co-op is home to some of our favorite local goods, be sure to stop by either their Hertel or Elmwood locations!

Also, Lexington Co-op has partnered with Field & Fork Network to improve access to fresh fruits and veggies through Double Up Food Bucks! They are the first grocery store in New York State to offer this program to shoppers who use EBT. Through this program customers who pay using their EBT benefit card can save 50% on whole, fresh fruits and vegetables at both of Lexington Co-op’s stores. Click here to read more.  You don’t have to be an owner to shop at Lexington Co-op. Everyone is welcome. 

807 Elmwood Ave
1678 Hertel Ave
7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Daily
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Becker Farms

Speaking of local produce and goods, Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards is a great place to let go of your everyday stresses and take a journey off the beaten path. Andres Vizcarra, Director of Craft Beverages, took the team for a journey through some of their in-season U-pick areas that are available for guests to come and enjoy.

“We have this really great special for the sunflower season which is going on currently- a sunflower and rosé special. It’s $25 and you get a bottle of rose, and a ring that you can put your picked sunflowers in. You go out there, bring your wine with you, there’s picnic tables out there. It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the farm. It’s perfect for a nice little date.”

In addition to their sunflower patches, the farm has a variety of U-pick produce areas including strawberries, apples, blueberries and raspberries all of which are available at their given seasons. The U-pick fields are just far enough out that it feels almost like a different world when you’re there. Vizcarra described the sensation perfectly,

“It feels like a breath of fresh air. You’re surrounded by nature, and it almost feels like a weight off your shoulders to kind of get out of the claustrophobic environment of your house or apartment. We’ve been farming as a society for thousands of years. When you’re on a farm, you can feel that connection- it’s in our blood. That’s why so many people like to come out here, and just get a taste of that, even if it’s for a day.”

Visit their website for updates as the fall season rolls in, you won’t want to miss what they have to offer!
Website | Facebook | Instagram

As we look to the coming months, may we remember to take time for our loved ones and ourselves by doing something maybe we have never thought of before- like taking a picnic! A change in pace and a trip outside may be just the reset you need to keep you on track toward living your best life.

For more tips and inspiration to help live a healthy, happy and balanced life to the fullest, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.

Project Best Life

In tough times, our efforts to maintain fitness, healthy nutrition, and personal wellness can fall by the wayside as we direct all our energy into navigating our individual storm. Yet, in the face of what’s happening in the world around us, it is essential to make space for self-care and experiences that fortify our physical and mental wellbeing.

Check out Project Best Life’s personal assessment tool. Get personalized health insights and a cancer screening checklist by completing this health assessment. This questionnaire will only take you around 10-15 minutes to complete.


Trying to manage a proper work-life balance, saving for your future while paying all your bills, all while keeping strong relationships with friends and family… We know that life can get pretty stressful, and it’s easy to forget what’s best for your health both physically and mentally. Project Best Life is here to help with our podcast: Happy and Healthy. We provide tips from experts and share stories that will inspire you to live your best life, whatever that means to you. Listen now on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google

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Written and Hosted by Liberty Darr
Photography and Editing by Vin Berbano
Produced by Alyssa Nicotera and Jessica Marinelli

Written by Liberty Darr

Liberty Darr

I am a Buffalo State student studying journalism. I love writing, art, and meeting new people. When I’m not at school or work I enjoy reading/writing poetry and watching documentaries. My favorite dynamic duo is investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I’ve been a resident of Buffalo for quite some time and I still fall in love with something new about this city everyday.

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