By Pam McLoughlin New Haven Register, Conn.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Cathy Langdon has been known for years for her themed parties and scavenger hunts she throws at home. Now, she's using that creativity to create a business that uniquely transforms parties for the public (at a price)
Cathy Langdon is that friend who for years has thrown the perfect theme parties down to every detail -- and now she's turned it into a business.
Langdon's "Unique Concessions" provides customers with a Victorian cart decorated to the theme of the day and stocked with treats of choice, which could mean a candy buffet to include gumballs and lollipops, a lemonade stand, ice cream bar, trail mix buffet, pastry mix or any other goodies the customers want.
"Over the years my friends and family have said, 'You should do something with your creativity,'" said Landon, a longtime hairdresser. "I'm really passionate about seeing people happy, and these carts do that."
Local realtor Nea Lisboa used the service for her sister's 50th surprise birthday party, saying the cart filled with cupcakes was a perfect treat for guests at the house after a big dinner at a restaurant.
"When you get there, you almost feel like you're at a carnival or fair," Lisboa said of arriving home to the cart of goodies. "And it's stress-free."
Langdon's daughter, Katelynn Bresnan, 25, a radiologic technologist who helps with the business, said her mom has been known all these years for the themed parties and scavenger hunts she throws at home.
Langdon loves looking for items that go together and transforming the atmosphere, whether it's a children's Winnie the Pooh party or luau.
"This is really an adventure in creativity," Bresnan said. "I'm ready for it to take off."
When Langdon got the idea for offering themed Victorian-style party carts, she searched the internet and couldn't find any free-standing carts like the ones she envisioned to buy.
Luckily, her son, James Bresnan, 27, a construction worker, is quite the craftsman, so he built his mother four fancy carts and she ordered various colored awnings. Three are white and one is rustic brown.
"They can be used for almost anything...I tell people it's a glorified table," Langdon said.
The women don't do any of the baking or other edible goods for the carts; they purchase the high-quality products from various places for the best price, they said.
The charge to the customer is per person, with prices varying according to the offering. For example, a popcorn and candy buffet is $6.95 per person and a lemonade cart $4.95 per person. Langdon said they will work with those on a budget.
One of the women (or both) tends the cart during a party.
As Langdon's business flyer says, "The choices are unlimited as to what you can use our party carts for." Customers can even rent a cart for $125 and stock and decorate it themselves.
They've only been running for about six weeks now and they've done the birthday, a lingerie party, a beach and she is currently preparing a red, white and blue splash for a party to celebrate the return home of a veteran.
"I love to entertain," Langdon said.
A super-organized person, Langdon has all her years of themed party goods grouped in bins and ready to go into the cart decorating if needed.
She envisions doing weddings, showers, holiday parties, corporate affairs, anniversaries, birthdays, barbecues and any other occasions, saying the possibilities are limitless.
"We use the word unique (in the name) because there's nothing like this around," Langdon said.