With summer in sight and pandemic restrictions steadily lifting, our collective need to gather is more pronounced than ever. Answering that call is a crew of creatives: Nicky Balestrieri and Luigi Tadini of The Gathery, alongside TJ Girard and Bob Spiegel of Pinch Food Design, who, amid COVID-19 and quarantines, started the sustainable soiree delivery service Party by Numbers.
“The spark behind our idea was ignited during the pandemic when we were all grounded in our homes and the precious moments that typically benchmark our lives came to a halt,” says Tadini. Balestrieri explains, “The aha moment was when we realized that the one thing most people don’t have, and the one thing a party always needs, is a bar.” And so Party by Numbers delivers artfully executed hosting essentials direct to your door in an elegantly appointed cart, with every necessary accoutrement (including food!).
The creatives studied and researched a variety of movable feasts and clever food-delivery devices, examining mid-century airline trolleys, jubako and bento boxes from Japan, French luxury travel trunks, and even picnic baskets so they could fashion the ultimate cart. The next several months served as a game of Tetris for the team as they determined the right orientation for every must-have party good until the cart was perfectly proportioned. On the back of the tambour-trimmed trolley, concealed drawers have a brass numbering system for easy setup—and a sense of fun even before the party starts.
“We employed TJ’s clever material choices—a waterproof neoprene cover for the entire cabinet, a powder-coated metal frame, and a Corian bar top—so the cart could chameleon to any environment, and we put it on concert-case rolling wheels so it could tour just about anywhere,” says Balestrieri.
Aside from the practicality of these parties-to-your-door—from personalizing your menu online to hand delivery the day of the event—it’s the styling that makes the rentable experience stand out. Following a simple formula, six themes bring unexpected interpretations of familiar locations, artists, architects, and other points of inspiration to life through thoughtful tabletop products. “For every look you will find pieces sourced from the destinations themselves, such as hand-formed vases from Japan, silverware from France, artisanal napkin rings from Mexico, and signature lighting like our custom-made Moroccan lanterns,” notes Tadini. With party packages starting at $110 per person (think: a box of hors d’oeuvres, ready-to-pour cocktails, and two interactive savory experiences on handheld sculptures) and going all the way to $190 (for full dinner service on platters with serveware and magnums of wine), a get-together with friends may be closer than you imagine.
The best part, though? In preparation for next-day pickup, you simply place your dirty plates and flatware back into the cart, no hours of dish washing necessary. Hosts keep the flowers and candles, along with the feel-good memories of throwing a no-waste party. When thinking about the sustainability of the brand, Girard muses, “Partying can be frivolous, but it doesn’t have to be wasteful.”