About the Business
Offering six different tours throughout the hipster haven of Portland, Oregon, you can sample what's great about the food scene from up-scale restaurants to casual eateries + food carts - all in one deliciously relaxing afternoon! Try one of the classic downtown tours, the trendy Division Street, the artsy + historic Mississippi Ave. Tour, or, starting this summer, the Gluten Free Tour + Sippin’ and Strollin’ Tour! Have a private tour in mind? They will work with your group to make a truly unique + deliciously exclusive experience.
From the Owner
What is your name?
Where is your business located?
What inspired you to start the business?
We wanted to help visitors taste the best that Portland has to offer! We have so many options in the city when it comes to dining out, it can be overwhelming for a visitor to choose where to go and what to eat. We make it easy to try a wide variety of food + drink and different styles of restaurants in about 2 1/2 hours. We love to share what makes Portland unique: micro-brews, food carts, fine dining, casual eateries, coffee, donuts, local wine, farm-to-table and our unique and quirky neighborhoods.
What about your business are you most proud of?
We are so proud of the fantastic reviews we've received over the years and the number of repeat visitors we have! We love nothing more than sharing our passion for Portland with our guests and we can think of no better compliment than when our guests not only leave a great review but that they come back on tour with us. It means we are accomplishing our goals of sharing the best Portland has to offer.
What do you enjoy most about running your business?
Two things: first, I love taking people on tour! As a business owner, I am often wearing many different hats - payroll, bookkeeper, HR, customer service manager, website guru, etc. But the real magic happens for me when I get to take guests on tour. THAT'S the fun part! There's nothing better than sharing your favorite foods, your favorite drinks, or your favorite neighborhood places with your guests and having their faces light up with pleasure. What's more fun when you're traveling than to hang out with a local and get a more in-depth feel for the place you're visiting, especially discovering places you would otherwise miss? Second, I have had the honor + pleasure of creating long-term relationships with many of our restaurant partners. It's been really lovely to watch our partners grow and evolve as we have! We are passionate about supporting local here.
What challenges have you faced as a business owner?
Time! There's never enough time!
What do you think makes your business unique?
I have 15 years experience leading tours all over the world in addition to having a logistics background, and I translate all that experience into creating really fun and well organized tours. In addition, we tend to retain tour guides for much longer than most other tour businesses. We train them rigorously and we treat them like family so that we have highly trained and FUN tour guides. It makes for what we hope is a very high-end experience for our guests.
If you had to describe the business in 3 words, what would they be?
Fun, Delicious, and "Oh-So-Portland"
The Fun Stuff
What is your favorite spot to visit in your city?
I am an outdoor girl at heart, and I love that we have Forest Park right in the city. It's over 5000 acres of wooded parkland with about 80 miles of hiking + biking trails. The longest trail is the Wildwood Trail at 27 miles long and I am going to hike the whole trail in sections this year!
What is your favorite food or restaurant to enjoy in your city?
It's a split between Ox for fine dining, I think it's the best restaurant in the city (and tough to get in! go early or go late! Or get a reservation if you have a party of 6 or more) OR the food cart scene. I love the casual nature of our carts, but there are many carts that serve food as good as better than you'd find in a restaurant for a much better price. And some of our carts even serve beer, wine, or cocktails!
What is your favorite spot in the U.S to travel to and why?
I love Charleston, South Carolina. It's about as far away and as different from my home in Portland, Oregon as you can get. But they have an incredible food scene there, and I love the architecture. I have had many special moments in Charleston, the city feels quite magical, especially at night.
Which of the five senses do you appreciate the most when you travel and why?
Taste! It's always taste for me, so I seek out food tours when I am traveling, even if I have been there before. I want to meet a local and find out what it's like to live in that place and most importantly what it's like to eat like a local! I think there's almost no better way to learn about the culture of place than with traditional foods and dishes of the area.
Do you have a travel memory that is important to you?
I think my favorite memory is sharing a bottle of wine and some French cheese with my husband on the first warm spring day in Paris for our 10 year anniversary. We were on the Île de la Cité at the tiny park at the point of the island, and had no feeling to be anywhere else but right there in that moment. And the wine was delicious!
What would the name of your biography be?
Confessions of a Tour Guide
What is your favorite 90s jam?
It Takes Two - Rob Base + DJ E-Z Rock