ABOUT THE BUSINESS
Take a 3 - 3.5 hour walking tour that gives a unique opportunity to explore the evolving culinary landscape of Rhode Island while gaining insight into the history, architecture, and culture of the state. The tours support the locally-operated eateries, farms, and makers in the Rhode Island community while offering tastings of fresh, creative local foods in both Providence + Newport.
FROM THE BUSINESS
What is your name?
Paula Silva - Founder + Official Food Taster
Where is your business located?
What inspired you to start the business?
About 6 years ago, I noticed a fantastically creative food scene emerging in Rhode Island, largely in part related to Johnson & Wales Culinary School. As a big supporter of shopping local business and one that does not like to cook (eating out more than I like to admit), I wondered how all these new eateries were going to survive since restaurants have a high rate of failure. I am also a real estate agent, I love architecture, history and where I live. I thought this was a way to marry all the things I love: promoting our quality of life in Rhode Island while supporting the eateries, farmers, fisherman, and purveyors in it.
What about your business are you most proud of?
That I've made it 5 years, seriously!
I'm particularly proud of the guides I have. They are fun, interesting, and they give our guests a great experience. They love what they do and are wonderful ambassadors of RI.
What do you enjoy most about running your business?
I love being an ambassador of our beautiful state, sharing all the hidden gems, and the food and history.
What challenges have you faced as a business owner?
As a one-person business owner that also has another profession as a real estate agent, it always comes down to not enough hours in a day. This is why it is so important to have great people that you can work with. From the professional restaurant owners to my guides who go above and beyond to keep it all together and deliver a great experience for the guests, I couldn't do it without them. There are all kinds of personalities in the world. Finding and managing the right mix can be challenging but with the right synergy, it takes a lot of the pressure off and can be rewarding for everyone from the guides to the restaurants and, most importantly, the guests.
What do you think makes your business unique?
Where else can you work where you’re meeting new people from around the world while sharing and telling stories over the amazing foods of our beautiful state?!
If you had to describe the business in 3 words, what would they be?
Eat, Learn + Fun!
THE FUN STUFF
What is your favorite spot to visit in your city?
Since I do tours in Newport + Providence I will say, the Cliff Walk in Newport along the Atlantic Ocean and behind the most magnificent historic mansions of our time. In Providence, anywhere along the Providence River Walk during a Waterfire installation, they don't call it the Creative Capital for nothing!
What is your favorite food or restaurant to enjoy in your city?
I have to say my favorite foods always involves seafood, fried clams, clamcakes, littlenecks, or a good old fashioned New England Clam Boil or Clambake, shared with family & friends picnic style. It's a summer tradition!
What is your favorite spot in the US to travel to and why?
Although I'm generally a coastal New England girl that loves history, historic architecture and being close to the ocean it has to have great food. So in New England, I would say I love Portland, ME, it's a beautiful city with the most creative lobster dishes I have ever had.
On the West Coast, I also loved both Portland, OR for its open-air markets, funky and great food scene, as well as Seattle, WA with its seafood-rich + hip culinary culture that includes Pike's Place Market. I had the best salmon chowder of my life in Seattle!
Which of the five senses do you appreciate the most when you travel and why?
Smell - because whether you are on the ocean, in the woods, getting a whiff of a burger on a hot grill, or enjoying the lingering scent of a smoker cooking BBQ, it always reminds me of summer fun memories.
Do you have a travel memory that is important to you?
Back in the 90's, recently divorced, I took my first solo trip to London on an antique buying trip. It was so exciting and liberating, it was the 1st time I ate Indian food, in fact, it was all I ate while there for 10 days!
What would the name of your biography be?
Love the Life You Live
What is your favorite 90s jam?
Green Day - Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)