The Good Food Tour
The Good Food Tour is our Featured Business for November 2021 and it brings a delicious story of good (make that excellent) food, philanthropy, and community enhancement. The business, which is owned and operated by Cathy Reside, started off with an “ah-ha!” moment during a Las Vegas food tour in 2016. While enjoying the tour, Reside realized she could blend her experience and passion working as a food advisor together with her knowledge of excellent, local cuisine and start off a venture like the tour she was on. Thus, the business concept was born and Reside knew that Almonte, Ontario, was the perfect locale for such an endeavour.
The tours, hosted in either Almonte or Carleton Place, Ontario, lead guests around some of Lanark County’s most beautiful and historic downtown settings, some of which have been used recently for popular holiday-themed movies. The delicacies vary due to seasonality but have included savoury crepes, artisanal cheeses, buttery scones, craft beer pairings, and French bistro fare, to name a few.
Reside has a beautiful connection with the town of Almonte. In 2015, she became involved with a Syrian refugee project that sponsored and helped relocate families to Almonte. Through this program, Reside became enamoured by the strength of community spirit and willingness to help and built important connections which would eventually be able to assist her with the business plan.
Starting a business, as many an entrepreneur will know, is no easy feat. It takes hours of time, dedication, sweat, and many tears. Reside poured herself into the creation of her business, including signing up and successfully completing the Starter Company Plus program. Through the program, Reside developed key business skills that would give her the boost of confidence to launch the business and start calling on her key connections within the Almonte community.
The challenge in developing proof of concept for the business plan was attracting key business partners: the restaurant owners. Many of the now partners were initially apprehensive about how they would benefit from the Good Food Tour business plan and had concerns on how much more work it was going to take out of their already exhausting workdays. Fortunately, a few businesses took the chance and after the initial launch and success, other restaurants followed.
The Good Food Tour has been on hiatus since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic started, but plans are underway for the 2022 season. Check out The Good Food Tour website at https://thegoodfoodtour.com/ and sign-up for their newsletter which will include exciting updates for the 2022 season.