Homegrown Business: Michelle Ng, President & Founder of Vancouver Foodie Tours

Vancouver Foodie Tours features local restaurants and eateries in Vancouver’s defining neighbourhoods. The guides are passionate and knowledgeable, and the tours are well-rated, well-liked and a must-join for any tourist! We spoke with Michelle Ng, President & Founder of Vancouver Foodie Tours, to learn more about them!

What is your business called and what does it do?

Vancouver Foodie Tours. We highlight local restaurants & eateries in Vancouver’s defining neighbourhoods. Our walking tours are like a progressive tasting meal. Right now we offer two tours- The Granville Island Market Tour, and our new Authentic Asian Eats Tour highlighting Richmond. We’ll be relaunching our popular Gastronomic Gastown Tour next year. During the pandemic, I also expanded my business to Granville Island Delivery Co. which builds beautiful, local gift boxes.

What made you want to do this work?

I started Vancouver Foodie Tours in 2010 out of a passion for food, people, storytelling, and my love for Vancouver. Whenever I travel, I always want to know the best place to eat, which is why I chose to share Vancouver’s iconic foods as well as the stories behind what makes our culinary scene so special.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

It all comes back to connection. Food is the entry point to connecting with others. Our guests come for the food- but they always end up talking about the connections they’ve made on the tour. Whether it be fellow travellers, curious locals, or a team-building activity, food has a magical way of bringing people together.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

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Our clients are foodies, adventurers, and travellers looking for a taste of Vancouver culture. Pre-pandemic, we hosted a lot of Americans, Europeans, and Australians. This year we’re focusing on welcoming locals back to Vancouver- whether it be Canadians travelling to Vancouver, British Columbians on weekend vacations, or Vancouverites celebrating our city’s reopening.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Our foodie tours start at $89.99 (for the Granville Island Market Tour). Each tour benefits multiple local businesses- our foodie partners receive exposure to their target clientele and many of our guests return to make purchases at their establishments after the tour. Our guides are foodies and Vancouver ambassadors who love sharing their local pride with our guests- they are paid an hourly rate and accept gratuities as well. Our tour rates go towards our tour partners, guides, and infrastructure, with profits going towards rebuilding Foodie Tours after the pandemic.

Vancouver Foodie Tours

Where in Vancouver can we find your profession?

Our office is located on Granville Island.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Why do people choose your business? People choose Vancouver Foodie Tours because of our track record and deep relationships within the community. We are the #1 rated food tour company on TripAdvisor and have been named one of the Top 9 Food Tours in the world by Forbes. We have a nearly 100% satisfaction rate, based on Google & TripAdvisor reviews. Our connection to our foodie community is important as it allows us to provide high-level service to our guests while highlighting the best eateries in Vancouver.

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What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is seeing the looks on people’s faces when they experience a new taste, texture, or even just a YUMMY bite. It’s being able to provide memorable experiences and connecting with new friends. The worst part so far has been the challenge of the pandemic. Seeing how the business went from thriving to closed at a moment’s notice was heartbreaking, especially when I had to give the news to my team.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I get to play jokes on my new tour guides when I put on my “tour guest” hat and give them a hard time.

What are your social media channels?

Facebook | Instagram | Foodie Tours LinkedIn | Personal LinkedIn

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Vancouver business that you love?

Vancouver Water Adventures