Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kevin Durkee, Owner of Culinary Adventure Co., located in Toronto, ON, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are Canada's most trusted Food Tour and Culinary Experience company. We are a family-owned small business supporting other family-owned and small businesses on our culinary walking tours of Toronto.
Tell us about yourself
My career has been a blend of entertainment marketing, experiential agency work, and culinary tourism. So, it's landed me in the right place of 'sharing and celebrating the best food + drink stories' of this incredible city.
My family had a restaurant when I grew up, so food and hospitality have always been motivating factors in my life. Now, having my own business, I can take that passion and add the 'magic and guest engagement' I learned during my time with The Walt Disney Company.
My job makes people happy, and knowing more about where your food + drink comes from is critical for our guests.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is our company's reputation and success. I've owned the business since 2014, and we've more than quadrupled in size and revenue in that time, spending 'mere pennies' on marketing.
Our success has been on the incredible tours and experiences we delivery, our passion, and the loyalty of our guests. Our best and most important marketing strategy is care.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The unpredictability. While we've grown year over year, the growth, the product success, and the guest's needs continually change. We continue to adapt, adopt and evolve, and while that is exciting - it's terribly hard to manage.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Understand your 'why.' Starting a business to make money, fill a gap, or "make something" is the wrong approach. Your business needs to be grounded in your why. Why do you do what you do? Why will your customers/guests care? If you know your why, the rest is easy.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Never be worried about charging the right price. There is this sense that we need to be the cheapest, drive the most value or not be 'expensive.' And while true guest value is critical. Guests/customers will appreciate your business for your commitment, care, and quality.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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