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Name: Audrey Ooi
Business: Tasty Tours, Toronto-based food walking tours
Industry: Food & Beverage, Other — Tourism
Location: Toronto, Canada
Reason for starting: I have always wanted to start my own business, since I was a kid selling cookies to neighbors to raise money for the SPCA. Tasty Tours was started because I love sweets and traveling, and it was a good way to combine both – I get to share my adopted home of Toronto with tourists while introducing them to great bakeries, chocolate shops & more!
Related: Read about another foodie entrepreneur here.
How do you define success? Personally, I define success as contributing to society. There are two main goals for Tasty Tours – to give our customers an enjoyable and memorable experience, and to share a bit more information with them about the history of the city and food. I will never reach the pinnacle of success, as there will always be more customers to share share the city and experience with. However, each day I keep my eye on this goal, I am one step closer.
Biggest Success: Tasty Tours has received many awards (e.g. I have been nominated as one of the Top 30 under 30 for the Ontario Hostelry Institute) and have been featured on international news. However I still think the biggest success is each customer who walks away with a smile on their face because of the tour. One couple enjoyed themselves so much they invited me to stay with them if I ever visited their hometown, and a dietician told me she had let all her friends know about my tour and asked me to email her if I ever had nutritional questions. To me, these are my biggest successes.
Related: Read about another female entrepreneur exploring the world of sweets here.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge is finding the time to spend developing my business on top of my full-time job in marketing. I have addressed it by developing an organized and efficient system to minimize time spent on day to day operations, as well as focusing on business development and marketing opportunities that present me the highest return on investment.
Who is your most important role model? I have many role models for different facets of my life. In terms of my business, my most important role model is definitely my competitors. There is much I can learn from them, from their unique tour offerings to attention-grabbing marketing campaigns. I am full of admiration for every single one of my competitors.
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Edited by The Story Exchange