When Pam Laskey launched Maine Foodie Excursions 13 a number of years again, it was a seasonal small enterprise, and simply certainly one of solely a handful of meals stuff excursions within the state.
“I used to be varied a few years ahead of the curve with this matter,” Laskey laughed, recalling lean and lower-revenue days because the enterprise uncovered its footing for the primary yr or so.
Now acknowledged as Maine Day Ventures, Laskey’s enterprise operates quite a few meals stuff excursions calendar yr spherical, with 14 guides on the ground in Portland and about 30 meals and eat venue companions, alongside with additional excursions in Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor and Kennebunkport. That Laskey’s excursions took off in a foodstuff-insane city like Portland isn’t any shock. However she has confronted real troubles sustaining enterprise managing since 2020.
“COVID was a video game-changer for us,” she said. “It was fairly laborious. We tried to protect the excursions open air as quite a bit as possible, nevertheless it was a terrible grind.”
Laskey’s group mannequin to that stage relied on tourgoers going into a wide range of locations to eat and bars alongside the route for tasting samples, and typically to take a seat and luxuriate in a chat with the homeowners or group patrons. “Now we have 5 to 7 stops, and we undoubtedly fill of us up by the shut of the tour,” she claimed.
However the pandemic compelled her to scale once more the meals excursions, specializing in the lover venues that might accommodate her groups outdoors, or prepare to-go samples. Laskey lower the optimum sizing of her tour groups from 14 to eight or 10 to make her purchasers really feel safer.
Laskey was not by yourself in battling. Maine Meals gadgets for Thought-about, instantly after 4 yrs of meals excursions discovering the state’s farm-to-desk meals stuff technique, closed indefinitely final 12 months, yet one more pandemic casualty.
Even now, Laskey said Maine Working day Ventures had a lively 2021 regardless of the troubles. And this thirty day interval, she talked about, they’ll be launching a brand new culinary shopping for tour in Portland, with stops at venues like Heritage Seaweed on India Avenue, Cellar Door Winery on Center Avenue, and the spice retailer Skordo on Fore Avenue.
Additionally, Maine Day Ventures’ two-hour bar-centric joyful hour excursions will enhance to become two-and-a-50 % hour afternoon tasting excursions with way more emphasis on meals.
Laskey is swift to take word that her firm’s decisions proceed to be depending on the purpose out of the pandemic. She simply currently skilled a group of 8 terminate a tour given that of COVID bacterial infections.
“This calendar yr, elements are significantly better so considerably with the pandemic, however I actually don’t assume we’re out of the woods however,” she reported.