I got a wonderful surprise last night: an email from a former co-worker of mine with whom I had not spoken in a very long time. Alana was someone I hired shortly after she had finished her Master's degree, if I'm not mistaken. She came down to New York City from upstate New York for several interviews, and there was just something about her that made me think she was destined for great things.
As it turns out, she is still with that company, though in a different capacity, and this spring, she started her own business!
Now, there are two reasons I wanted to write about this. 1) My blog focuses on three major things: travel, change, and making a difference. I try to write about things that encompass at least two of those categories. This story is definitely about travel and personal change. 2) I'm finishing out my Celebration of Food week, and this story is also very much about celebrating food.
So let me tell you about Alana's new business! After realizing she was good at taking friends and family around New York City, Alana decided to start her own walking and food tasting tour company, Ahoy New York -- http://www.ahoyny.com/. These tours go on a culinary journey through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the East Village.
Alana told me, "I like the idea of tasting foods versus only walking around and learning the history of the neighborhood. I find learning about NYC is learning about the different cultures that live here. So by tasting the respective cultures' foods one is really learning quite a bit."
According to her website, Alana's "background not only includes a degree in International Studies and language but also additional training from the NYC's Institute of Culinary Education. She has spent time learning how many ethnic foods are made and gaining further insight to their respective cultures.
Not only does Alana pride herself on her unique tours, her goal also is to help her customers adjust to the pace, culture, and diversity of NYC. She welcomes each individual with the hopes that upon their return home they have had the ultimate NYC experience."
I am so excited for Alana. She is a smart, warm, and witty young woman whom I can totally see as an excellent tour guide. She's got a fabulous, informative website, as well. It is such and inspiration to see that she has discovered her dream and made it happen.
So, if anyone is looking for a unique guided tour in New York City, please check this out!