This past week, my friends from the Business Centre and I had the privilege of partaking in a custom Taste Detour around Downtown Guelph. It was truly an amazing experience.
We started our journey in front of the old City Hall, in the heart of downtown. There, we were enlightened about the history of how Guelph came to be. We listened while munching on a crispy and savoury sausage roll from Eric the Baker. Eric the Baker is located directly across the street on Carden.
We then moseyed down the road to Atmosphere Cafe. There, we were greeted with a smile, a drink, and a fresh and delicious salad and sandwich. Once our meal was complete and we had received a lesson on the amazing work that Atmosphere does throughout our community, we headed up the steps to the historic Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate. While standing around the iconic statue of Mary, overlooking downtown, we were told some very interesting stories about the history of Guelph’s beer production and the famous Albion Hotel.
Miijidaa Café + Bistro was the next stop on our list. The amazing atmosphere of the café coupled with the delicious appetizers that we received, made this hidden Downtown Guelph gem a place that I know I will return to.
All of these savoury dishes made us all crave something sweet. Thankfully, Lynn knew just the place to satisfy our sweet tooth, Wellington Cakes. I had no idea that a building could smell as good as it did when we walked into that bakery. We all had a smile on our face on our way out as well as we had just enjoyed the tastiest macaroons that we had ever had.
Our final location, Diana Downtown, saw us slurping up a sweet and fresh Mango Lassi. This was done while listening to Lynn give her farewells. Truly the perfect end, to the perfect tour.
Being someone that has lived in Guelph for most of his life, I had no idea all of the things that I didn’t know about the city. Whether that be about the history of my home or the amazing restaurants that it has to offer. And all it took was Lynn’s expert knowledge and three hours of our time.
Lifelong food, exploration, and hospitality expert, Lynn Broughton has always loved to learn about her community and food. From a young age, Lynn has worked in the food service industry, allowing her love of food and drink to grow and prosper.
After leaving the restaurant business, Lynn began to work for the Downtown Guelph Business Association. She was in charge of marketing and planning food events around the Downtown Guelph core. This allowed her to truly fall in love with the Guelph food scene. She knew that there must be a better way to showcase the wonderful and delicious food culture that Downtown Guelph has to offer. In October of 2015, this realization lead to the creation of Taste Detours!
She used her background in the food and hostility industry and her knowledge of the Downtown Guelph restaurant scene, coupled with her Chicago Food Planet Professional Food Tours Certificate, to formulate the perfect food and drink experience.
Despite her extensive background in working with Downtown Guelph businesses, she had never run a business of her own. Lynn knew that she needed some guidance on the business end of Taste Detours. That is where an old friend, Kristel Manes, head of the Business Centre of Guelph Wellington, came into the picture.
Thanks to a recommendation from Kristel, Lynn and Taste Detours joined the Starter Company+ program. This allowed for her to collaborate with other Guelph business owners and build a support network. The cohort helped her with navigating the challenges of running a new business. With the help of her Business Advisor, Lynn learned how write an extensive business plan, that she still references to this day.
The grant money that Taste Detours received from the Starter Company+ program allowed for her to commission Barking Dog Studios in building her a professional and beautiful website.
From her time in the food industry, to helping other Downtown Guelph businesses grow, to starting her own business, all the way to now, Lynn’s growth as an entrepreneur is evident. When asked what she would tell herself when she first started her business, she exclaimed, “I used to spend too much time doing the things that I was bad at. Identify the areas of business that you are weakest in, and employ others that have those strengths.”
So, if you are ever in the Guelph-Wellington area, and want to eat food with someone who, “likes to eat with strangers” while connecting you with the history of your community and the food you are eating; then, contact Lynn and Taste Detours to feed your curiosity.
"I’ve appreciated the Business Centre of Guelph Wellington over the years for its programs, resources, and relevant information to Taste Detours’ ongoing growth. Everyone there is kind, encouraging, and keen to see me thrive." — Lynn Broughton