At Brainchild Studios, we're all about the ladies -- especially when they are local, business bosses -- and we think the world should know more about Theresa Nemetz, Founder of Milwaukee Food & City Tours.
Milwaukee Food & City Tours has been providing premier, original, and award-winning tours since 2007. Whether you prefer walking or being chauffeured, meeting new people or creating a private outing with your closest friends, Milwaukee Food & City Tours provides a memorable and delicious experience.
We had the pleasure of learning more about Milwaukee Food & City Tours from the founder herself. Read on to learn about Theresa's Milwaukee-based business and journey as an entrepreneur.
Why did you start your business? After a trip to New York City where I randomly picked up a brochure and took a food tour, I was instantly hooked. I returned home and started what I believed would be an occasional hobby. It turned into a full time operation, owning a fleet of vehicles, and traveling world-wide!
What are some of the biggest business challenges you've encountered as an entrepreneur? Everyone thinks that it is exciting to not have a boss to report to as an entrepreneur, but it is actually a very lonely endeavor. Ultimately, you are the key decision maker and you can't delegate the tough decisions!
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself before starting your business? Don't buy a bus! Do you know why you buy a second bus? Because the first one breaks down. Do you know why you buy a third bus? Because the second one breaks down. I am grateful because we were able to grow as a result, but owning a fleet of vehicles is an overwhelming task and worry at times.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business? Knowing that I've been able to not only provide for my family, but to support a team as well as the greater food community in Milwaukee.
What is the funniest/most ironic thing that's happened to you since starting your business? I actually am quite a selective eater! My husband is the foodie, and I'm the one with the love of Milwaukee. It is a great combination that has grown into a culinary tour company. Typically when I go to business lunches, guests are under the assumption that I am a top-tier foodie!
What is the one thing you're most proud of accomplishing in regard to your business? Growing a hobby into a seven figure tour company with national reach.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs and business owners? Never be afraid to ask someone to make an important introduction for you.
Who is in your trusted inner circle? Those that guide you through the tough times and toast with during the celebrations? I have gleaned knowledge by listening to others and asking for advice each and every day, and have a career and life filled with things I’ve learned from mentors of all kinds as a result. As I reflect on my career, I realize that I have built a large collection of advice from traditional mentors as well as from what I consider “moment mentors,” each providing me a chance to learn lessons while observing them in action within their own communities and careers.
Who are other women entrepreneurs and business owners you admire and why? Milwaukee has a tradition of great food that has evolved in the last few years into a thriving entrepreneurial food and events scene. Entrepreneurs such as Julie Waterman from Indulgence Chocolatiers, Katie Wessel from Milwaukee Pretzel Co., Lauren Schultz from Purple Door Ice Cream, Angela Quigley from Married in Milwaukee, and Erica Hanson Elia from Classy Girl Cupcakes have all shown me what it means to be a brilliant businesswoman while also caring for a young family.
What is next for you and your company? The pandemic has thrown a wrinkle in owning a tour and travel company, so I'm not certain what the immediate future holds. I suspect that we will not be leading tours in a revenue driving capacity until possibly 2022 or 2023, so right now I'm focused on selling gift boxes, strengthening relationships, and launching Milwaukee Fudge Company to drive revenue until tourism returns.
Is there anything you would like to plug or promote? Check out Milwaukee Fudge Company!!
With travel plans on hold for a while, it's the perfect time to get to know our great city of Milwaukee a little better. For more information, visit the Milwaukee Food & City Tours website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you'd like to learn more about our favorite Women Owned Small Businesses, please consider subscribing to the most recent news and thought-leadership from our monthly newsletter.
Bonnie spent the first decade of her career in the UK where she earned her MBA, led the financial and operational planning of a multi-million dollar acquisition, and worked with executive teams to streamline business processes. Bonnie loves helping business owners earn the right to implement the fun stuff. Now back in her hometown of Milwaukee, she’s taking on the world of digital.more posts by Bonnie →