“So, how did you get yourself featured in Teen Vogue?” That was the question posed to Taylor Kennedy, founder of Sirene Chocolate – a Bean-To-Bar, direct trade, custom chocolate workshop right here in Victoria.

His answer: “I don’t know.”

Lyndsey Eden Photography

I might have some insight into that. As the Owner of Bike Tours Victoria, I see Kennedy sharing what he does with my tour guests and just as they are walking away with some delicious chocolates in their bag, they realize how much they have just learned. So, when they sit down to eat that amazing chocolate, they savour it like never before. It is truly a university-level education in chocolate available here at your local Farmer’s Market.

It became pretty obvious to me after a short while in business that my guests have the best experiences with local business owners who are willing to share their geekiness. Visitors to Victoria feel affirmed about being alive when connecting with someone over their shared passion. We can all use some of that inspiration from time to time.

As a result of this insight into a life well lived, I also escort city newbies to Olive the Senses where they offer Sommelier-type tastings with olive oil. After visiting their family in Italy, Emily and Steve Lycopoluscommitted to opening up the world of olive oil to regular people like you and me. Varietal, aging process, aromas, and spiciness are not just used to describe wine! This tasting experience is also family friendly since everyone can pick out their favourite olive oil and a matching balsamic vinegar to take home.  Sure, some people might think it is a little weird at first to do an “olive oil tasting”, but they quickly change their minds.

Lyndsey Eden Photography

When guests arrive for a tour ready for a most unusual culinary experience, I lead them through a trail system arriving and stopping at two amazing local eateries. One being Nourish Kitchen & Cafe and the other I will keep a secret.  These two restaurants are the brainchild of Hayley Rosenberg. Everyday food is reimagined here, especially things that you thought you did not like to eat, but you are willing to try again. The skill, depth of knowledge, and ancient food philosophies will leave you pleasantly satiated wondering how they did that. Definitely try the acclaimed cashew cheese when you go.

Believe it Victoria! People come to your town and are getting an education that is completely edible. Guests from around the world are loving that they get to “geek out” in Victoria and they leave inspired.

Visit a local geek today or book a bike tour with me and I will introduce you. Or if you know of a geek that I just have to meet, let me know. I am Matt at BikeToursVictoria.com.

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