Touring the narrowest streets of Bergen
Cheyanne Smart - Bergen Food Tours
Are you hungry? Urging for the taste of some local specialty, or some beautiful street art to lay your eyes on? Call Cheyanne!
Text: Irene R. Mjelde
WHEN Cheyanne Smart first moved to Norway in 2012 she had difficulties finding fulltime employment. But that didn’t scare her off. After taking some food tours in other cities she became inspired to investigate - Could this work in Bergen too?
– After two years of research, I officially started Bergen Food Tours in March 2016. The very 17th of May we had our first sale. I am happy to say that I found a niche in the market and I have never been happier!
SMART IS SMILING from ear to ear. Her patience and hard work finally paid off. Her firm now offers unique food tasting and cultural walking tours through Bergen’s most delicious neighbourhoods. She introduces guests to Bergen’s food scene by tasting traditional Norwegian dishes and delicacies from some of Bergen’s best restaurants.
– At this time, we offer our guests two different tours. Our Bergen Classic Experience takes guests to five or six establishments to taste an array of foods that are quintessentially Bergensk. Guests learn about Bergen’s rich food history, culture, and the background of each artisan and their influence on the local food scene. Our Street Art Tour takes guests off-the-beaten-path to discover Bergen’s ever-changing street art. We visit iconic pieces and learn about the artists who bring life to the walls.
Laura Llewellyn enjoying a reindeer sausage at Trekroneren, Photo taken by: Skjalg Ekeland
DURING these last preparing years she have been through both positive and problematic experiences.
– The most difficult challenge was connecting with restaurants and landing them on the food tour. A food tour was a new concept to Bergen and therefore it took some time for many of the locations to understand what was involved.
But from last November good things really started to happen for Smart and her company. That month she was contacted by the Food Network UK to act as a food consultant for a television show called City Bakes hosted, by Paul Hollywood of the Great British Bake Off, which was very inspiring for her. And there was more to come.
– In less than three months after our first sale Bergen Food Tours became the highest rated walking tour in Bergen on Trip Advisor with over 90 percent of visitors giving them a five star reviews.
The happy entrepreneur markets her business to Bergen locals, Norwegian nationals, and International visitors looking to experience this UNESCO City of Gastronomy and expand their culinary palate and education.
– The food tour concept has been highly welcomed from the start, and customer feedback has been more than positive, she says.
Bergen Fish Soup at Lysverket, Photo taken by: Skjalg Ekeland
SMART TOOK the Business Factory course offered by Etablerersenteret in September 2016.
– The course was very informative and was great for internationals looking to start a business in Norway. It was also a great opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs.
She points out that she found the organizers behind the Business Factory course extremely helpful and encouraging.
– They were passionate about helping people succeed and helped me clear up some of my doubts of starting a business. From them I got that well-needed confidence boost to take it to the next level. I cannot recommend this course enough!
– I AM VERY PROUD that I was able to get out of my comfort zone and start a business in another country. I had no prior ambitions to be a businesswoman, but now it just seems right.
Smart’s best advise to others who wants to start their own business is:
- Believe in your business and act on your idea!
- There will be set backs. But if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate work to others. It’s hard to give up control of your business, but sometimes you need to focus on your strong points.
Bergen Food Tours homepage is www.bergenfoodtours.com