For local businesses, the tour is a chance to get guests in the door who may return for a full meal or shopping.
“It’s just a chance to showcase our restaurant . . . and bring in some people that might not know about us,” said Scratch Kitchen’s Fogarty. “They see we’re a nice, inviting restaurant with a comfortable feel, and we get a chance to talk about the quality of our food.”
In the long run, Scalia hopes she can expand the business beyond Salem, but right now she’s working on building her list of tour stops and varying the itinerary. A recent vegan food tour sold out, and she is eyeing Christmas-themed dinners and children’s events.
“The hardest part of my job is saying, ‘We’ve got to go,’ ” she said.
Joel Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.