Columbia woman hopes to draw tourists, locals with food tours

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COLUMBIA - Kerri Linder, from Columbia, has two passions: food and history. While on a trip to South Carolina, she found the perfect idea to combine the two and decided to launch her new project, Columbia Culinary Tours.

The food tours aim to bring people to different restaurants and historic places in downtown Columbia. From Glenn's Cafe at the Tiger Hotel to Boone Olive Oil to Shortwave Coffee, food lovers enjoy a tasting session and presentations from the owners. 

The social activity takes about two and a half hours, includes about 12 restaurants and lots of food.

"I just want people to get out and try new flavours, new things. I found places that I didn't know existed either," Linder said.

She said she hopes her initiave will help locals to know their community better and also draw more tourists to Columbia. Linder will work with the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau to point people to the tours.

"They said a lot of time there are conferences in town where the spouses don't have anything to do," Linder said."Downtown has been under a revitalisation for several years now, I think it's a good way to get them downtown."

She is currently only doing private tours by appointment, but starting in the spring, she will be offering tours to larger groups. 

Columbia Culinary Tours offers three tours: Brunch, Flavors and Night on the Town. Prices range from $34 to $42 and $48 respectively, including the food consumed.