Starting a Six-Figure Food Tour Company | Christine Hughey

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Today’s episode features Christine Hughey who owns A Little Local Flavor food tour business.

Christine navigated several cities and years to land her dream job in Nashville.

Then shortly after, Christine would be celebrating a new marriage and devastated by their household income dropping from $120k to $35k.

At the bottom, she took a challenge to start her own business and in no time had created a six-figure food tour company that is growing at leaps and bounds.

Listen, learn, and let us know what you think about Christine’s amazing turnaround.

Episode Summary

Christine’s background

  • She feels like she had a better than average financial understanding growing up
  • Christine would go visit who are Grandmother who tasked them with tracking stock prices
  • Her Grandmother would also buy them small stocks in companies they understood
  • It gave them something to chat about over their times apart
  • Christine admits that she took all those lessons for granted until much later
  • When it was time to go to college, Christine wanted to get into the print industry
  • This ended up requiring her to get an engineering degree at the college she was at
  • From there she moved to Colorado and got a job she did not enjoy

Journey Towards FI

  • In 2006 she is making around $35k per year and saving around $200 per month
  • She also realized a true engineering job wasn’t going to be there for her in Denver
  • From there she moved to a small town in Texas for a few years
  • Then her dream job opened up in Nashville, TN

Things Begin to Fall Apart

  • We’re now entering 2013 on the journey and Christine is hitting her groove
  • Until she is shocked to find out that she’ll be losing that dream job quickly after starting
  • Leading up to this, they had tried to push more and more work on her with no increased pay
  • Christine’s husband helped her through this down period
  • Then she got a new contract for a dream job as an engineer and things were looking up
  • Then six weeks after their honeymoon, that new contract got pulled and she was unemployed
  • On top of this, her husband lost his largest income-generating gig
  • Six weeks after their honeymoon they saw their pay get cut from $120k to $35k
  • They started cutting all expenses and downsizing their house
  • Christine admits that the whole experience was crushing
  • She vowed to never let one company be the source of her income

The turnaround

  • Christine finally finds work at a food tour company in Nashville
  • The hours are long and the pay had gotten cut in half
  • Then January 2018 happened and her life completely changed
  • This was when she attended her first financial independence event
  • Christine attended CampFI down in Florida
  • At the conference, she was challenged to start her own food tour company
  • When she got home, she quit her job and started her own business that May
  • This was the start of A Little Local Flavor

Building a Six-Figure Business

  • Christine admits she was out of her comfort zone
  • What got her through was just taking one small step every day
  • Most of her education came from podcasts
  • It took some time for her to shed being an engineer as her identity
  • As she built her team she had several keys she wanted to hit
  • Some things she wanted was to fair pay, have strong values, and a good work environment
  • She then layers in lots of bonuses into her employees’ pay
  • This small step really incentivizes them to do great work
  • By the end of 2018, they had over $60k in sales
  • But then 2019 grew like crazy
  • She grew her team to include 8 employees
  • They also saw the number of visitors grow to 4400 and sales to $330k
  • With that, they took home 23% as profit
  • Christine expects to grow that margin and increase tour types and locations
  • Her 2020 goal is $500k for the company
  • She also hopes to be able to scale back her involvement


Key Takeaways

  1. Social Currency: Christine talks about how to put out goodwill and fair pay and that’ll come back in multiples
  2. Taking a leap of faith: She took a leap in a smart way with a company that needed a low investment to start

Call to Action

Go out and build your social currency. Just give back and find a way you can collaborate with someone to make a positive change. You’d be surprised the good you can accomplish and the influence it can have on your own success.

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T’s Information

Her Company’s Facebook: A Little Local Flavor

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