Meet a Business is a series featuring the person behind some of your favorite locally-owned businesses.
What is your name?
Brian Beard & Erin Beard
What's your hometown?
What is your business name?
Discover Richmond Tours
How many years have you owned/managed your business?
What did you want to be as a child?
Erin: I really wanted to be a pediatrician, but then I had to take organic chemistry and decided there were other ways I could help children!
What is the most popular item you sell?
Brian: Our food tours! They are the only thing we offered until the pandemic, and are still our most popular offering now.
What local business can you not live without?
Erin: Liberty Public House! I love the people, the food (that RVA Hot Chicken Sandwich is what dreams are made of), the atmosphere - everything!
In what ways has your business changed since COVID-19?
Erin: We've added a lot. Before the pandemic, we were solely a food tour business (and our name was River City Food Tours). But now we offer brewery tours, self-guided tours, custom events, scavenger hunts, gift boxes, and other retail items. And we changed our branding completely in March 2021 to match that shift.
How did you come up with the name for your business?
Brian: We thought to ourselves, 'At our core, what is it that we do?' and the answer is that we help people discover Richmond in all sorts of ways. Whether that's restaurants, breweries, interesting neighborhoods, or local makers, our customers discover what makes Richmond, well, Richmond!
How did you get the idea for your business?
Brian: Honestly? I wanted to do tours of some kind, and food tours checked all three important boxes for me at the time: it sounded fun, didn't require much start up capital, and I thought there was at least a modest-sized opportunity.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Erin: The ability to travel any where, any time, with the snap of my fingers.
What's your favorite thing to do in Richmond when you're not in your business?
Erin: Adult days off! We send the baby to daycare and we’ll go do an urban hike, followed by eating and drinking at a local restaurant!
What was the first concert you ever attended?
Erin: Reel Big Fish - it was a free outdoor concert at the University of Florida, and even though I only knew one song, it was really fun!
What do you love most about Richmond?
Brian: I love the small businesses here. Whenever I travel somewhere else, I'm always struck by how few chains there are within the city of Richmond. We take it for granted as patrons of those businesses, but they are what makes Richmond so great.
What's the best thing about being a local business owner?
Brian: It's a heck of a lot more interesting than our old corporate jobs!