When you or your out-of-town guests consider a walking tour of Main Street food venues, Rachel McLaws of Gourmand Tours knows how to make every stop as refreshing as it is delicious. "My personality is all about energy!" says the long-time Parkite and second-generation food tour leader. "I love getting to know people, and it gives me life to teach and lead them to great food."

That Rachel has a keen ear for a good story is a definite bonus for tour attendees. A middle school English teacher who loves sharing thought-provoking literature with her students, Rachel spices up her tours with hidden historic morsels even locals might not know. "For example, there used to be more Banksy artwork on Main Street, but weather, salty roads and some of the art being on private property caused them to disappear," she said. 

Gourmand Tours will not be meeting that fate any time soon. Started in 2011 by Rachel's mom Chris when Rachel was still a student, the company consistently earns rave reviews. Rachel offers fascinated foodies insightful insider experiences informed by her and Chris' local catering background. "Main Street businesses are a close-knit culture, a community," she reflects. "One thing that makes it special is those who work in the service industry on Main take care of and support each other."

At home, Rachel enjoys her doggo Gooey ("She sticks to people and licks all the time," she laughs) while she and her husband raise a baby girl. She loves making new family memories in a place where her own childhood is still vivid. "I remember sledding on the ski resort runs on full moon nights and the beautiful, endless summer nights driving and relaxing outdoors," she recalls. 

Rachel's infectious joie de vivre and deep local knowledge exemplify the love of PC shared by so many Chamber partners. We're glad she – and Chris – are part of our family.