We had the good fortune of connecting with Lali & Paul Miles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lali & Paul, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of Food Walks of Texas and what we have tried to be known for as a food tour business is that, first and foremost, we are in the experiential entertainment business, something we call “eatertainment.” There are a number of things that people can decide where to spend their entertainment dollars and we have designed all of our tour offerings with that in mind. Additionally, we are also competing with the fact that our tour guests always have the opportunity to eat, drink, and patronize all of our food partners on their own, so we knew from the very start that we needed to provide significant value-add to make the dining visit unique, enjoyable, and entertaining. Also, to guarantee the highest quality eatertainment experience, we had to be able to have 100% buy-in to what we are doing by our food partners. From our first tour given, the goal was to present their business in a VIP format for the tour guest, providing insight into the business, the owner, and the food item. We strive to be seen as a partner in this small aspect of their business. Finally, we have made McKinney our home for 27-years and it is a place that we love. That love and appreciation for the city and for our partners is genuine, which also is made resoundingly clear in each and every Food Walks of Texas food tour given.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Food has always been a love of Lali’s as a result of the many different places she has lived in and visited around the world. She’s obsessed over celebrity chefs and has taken culinary courses to gain more knowledge in the kitchen. She loves enjoying a great meal, entertaining with good friends, and exploring new restaurants. While Paul loves to eat food, he really has a interest for history. Paul has also traveled extensively around the world which provided him with an appreciation for new cultures, allowed him to broaden his relationships, and encouraged him to expand his palate. Additionally we have worked professionally in sales and customer service. We’ve allowed our career experience and passions to merge with the founding of Food Walks of Texas. While Paul leads most of the tours, Lali handles the majority of the marketing and technical work. This balance makes us great business partners. We both continue to work full-time in addition to running the food tours. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you’re never too old to pursue your daydream!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
McKinney is one of the larger suburban cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and, as such, has a lot to offer visitors to the area. One of the Crown Jewels ifs McKinney’s Historic Downtown, which earned the prestigious Cultural District Designation from the Texas Commission on the Arts in 2018. The district hosts over 300 events annually including the Oktoberfest and Arts in Bloom festivals, concerts at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, art exhibitions, museums, DFW’s top rated Farmers Market and countless events at the various venues and businesses that call the district home. McKinney has many parks and hike and bike trails available for fitness and enjoyment. If there is an interest in golf there is an array of courses, both public and private, to meet almost any skill level and handicap. The AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament will be played at McKinney’s TPC Craig Ranch starting in 2021.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A food tour can be remembered for a number of things but food is a cornerstone and, as such we want to recognize our restaurant and specialty retail partners: Cadillac Pizza Pub, The Celt, Cocktail Creamery, Ettiene Market, Goodies Texas, Hugs Cafe, Landon Winery, Local Yocal, Loco Cowpoke, McKinney Farmer’s Market, McKinney Tea & Spice Merchant, Mom and Popcorn, The Pantry, Patina Green, The Pub, Rye, Savor Patisserie, and Spoons Cafe. We’re also appreciative to the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, Visit McKinney, and McKinney Main Street for your support and encouragement. It is humbling to know that we have these names endorsing our tour business.