The Trailblazers of the New Jersey Food Tour Trail

Brought together by the pandemic, seven women find that working together to promote Jersey food knowledge makes for some tasty adventures.

food tour
At La Doña Restaurante Mexicano with Cape May Food Tours. Photo courtesy of Cape May Food Tours

There is a lot more to New Jersey’s food scene than just Taylor Ham and pizza, and seven women—each running her own food tour—realized that they’d spread the word more effectively if they banded together.

Pre-pandemic, the women occasionally discussed tour strategies, viewing one another as allies and mentors, rather than competitors. Then, when the pandemic hit and their tours were suspended, the ladies formed the New Jersey Food Tour Trail.

The Food Tour Trail includes:

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“We thought, ‘Are we all really competitors?’” says Wiggins, owner and operator of On the Town Food Tours. “We’ve all made our small, unique industry successful. Working together was a way better option than being competitors.”

Wiggins started out by doing tours on weekends, bringing family and friends to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. After realizing how much she enjoyed introducing people to new foods and local history, she launched On the Town Food Tours in 2014, which covers the South Jersey towns of Atlantic City, Bordentown, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Hammonton and Mount Holly.

On the Town creates a tour unique to each location, with stops highlighting sweet and savory dishes alike, as well as art, shopping and history. With around 12 people per group, Wiggins’ walks last around three hours, ranging from $55–$80, depending on location.

As much as Wiggins enjoys showing how special her towns are, she’s equally passionate about “helping the community with bringing people into local restaurants and shops.”

food tour

At Village Idiot Brewing Company in Mount Holly with On the Town Food Tours. Photo courtesy of On the Town Food Tours

Elizabeth Horvath, going on four years in the tour business, calls her Lambertville-based tour her “passion project.” Because her company, Sister Cities Food and Shop Tours, is close to the Delaware River, guests get to explore the colorful town of New Hope, Pennsylvania.

The walking tour is filled with history, shopping and dishes from local chefs, varying based on what they decide to whip up that day. Though some dates are blocked off due to heat, Horvath runs her tours all year, even in winter, which she says is actually her favorite time of year.

“Running your own business can be isolating, but for me, it’s incredibly validating being able to share the challenges and victories of the business with a group,” says Horvath in regards to joining New Jersey Food Tour Trails. Now that they’re working together, the women make sure to let their guests know of the other great food tours going on across the state.

“I love working with all the women, and we really know how to take care of our customers,” says Wiggins. “We all love food, and doing this is something I really, truly enjoy.”

The New Jersey Food Tour Trail comprises seven tours covering Morristown, Newark, Lambertville, Jersey City, Red Bank, Somerville, Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Bordentown, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Hammonton, Mount Holly and Cape May. Visit the website to book your tour and read more about the women behind them.

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