BW Woman - Staci Giovino

BW Woman - Staci Giovino

Life in Brochu Walker

BW Woman – Staci Giovino Of Enjoy Carmel

Staci Giovino, Owner of Enjoy Carmel, by Carmel Food Tours is married with two adult children. Her side hustles include traveling (she moderates a group on Facebook with 64K+ members), teaching indoor cycling at Fuel Cycling in Monterey, and loving her 13-year-old Maltipoo, Chuck. She travels whenever possible and is always thrilled to experience new cultures and food.
Follow @enjoycarmel
Staci Giovino wearing Borchu Walker
Staci wears The Fia Belted Dress in Tuscany.

Tell us a bit about Enjoy Carmel, by Carmel Food Tours. What would you like a potential customer to know?

Enjoy Carmel, by Carmel Food Tours is a walking tasting tour company that recently rebranded to Enjoy Carmel, as our focus has broadened to include non-food activities…we want to be a resource for all who visit Carmel-by-the-Sea. From our signature Classic Food Tour to our Great Carmel Caper, we offer activities suited for solo travelers and large corporate groups alike.

Tell us about your career journey. What made you shift careers from being an interior designer in Colorado to running a food tour business in Carmel?

When my husband and I moved to the area for his job in 2009, I left a home and job I loved, my friends, and my family. Our kids were just leaving for college and a year abroad. Interior design was a passion…I was lucky to land in an unusual niche, designing dental offices and funeral homes, which I loved. Without the patience or attitude to be successful in residential design, and with the economy in a tailspin, necessity became the mother of invention. When a friend mentioned hearing about a food tour in another city, I was inspired.

Staci wears The Fiera Pant in Whisper Mélange, The Everyday Cashmere Bright Crew in Bisque Mélange and The Cashmere Fringe Wrap in Bisque Mélange.

Have food and wine always been passions of yours? How did you first become interested in food and wine?

Growing up with a single mom, and with lots of extended family in the area, we were visiting relatives’ homes often and eating whatever they prepared. This provided a great platform for trying new things, and for discovering what I did and didn’t like. I’m not a particularly adventurous eater, to be honest, but I love a wide variety of flavors (especially burn-your-face-off spicy). My first husband taught me a fair bit about wine, and I’ve been fortunate to land in a place where viticulture is growing faster than my palate. Food is a common bond, that people love to share; that’s what I enjoy…the social aspect of sharing a meal. Wine is a bonus.

How did you get your business off the ground in a town where this hadn’t been done before?

Starting any business is more difficult than anyone thinks it is. Starting this business was a little like reinventing the wheel. When you are selling an idea that no one has ever heard of, and you have no way to prove the value to potential employees and customers, it becomes a matter of tenacity. It’s taken years to develop relationships with tasting partners, and they are always in a state of constant evolution.

What is your favorite thing about creating and hosting food tours around Carmel?

We have a wonderful team of tour guides who lead the tours now, but I’m training or providing in-person support in town, I love seeing everyone I know around Carmel…waving to and hugging people and reinforcing the positive relationships with local businesses is what really lights me up. When they share a challenge and we can brainstorm solutions, it’s incredible. Those connections are priceless.

Staci wears The Fiera Pant in Black Onyx vegan leather and The Lori Off Shoulder in Air Blue Mélange.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your career and why?

Instead of addressing the most challenging, I’ll reframe that to share what has been the biggest breakthrough throughout these last 11 years. I’ve honed my people skills. When you’re dealing with the public, particularly those who are paying for something you’re offering, there WILL be complaints. Online reviews offer this weird sense of power through anonymity, and it’s remarkable how a minor issue can gain momentum when someone has decided to let the world know about their experience. The lesson of not taking things personally and responding in a thoughtful way to someone who is clearly spoiling for a fight is the most valuable thing I’ve learned.

We see you are now offering team building and private experiences in addition to your original classic tour. Any plans to expand further within the community offering other tours/services or partnering with new restaurants and businesses? What is your ultimate goal?

Enjoy Carmel will continue to add or change our offerings as our audience evolves. Right now, I am really loving the teambuilding scavenger hunt, a creative and sociable event in the village, designed to bring your group together for brain-twisting challenges and competitive fun. I’m also expanding our marketing to include not only our business, but to add more focus on other local businesses. I want Enjoy Carmel to be the most trusted local resource for anyone visiting – or thinking about visiting Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Staci wears The Fia Belted Dress in Tuscany.

What about Brochu Walker resonates with you most, and what are your favorite Brochu Walker pieces and why?

Everything at Brochu Walker is designed to look great and be comfortable. The mix-and-match quality of so many of the pieces create a variety of outfits that can be dressed up or down. Cozy sweaters are my favorites (The Lori Off-Shoulder and The Everyday Cashmere Bright Crewneck), and I could almost sleep in the vegan leather Fiera Pant. Honestly, if I could only have Brochu Walker clothing in my closet, I don’t feel like I’d be missing a thing in my wardrobe.