Amada Anderson seeks to show the community a taste of Winter Haven one tour at a time.
“I like to open people’s minds,” said Anderson, 40, founder of Winter Haven Food Tours.
Anderson was born in Indiana and moved to South Florida as a child. She graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in Theater in 2004 and Music in 2006.
After graduation, Anderson moved to New York City, moonlighting while working as an administrative assistant by day and in the theater at night. She often took the train to and from Grand Central Station. One of his wishes was to tour Grand Central.
“Of course, when you live in New York City, you never go to the Statue of Liberty or do anything touristy like that. You just push yourself around,” Anderson said.
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Anderson finally made the tour of Grand Central Station when a friend came over to visit him. During the tour, she asked the owner if he hired actors.
“I was like I was interested in becoming a tour guide. I think I can do it, ”Anderson said.
It was a plus that Anderson had office experience. She worked in her office during the day and gave ghost tours at night.
“I loved it so much that I dove into creating my own tour,” Anderson said.
Anderson created New York Broadway Tours, which allowed him to put his musical theater experience to good use.
“This kind of visit is an interactive experience. So you’ll go to New Amsterdam where “Aladdin” is playing right now, and then we’ll talk about the history of the theater and sing a song from “Aladdin,” Anderson said.
With an elderly mother in mind and planning to start a family, Anderson and her husband moved to Polk County in April 2019. She started working for the Winter Haven Clerk and acclimated it to downtown restaurants. .
“I was trying to think of a way to get back to work with what’s going on in the world. I couldn’t help but think of downtown Winter Haven and how cool it is, ”she said.
“It’s like a little EPCOT. There’s Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Thai, there’s a Vietnamese place now,” Anderson added.
Anderson decided to start Winter Haven Food Tours in December 2020. She held her first tour in March. She said she enjoyed sharing her cooking experiences with others.
“I appreciate that there is so much to share,” Anderson said. “I like to open up the idea of traveling and having shared experiences.”
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Anderson believes there is potential to expand food tours, starting with Auburndale, where she lives.
“We have some cool places here to eat with a bunch of great historical books that have been placed,” Anderson said. “So I played with the idea that there would be an Auburndale Food Tour.”
Winter Haven Food Tours offers tours for coffee and tea, happy hour, brunch, and dessert. For more information, visit https://winterhavenfoodtours.com.
Breanna A. Rittman writes news articles for The Ledger. Send your feature ideas to [email protected]