Meet the experience provider – Kelham Island Food Tours

Sophie and the team at Kelham Island Food Tours

A couple of weeks ago I went down to sunny Sheffield to meet Sophie Barber who runs Kelham Island Food Tours. We met at the The Cutlery Works which is one of the venues on Sophie’s Taste of Kelham Island Food Tour and chatted about her love of the local area and what people can expect on one of her tours.


What can people expect from your tours?

“If you have a Taste of Kelham Food Tour you can expect three and a half hours of food, drink, history, insight into the local eating out scene and a really great, social experience.” 


What do you love about running the tours?

Seeing people having a great time and their reactions to the venues and food is very rewarding – this along with the fact we are helping to promote and support local businesses makes it a win win for everyone!

pizzas at breyt dough in kelham island sheffield

Favourite place to eat in Sheffield?

Hard to say, I think different places for different things – Heist for great beer, Konjo at Cutlery Works for really high quality street food and Edo Sushi for fantastic sushi and Japanese food. Breyt Dough is the best pizza I have ever had and I am not just saying that because they are one of our venue partners!


What have you learned from owning your own business?

That it is important to prioritise and keep focussed on what is going to grow your business and create enough revenue for you to live on. It is very easy to get distracted by new, shiny projects but as a sole trader, there are only so many hours in the day so you need to be realistic. I have found I sometimes take too much on and then it all stops being fun. Stick to your knitting as someone once said to me!


What’s one piece of advice for anyone starting their own business that you wish someone had told you?

That it can take a long time to get to a place where you feel like you are in control and confident with your offering – you are learning so much, making mistakes and doing the groundwork. laying foundations for quite a long time before it feels like it is viable – this is my experience anyway.



group of people on a food tour at kelham island in sheffield

What do you love about Sheffield – what’s the city’s USP?

I am from Sheffield but spent nearly 20 years living away before moving back in 2017. I was reminded (and still am) by the warmth and friendliness of Sheffielders – people don’t take themselves too seriously and we don’t really do pretentious. I have  probably met thousands  of people on the tours now and I am always struck by how lovely everyone is.



Any plans for 2024 you can share with us?

I will be launching Sheffield Food Tours in Summer 2024 – Kelham Island Food Tours will still exist as a brand but  I feel it is the right time to expand to the city centre and neighbourhoods as there are so many great food and drink offerings now. I am also looking to launch a self-guided food tour option – more on that soon!