Kevin and Elizabeth Hindley’s love story is intertwined with their deep love for food, and has culminated in both a marriage and a company, Food Done It?
Elizabeth, who was born and raised on Long Island, went to St. Joseph’s College and has pursued a career as a teacher. But one thing was always at the back of her mind: food.
“I was always interested in culinary experiences, so I would go out with friends to the usual places like Huntington, and then Patchogue started to become heavy on the restaurant end and then Babylon Village. I was always interested in restaurants and wanted to open one, but I didn’t have that degree.”
Enter Kevin. The two met at a Starbucks four years ago, after Kevin moved from Colorado.
Shortly after the two began dating, Elizabeth’s mother passed away, bringing the couple closer together.
“After the loss of my mother, that’s when it sort of came to me,” explained Elizabeth of how Food Done It?, an edible mystery tour, came to be. “I wanted something different and fresh. I love teaching, but I wanted more and something fun for people. Coming out of a dark place, it just sort of came to me. I pitched the idea to Kevin and he understood it immediately. Both of us are sort of on the creative side and foodies.”
After having taken a few food tours on her own and seeing the rise in escape rooms, Elizabeth realized it would be a great idea to combine trivia and puzzles with food. And because the two had full-time jobs, they needed to come up with a way to run the tour without having to be present.
So the two created a system where participants are given a restaurant location to meet at to begin their Food Done It? tour in one of the four locations—Patchogue, Huntington, Babylon and Rockville Centre (the company’s newest location). Along with the instruction, they are given a link to a downloadable app that will guide the party through the tour and one of their story lines (specific to location), which now includes The Cupcake Conundrum, Fire and Ice (cream), The Ghost of Capsaicin and the Tour You Can’t Refuse.
A group of friends or family meet up at the starting restaurant, which might take their drink order and give them a puzzle to work on while they fire up the grill in the back for a first tasting. The story line doesn’t begin until all are seated at the table ready to go.
“Once you’re in our app, you’re introduced to our story line, the events that happened in nights prior, if there was a murder or food turned up hot,” explained Kevin. “That’s where you find out all about it and meet the character on the phone, scrolling and reading through dialogue with a friend.”
Then the app will give directions to the next location, which is usually a retail store, and involves a scavenger hunt. Once completed, the group heads off the next restaurant.
The tour is designed to be a large meal spread out over the approximately four-hour experience. The tour has five food stops: three savory and two sweet, with a sweet stop in the middle to break up the savory stops, and a larger dessert at the end.
“We don’t want anyone to leave hungry,” said Kevin.
On the couple’s first tour, Cupcake Conundrum—their beta launch tour—in Patchogue, Kevin proposed to Elizabeth.
“I thought it’d be a cute mystery involving food,” said Elizabeth. “I didn’t know he was writing the story to propose to me. It’s still being used. At the end, he got down on one knee. We started a business the same day we got engaged.”
Since that day, the tours have been flourishing, with some Long Islanders having completed all tours multiple times.
“It makes me happy people are having fun, always laughing and are too full,” Elizabeth said of what she feels is most rewarding about the business. “It’s fun to see they are choosing Food Done It? for their special occasion.”
To purchase an experience, gift cards or for more information, visit www.fooddoneit.com. The tour is $63 plus tax, fees and tips per person.