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December 8, 2015

Creating a business with a real following

Serial entrepreneur Jess Thomson has put her background in event management to good use with her latest venture - Square Mile Tours - that fills a big gap in the Adelaide market.

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  • Words: Farrin Foster
  • Pictures: Lewis Whittenbury

Sometimes new businesses appear that fulfil a function that is so obviously necessary, it defies belief that no-one was doing it before.


Tours can be booked through the Square Mile Tours website.

Jess Thomson’s Square Mile Tours is that kind of business. Capitalising on Adelaide’s new found status as an undiscovered cool destination and our long-held reputation for standout food and wine while also making the most of our penchant for bicycles, Jess gives locals and tourists the opportunity to explore the best of the city.

Launched yesterday, Square Mile Tours grew out of Jess’ ongoing affection for the CBD and her experiences working with big events.

“I loved my career in events. I was an event manager and worked for the Fringe and music festivals,” she says. “I loved that career trajectory, but I really wanted to do something for myself and I love eating out and drinking so this perfect.”

To start with, Jess is offering two tours. The coffee ride, which covers five destinations in five hours of leisurely cycling and is limited to groups of ten. The venues are secret, but it involves everything from lunch to a cupping session to a gin and tonic.

The second tour is a roaming degustation, which again covers five venues in five hours in a group of ten, but this time is conducted on foot and includes an entree and matched drink at each location.

She’s hoping to expand her offering quickly though.

“I’m trying to organise them and get them together ready for the tourism season in February and March,” she says.

“Over that period I should have about six tours that I will run myself and potentially bring someone else on to do more. It will be some busy weeks of eating and drinking!”

Jess says she believes the business will provide some variety in Adelaide’s tourism offering.

“It’s quite old school, the tourism industry. It’s great to get out there and show people some new spots and cool spots – even with locals, it’s not just for tourists,” she says.

With a plan to work with concierges and other influential people in the tourism market, and a solid product, Square Mile Tours are bound to be more and more visible around in the city in the coming months.


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