Pam Shwartz on food, family, and to do lists
Perhaps you have seen Pam leading a group of people through the streets of New Bedford, animatedly talking to them, a The Baker box in one hand and a map of some kind in the other. If so, you were witnessing her on one of her food tours, recently launched by her and her wife, Sara Gonzalez.
After many years doing a variety of things, from teaching circus school to middle school science, Pam and her wife decided to start their own small business, and Pam is a natural! If you haven’t had the opportunity to witness Pam in action leading a tour, maybe you have noticed her bustling around town with one or both of her kids in tow, or rowing with one of the two row teams she is a part of.
Wherever you may see Pam, she probably has a smile on her face and a story to share. When you are as busy as Pam, there are always stories to tell and things to learn!
What is your profession?
I own New Bedford Food Tours, and am an educator by training.
Describe a typical work day for you.
I am usually up by 6am with my 2 children. After dropping the kids off at school I head down to Groundwork and spend a few hours taking care of logistics and working on marketing for New Bedford Food Tours. By noon I am downtown waiting for my tour group to meet me. I spend the next 3 hours taking my group around downtown, stopping at restaurants to eat, and telling them all about the history of New Bedford. The tour finishes by 3:30, and I scoot over to pick up the kids before heading home.
What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?
As a new business, there are so many things to learn and do. Figuring out how best to prioritize action items is challenging.
Do you have a morning routine?
I have 2 separate routines, one for most days, and one for mornings when I go rowing. On a rowing day I wake up at 5am, throw on some clothes, grab my water bottle, and hop in the car to be at the boats by 5:45. I spend a fabulous hour rowing in the New Bedford Harbor before I head home to help get the kids and myself ready for the day.
On days I don’t row, I usually take my son downstairs to let the dog out while my wife gets our daughter dressed. Once she comes down I make sure both kids have breakfast while I get their lunches ready for school and daycare. I try to get my bag packed the day before, so that when it’s time to go, I grab all 3 backpacks, load them on my bike, and get both kids on the back of the bike so I can drop them off at school before I head to Groundwork. Since I often don’t get a chance to eat in the hustle and bustle, I usually pack some oatmeal to make once I arrive.
What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?
To do list… Everything goes on the list! I also keep a file of blurbs or emails I send often so I can cut and paste, and just tweak as needed. And walking meetings; I will often schedule business meetings so that I can do the meeting while walking the dog.
What do you listen to during the day?
NPR or Vitamin String Quartet.
How do you benefit from using a coworking space?
Being around people working makes me more productive. Plus, I love the social aspect of coworking; It’s nice to have a conversation while grabbing a cup of coffee.
What’s in your digital toolbox? (Favorite apps, hardware, etc.)
Airpods, ToDo, Apple Watch with timer, T-Connect and Dexcom (app that shows me by blood sugars, and lets me control my insulin pump from my phone), Dark Sky (to check the weather for a tour, or to decide whether to bike or drive), Hoopla for audiobooks from the library, Kindle, Alexa shopping list, Cricut Maker, FareHarbor (app that takes care of all our ticketing.)
What is the best part of your day?
The fabulous greetings I get from my kids when I see them after a day of school.
What inspires you?
- How we use Slack to foster community - March 17, 2023
- Von Marie Moniz: Latina powerhouse of the South Coast - March 13, 2023
- Francesca Martin: Inspiring & inspired by people - February 23, 2023