One question that we sometimes get asked is “Why Runner Bean Tours?” Certainly not a common name for a tour company. Well, if someone is looking for an elaborate story with a meaningful background and, maybe, a final punch, I am afraid they will be disappointed. The answer to why we are called Runner Bean Tours is a lot simpler than that: no reason at all! Continue reading to find out all about… The Bean.
Let’s go back to 2009 when Ann-Marie and myself were thinking of starting a new tour company in Barcelona. The idea was to offer something that we thought was lacking in the city at the time: good friendly quality tours at affordable prices. During the process of forming the company, we came across the problem of how to name it. We knew we wanted something fresh, different, fun and definitely a name that people would remember. Names like “Walking Barcelona Tours“, “Barcelona on Foot Tours” or “The walks of Barcelona” were definitely off the table. Who would remember that? Then, one morning, Ann-Marie had a vision, and a very strange one if you ask me. She pictured a vegetable walking around the streets of Barcelona, carrying a backpack and holding a camera. The vegetable was a runner bean.
I am not going to give you a long-winded explanation about why they call this veggie runner bean but I can tell you it has nothing to do with the act of running (we are a walking tour company after all ;-). So Ann-Marie suggested: “why not Runner Bean Tours?” And the answer was: why not! It was surely fresh, different, fun and a name you would remember.
So we had the name, now we needed The Bean. The first bean was designed by Ann-Marie herself and the character was a master of disguise. One day you would see him carrying his camera, another day wearing a clown’s nose and holding a lollipop (for our Kids & Family Tour), sometimes dressed as a medieval jester (for the Gothic Quarter Tour) and even transformed into the most famous architect of Barcelona: Antoni Gaudí (I don’t think I need to tell you which tour that was for).
But after the years the bean needed to be updated so we contacted Christoph Kirsch, a professional illustrator based in the city, to give him a facelift. The new bean that came out of his pencil was leaner, more smiley and suddenly it had managed to get hold of a folder and a microphone. And yes, it had legs (this was a walking tour company, remember?). The legs are still in there and we are hoping that one day he will be able to use them but when the bean became part of our logo (wonderfully designed by Elena Muné), the legs somehow got lost.
And this is the story of our bean. A bean that tells a lot about ourselves, our company and how we have been developing our family business thanks to hard work but, mainly, to all the wonderful people who have joined us on our walking tours all these years. I guess this post is dedicated to you all. Thank you once again 🙂
Photograph of runner beans by nociveglia