Tell us about Soupergirl! How long has it been up and running for? When did you become Kosher certified?
I launched Soupergirl three years ago this fall. It has been quite a wild ride. We started cooking the basement of a now closed Spanish restaurant. Eventually we moved into a synagogue, and then finally into our own new space. We built our own kitchen/retail space and plan to open in early September. For the past three years we’ve been distributing our products via delivery to people’s homes and offices and and to various partner pick up locations around DC, MD, and NOVA. We started off with two soups a week. We’ve since added grain salads and salsas, and are continuing to expand our line of food.
Our soups and salads are made primarily from ingredients from small, local farms around the area. We only cook what’s in season. You’ll never see an asparagus soup on our menu in January! Our soups are incredibly healthy, but we don’t think you’ll notice! I had one customer lose 25 pounds by switching to the “soup diet.” Our soups and salads are vegan and kosher. We were under the conservative supervision of Rabbi Ethan Siedel while cooking out of his synagogue, Tifereth Israel. We are now under the orthodox kosher supervision of Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom, along with the assistance of other local, kosher supervisors.
How exactly does it work? How does the soup get from your kitchen to my mouth?
Our order window opens every Monday morning. We announce our menu of the week via an email that goes out bright and early every Monday. Customers have until Thursday evening to place their orders. They receive their soups, salads, and sides the following week. The exact timing is based on their delivery address or chosen pick up location. Coming in a month, people will also be able to buy soup at our new retail location in Takoma, DC. We are located at 314 Carroll Street, right across the street from the Takoma Metro.
What’s the inspiration behind the store? On your website it says you were going to try farming, but that you don’t look good in overalls. Did you actually buy some to try on?
I did briefly consider learning to become a farmer. But I’m glad I chose soup. For many, many reasons!
I first heard about you through former Jewish Guy of the Week Steve D. and his store Mr. Yogato. What’s your connection to Steve/Mr. Yogato?
Steve – AKA Mr. Yogato – was our very first pick up location! That spot continues to be one of the most popular pick up locations in the city. We love Mr. Yogato!!
Are you involved in the DC Jewish community? If so, what do you do?
I’m a member of DC Minyan. I used to be a bit more involved, but Soupergirl takes up basically all of my time.
Why should I care where my food came from? Subway sandwiches haven’t killed me yet…
I could go on for pages and pages about why you should care where you food comes from! I’ll just pick a few key words – fresh! safe! environment!
If President Obama asked you to send him some soup, what type would you make?
I think the president could use a bowl of our Papa Al Pomodoro soup. We’re making that next week. Full of fresh summer tomatoes, basil, and rustic bread – it won’t rescue the stock market but it might make him smile for a few minutes!