Driving up East McMillan towards Gilbert, you may have noticed the small, square, black sign hanging with a white script stating, “La Soupe.”
If you’re anything like me and have only driven past after 4 p.m. you might have thought they weren’t open yet. (Surprise! They’ve been a storefront since April of 2020.) Needless to say, I was lucky enough one Thursday afternoon to stop in and pick up some items for lunch.
Out of the countless options, I settled on the chicken gumbo and their new fall salad that you can have with or without chicken. They even give a portion of proceeds from the gumbo sales to help victims of Hurricane Ida. They also have a community fridge that offers larger bottled drinks to be purchased or you can choose a can that may be dented or some form of imperfection, for free.
La Soupe sells frozen soups, fresh salads, and usually one or two non-frozen soups. Even better is the fact their mission of transforming rescued food into meals has helped them share over 1.2 million servings in the Cincinnati community. They are able to do this through sales in their storefront and helpful volunteers, according to Suzy DeYoung, founder and executive director of La Soupe.
“We are always looking for people to volunteer. In fact, we would love to get people into our Cooking Improv class,” DeYoung says. “It’s a fun way for the community to learn how to cook and learn about our mission.”
The mission? Rescue-Transform-Share. Cincinnati is listed with a poverty rate of about 26% and about 40% of the world’s food is either wasted or lost. So Suzy decided to reach out to local restaurants and grocery stores to see if they would donate any product that would be deemed “unsellable”
Something as simple as a dent in a green bean can deem it unusable. La Soupe’s kitchen then takes the food and prepares it into meals that will be distributed to people and places in need throughout Cincinnati.
If you are passionate about giving back or just love a really good soup, take the time to stop by on weekdays before 4 p.m. If you give the store a call, they can even have it waiting for you to pick up.
The Cooking Improv class will help La Soupe’s kitchen prepare chopped vegetables and offer a cooking demo with samples. They are held every Tuesday from 1:30-3:30 and you can sign up here.