The Soup Shop is the perfect place to grab delicious, artisan crafted soups. Check out my interview with the owner, Julie Shipley, to learn more about this delicious success story!
- Hello! Can you tell us more about yourself and TheSoupShop.com?
My name is Julie Shipley. I’m a wife, mother, and entrepreneur from Melbourne, Florida. My husband Phillip and I have been married for 25 years. He’s a retired pilot, and our son Ross is entering the Coast Guard.
- What inspired you to create such a tasty company?
My business started after a chance conversation with a local café owner. I had gone to culinary school as a hobby. When the café owner asked me if I knew how to make soup I told her that I could. I took her samples of 6 kinds of soup the next day and she hired me to make soup for her. I had a 3 foot by 4 foot table and 2 burners in a tiny corner of her kitchen. Now I have 24 burners in a 1500 square foot kitchen and make 1000 gallons of soup per week!
- What is the most popular soup on your menu?
Chicken Enchilada is without a doubt our most popular soup. We make a dozen different types of chicken soup and over seventy different soups altogether, but everyone keeps coming back for our Chicken Enchilada Soup. It is not just popular at our store, but we get lots of nationwide soup orders for Chicken Enchilada Soup too!
- Are there any family recipes that made the cut? If so, which items?
While all of the recipes are mine there a few soups that I made at home prior to starting the business. They are black bean with ham, stuffed cabbage and beef barley.
All three are very popular with our takeout soup customers and our nationwide shipping customers.
- As a business, you offer online shipping services (awesome!). Were there any initial challenges shipping foods? If so, how did you rise to overcome those challenges?
Delivering soup nationwide wasn’t in our original plans, but lots of our customers are what we call “snow birds”. They live up north and come to the East Coast of Florida every winter.
They enjoyed our soups during their winter stay and wanted to be able to enjoy our soups all year long.
Learning to ship fresh soup across the US was indeed a trick! Beyond the obvious hurdles, I had to find a container that would survive having 170 degree soup poured into it, being plunged into icy buckets of water for rapid cooling (without leaking) and then being placed in a super cold freezer. This was no easy feat! After I conquered this I had to locate high efficiency insulation, ice bricks and shipping containers.
Now we offer forty of our soups, chowders and bisques for nationwide delivery. We also have a SoupScription where people can automatically receive a different coup of their choice each month!
- It’s a great time of year to enjoy a warm bowl of soup. Any suggestions for the perfect holiday soup?
I think that Butternut Squash is the perfect holiday starter. it is a delicate, slightly creamy vegetable puree that will fire up your taste buds without filling you up before the main course.
The Soup Shop, Inc.
4100 N. Wickham Rd. #104
Melbourne, FL 32935