Kayte Rock from Soup du Jar sells “comfort and love, one ladle at a time”. She’s convinced that “feeding people runs deep in [her] DNA”, but we’re starting to think that soup runs right through her veins. With soups for every dietary need and taste preference, Soup du Jar has something for everyone!
Read on to learn more about this great True Local supplier.
Who is the creator at Soup du Jar?
Where are you located?
New Denver, BC
What do you make?
We make a range of delectable soups, all from scratch. Our soups meet the nutritional demands of today’s educated consumers, while remaining incredibly tasty and wholesome. We prepare about 25 different soup flavours each season, all hand-crafted and using locally-sourced goods.
What’s your company’s mission?
Our mission is to provide delectable and healthy soups while supporting the local community, environment and economy.
Sounds like some true True Local spirit! How do you accomplish this mission?
Easy! I love feeding people. I best accomplish this by crafting soups from natural ingredients, mountain spring water, and local produce and meat. I purchase most of my raw ingredients locally and maintain positive relationships with many farmers. I even commission some folks to grow herbs for me!
I employ five locals, donate a fair amount of soup to various local charity endeavors annually, and I started a graduation bursary.
You’d be surprised how well a wholesome bowl of soup can feed a whole community!
Yes, exactly, that reminds me of Stone Soup! Tell me more about your community-building endeavors…
Well, we’re in the business of providing comfort, nutrition, and convenience through our delicious soups. To me, healthy communities need healthy kids. In 2006, Soup du Jar started providing soups to school lunch programs. The soups we serve at schools are kid-approved because they’re delicious and they’re parent- and teacher-approved because they’re healthy!
The success of the next generation is important to me. Not only do they need healthful foods to eat, they need support in other ways. That’s why I started the Soup du Jar bursary, awarded to local high school graduates who demonstrate individuality and entrepreneurial spirit.
I also have an incentive program called Feeding Community Together, whereby if a wholesale purchaser buys a certain number of cases, I donate a corresponding amount in their honour to a community kitchen or school of their choice.
How long have you been in business?
My business started at the Nakusp Farmers’ Market in 2006, where I brought my first dozen jars of soup and sold out in a half hour!
What motivated you to start?
This may sound silly, but it just felt like I needed to.
I love soup because it’s complete nutrition while being delicious and comforting. It’s also a great way to preserve the wonderful bounty of harvest times, ensuring we can eat local all year long!
What are some of your greatest joys?
I cannot emphasize enough how much I really love feeding people – friends, family, neighbours, whomever! I am of Jewish/Hungarian farming descent and food was central to everything. I’m convinced that feeding people runs deep in my DNA.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Hmmm. My kitchen is in New Denver which is definitely North Valley. There are logistical challenges that I regularly face, like distance to markets. Thankfully, the stress of such challenges seem to melt away when I walk along Slocan Lake or take in any view in my town.
What is your vision for your company?
I am most excited about my new composting ecology project. I would love to purchase a boar and raise it by feeding it all of my kitchen scraps (of which, I must admit, there are many).
The goal would then be to donate the harvested boar to local food banks. If there is a farmer who lives near New Denver who wants to discuss this, I would welcome that!
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
There are so many reasons. Can I even say something here that we don’t all know already?!?
If you had to try…?
The food tastes better; it’s fresher because it’s travelled less. Purchasing locally has the potential to positively and directly impact the people who live within our region. Every single person, team or family who runs a business has created a micro economy. You can really see and even feel the impact when you are community-minded.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
I want to say thank you all so very much.
The Kootenay Co-op started purchasing soup from Soup du Jar in 2007 and have been quite supportive ever since. The Co-op has been an excellent resource and has allowed my business to grow!
Thank you to my loyal customers. I feel so honoured that Soup du Jar is operating in its 11th year.
Learn more on Soup du Jar’s website.
See additional Farmer & Supplier Profiles here.