La Soupe Cincinnati founder Suzy DeYoung was born into a family of “cooking royalty”. Her father, Pierre Adrian, brought fine dining and the city’s first Mobil 5 star rating to Cincinnati with The Maisonette. Her maternal grandfather, Albert Schmidt, was the chef of the Union Club in New York City. Another grandfather, Theo Kieffer was the Chef of the Sherry Netherland in NYC. Following in her father’s footsteps, she worked both the front and back of the house in many iconic Cincinnati restaurants and then in France, before returning to open La Petite Pierre in Cincinnati with her sister. In 2014, she took a huge leap of faith and launched La Soupe. For most of that first year, La Soupe was a small soup shack cooking for a few people in need and rescuing 100 pounds of produce a week. Suzy was scrolling through Facebook one morning and came across this post from a teacher at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill:
“Oyler School is out of food to send home in weekend power packs for the children. That means many of our kids do not eat from the time they are released from school on Friday, until they return to school on Monday. This is not an exaggeration. I personally know of several children who were given six meals throughout the day today, because they starved all weekend, plus the snow day. One girl was too weak to climb the steps. I carried her, put her in a desk, and had to administer the state standardized test. I have 136 students. 11 have coats. The rest are cold and all are hungry.”
Suzy loaded all the food she had and headed to Oyler. She set up a row of tables and every kid at school got a healthy meal to take home that day. That day marked the true start of La Soupe’s mission and Suzy’s calling in the community. La Soupe rescues otherwise wasted produce to create delicious and highly-nutritious meals for customers, non-profits and food-insecure families. Each week, La Soupe is rescuing 8,000 pounds of perishables and sharing approximately 6,500 servings via 81 partner agencies.