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Feeding the hungry a bowl of soup at a time

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Suzy DeYoung was born to cook.

She comes from a family of chefs and owned a catering company, La Petite Pierre in Madeira for nearly 25 years.  DeYoung is starting what she calls her "second act." She's opening La Soupe on Round Bottom Rd. in Anderson Twp.

"It's beyond. It's like I've dreamed about this forever and it's pretty cool," DeYoung said.

DeYoung's French-style soup shack is a business but one of its core functions is to give back by feeding the hungry, homeless and others in need. The concept is simple: buy a bowl of soup and DeYoung will donate a bowl.

"Every time you buy you know that we're feeding somebody else. The more you support me the more I can support the shelters and the different homes," DeYoung said.

DeYoung got the idea for the business after reading a book about the TOMS shoe company. The for-profit shoe company donates a pair of shoes to a child living in poverty every time it sells a pair of shoes.  DeYoung said 85% of the ingredients for her soup have been donated by companies such as Kroger, Turner Farms, Madeira Market and Honeybaked Ham. It's food that would have gone to waste or been composted.

"There might be two zucchini, one eggplant, four tomatoes. But if you put it all together you can make a huge batch of soup," DeYoung said.

On Friday, surrounded by friends who love to give back, Suzy DeYoung cut the ribbon on her new business.  A 10-year-old girl named Natalia Marsh-Welton helped cut the ribbon.  Natalia is battling an inoperable brain tumor.  She had a wish to feed the homeless.  The Make-a-Wish Foundation granted her wish and DeYoung made her soup.  It's one of the varieties that will be sold at the restaurant.

DeYoung has donated soup to organizations including The Drop Inn Center and Our Daily Bread. She hopes there will be more to come.

"I think if we can show that this business model works, my goal is to find other chefs that want to do the same thing. Because I would like to think that I can put it here, somebody else could put one downtown."

La Soupe will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting next week. To learn more about its mission click here.

Follow Angenette Levy on Twitter @angenette5 and LIKE her on Facebook




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