Loco for Local – Janet and The Art of Soup

Hi everyone! I’m the new blogger on the block and so happy to be here. I’m a resident of downtown and for the last year or so I’ve done my best to frequent local businesses and leave the big box chain places in the dust. For the most part it’s worked – I haven’t seen the inside of an Olive Garden in ages, my jewelry collection is the envy of any girl still shopping at the mall instead of at boutiques, and lastly I’ve met so many amazing people. I would say the greatest benefit to living down here is community. I love all the small, independent businesses and their owners are what make them so special.

Janet Van Hinkle  at The Art of Soup is one such owner. They are located in Sheridan Square on 7th Street, next to Drip. I stopped in yesterday for lunch and I came away with so much more. They serve, on average, 4 soups per day and there’s always a vegetarian option. The ingredients are all local and organic. You can order it by the bowl or do a soup “flight”, small portions of 3 soups with the usual accompaniments: multi-grain bread, lavosh, or baguette. The soup was fantastic and the atmosphere was so relaxed. I was the only customer due to the late hour and Janet chatted with me like I was friend having lunch in her kitchen.

She partners with a company called Chef to Chef to bring the same local produce in her soups to the community. You can purchase bags of produce from local farmers at the restaurant weekly. I’m picking up my first bag this weekend so I’ll let you know how that goes!

The Art of Soup will soon be open for breakfast and they are expanding their evening and weekend hours. I give major kudos to Janet for that – most businesses downtown cater to those who commute down here for work rather than those of us who actually reside here. There are many restaurants that are only open during the week and for lunch leaving the residents of downtown with fewer options.

As more people move downtown and the weekend traffic picks up the businesses are beginning to adjust. One by one they are expanding their hours and it’s definitely a sign of better things ahead.

I plan to highlight the local businesses that I frequent as much as possible so stay tuned – Loco for Local will be a regular feature.

3 Comments so far

  1. Clintus (clintus) on September 20th, 2008 @ 1:13 am

    Welcome to the party. Looking forward to more posts from you.

  2. Krista (katydaqueen) on September 23rd, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

    Welcome! I am more of a Westsider, so it will be good to have a diverse group here. Now if I could only finish a post in less than 2 weeks ;)

  3. melinda on September 23rd, 2008 @ 10:41 pm

    Thanks – I feel your pain – it’s tough to find time to post good stuff – but I’m working on it!

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