Soup For You

 In Feature

Remember the old Campbell soup commercials?  They’d always end with the tag line, “Soup is good food”.  That’s the approach taken by Tim Talsky and Dave Jurena, the partner owner/operators of The Soup Market at 54th and Vliet.  This is their fifth location in the greater Milwaukee area, with Soup Markets also found in Bay View and Hales Corners, plus the Milwaukee Center and the Milwaukee Public Market downtown.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere seems to be a growing trend toward soup restaurants these days, so it’s nice to have one so close for us in the Heights.  But The Soup Market has a lot more going for it than mere proximity.  Delicious.  All home-made.  Available quickly.  Amazing variety.  Did I say delicious?   Warm, friendly staff.  Attractive setting.  You simply have to go there if you haven’t been there yet.  And once you’ve been there, you’ll be back.

Tim told me that they have a menu of over 200 different soups that they serve, from which they offer a rotating choice of nine soups each day, with chicken noodle and chicken dumpling being the only ones available every day.  If you’re hungry for more than just soup, keep in mind that some of their soups are more like a regular entrée:  lasagna soup, meat loaf and mashed potatoes soup, for example.  All their soups, including the stock, are completely homemade each day at their central kitchen in the Bay View store.  Altogether they make 600 – 800 gallons of soup per week for their 5 stores, plus for some wholesale distribution throughout Milwaukee County.

Tim calls their food and service “fast casual”, adding “healthy fast casual”.  So do they offer anything besides soup?  I counted four grilled sandwiches, six deli sandwiches, five salads, plus bread by the loaf, half-loaf, and “chunk”.  All their bread is round, so a regular slice would be hard to produce; you get a “chunk” shaped like a piece of pie.  They make their own sourdough wheat bread, plus they also offer white bread.   They also have their own homemade cookies and salads, and all their food is ready to go if you can’t stay and eat there.

“There” happens to be located almost across the street from MPS headquarters, which of course presents a ready customer base.  The location was discovered by Dave, who has lived in Washington Heights for around 20 years.  In the partnership, Dave is the food guy and Tim is the business guy.  Tim met Dave at Bella’s Caffe in the Third Ward, which Tim has owned for 14 years.  They opened their first Soup Market 10 years ago; ours on Vliet Street opened October 1, 2013.  They employ six people here, and 45 total at all five locations.  Competition?  While there are a few small soup stores in Milwaukee, there is no other chain of them.  Be sure to check on the web

Tim reports gladly that business has been good.  “We love being in this neighborhood”, he volunteered.  Let’s show him how much we love having The Soup Market here in Washington Heights!

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