Wow. An “about me” section seems incredibly egotistical when I think about who I am and my accomplishments thus far so, I’ve decided to re-name this page the “thank you and gratitude” section. I would never be where I am today and have the success I’ve enjoyed or feel so confident about the future if I didn’t have an incredible team around me both personally and professionally.
Now, let’s start at the beginning. I am an Atlanta native, but grew up primarily in Los Angeles. I was a boarding school brat and then studied drama at the prestigious acting school at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
I dabbled a bit in the world of auditions and acting both in New York and Los Angeles, but soon learned that my desire to travel the world and eat fine foods was not quite matching the paycheck of a struggling actress. I decided it was time to explore my other passions, celebration and food. Celebration is simple. It can involve one to 100 and it has become the center of everything I do.
My first act of celebration was to indulge in one of my passions, which is travel. With very little money and no specific plan, I (along with my husband at the time) embarked on an 18-month trip around the world. This trip is where I truly learned to cook ”“ not from a school or formal education, but from the families in each country I visited. Nothing can match learning to make a traditional curry from a woman in India or how to make fresh mozzarella in a hillside town in Tuscany. I returned to Atlanta filled with knowledge and excitement to share and celebrate all that I learned.
When I was ready to open up shop, I found myself looking for what I thought Atlanta didn’t have and what could connect my experience of the 25 countries I had traveled to. Soup was the answer. It was the one food that each country connected to and I had an abundance of soup recipes in my head from the fabulous people I had met around the globe.
Souper Jenny opened in 1999 with six seats and two employees. It is true, back in those days I woke up at 4 a.m. which would give me just enough time to prepare all the soups, salads and sandwiches we would serve that day. My friend Collin was the other employee and together we would get through the day, clean up, mop, take the garbage out and get the orders in before going home to collapse and start all over again.
It took me about six years to figure out that I could possibly delegate some of my work load and trust someone else to get my vision. I have always an incredible staff at Souper Jenny and Cafe Jonah, and I am completely indebted to them. Now I can step back and really see the big picture of how the operation runs on a daily basis and how best to serve the people I work with. Today Souper Jenny has been open for 13 years and I still feel like each day is our first. I still get excited when I see people lined up for the gorgeous array of soups, salads and sandwiches that the kitchen has prepared.
What I love most is to share my passion, so please feel free to contact me anytime and if you’re passing through, stop in and say hello!