Dirt Lab Opening Party June 24th!

Business booms for SoupCycle

Posted by on November 21st, 2008 at 11:16 am

Mr. SoupCycle, Jed Lazar.
(Photos courtesy Jed Lazar)

Who would have thought that in this down economy, a local business that delivers soup by bicycle would flourish?

That seems to be the case with SoupCycle. Launched back in August, the Southeast-Portland based company started by Jed Lazar now boasts 100 weekly soupscribers. Lazar is so busy he recently took out a job listing on BikePortland (for a “Bicycle Delivery Souper Hero” — get it?).

I checked in with Lazar a few days ago and he told me that, “Things are going well and the business is keeping us busy”. He also added that 100 deliveries is “nearly insane for me to deliver myself.” He makes the deliveries all over Southeast Portland (a place he calls Souplandistan) from SE Powell to I-84 and from I-405 in Northwest Portland to SE 39th.

Story continues below

advertisement

Lazar all loaded up for a visit to the BTA headquarters downtown.

That’s a lot of ground to cover but Lazar does it in comfort (and with a smile) on his three-wheeled, electric-assisted bike while pulling a trailer (made by Blue Sky Cycle Carts).

“Live free or drive” and “Make soup not war”
stickers adorn a Soup delivery vehicle.

About the challenges of bike delivery, Lazar says, “Being out in the elements for eight hours, while delivering a product that is attractive to customers takes some serious care, but we’re committed to making it work.”

Lazar says excited at how Portland has responded to SoupCycle, and he gives a special shout out to Portland’s legions of bike lovers: “We owe a big part of the success we’ve had to Portland’s bike-loving culture.”

SoupCycle is just one of many bike-based businesses that have sprouted up in Portland in recent months. Lazar hopes the trend spreads beyond our borders:

“I see Portland as a testing ground to perfect bicycle transportation and delivery. We hope that other cities around the US see the success of Portland’s bicycle-based businesses and are inspired to move in that direction.”

Learn more about Jed and his adventures in Souplandistan at SoupCycle.com and also check out a profile of him in the Portland Mercury.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

10 Comments
  • Paul Tay November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    “I see Portland as a testing ground to perfect bicycle transportation and delivery. We hope that other cities around the US see the success of Portland’s bicycle-based businesses and are inspired to move in that direction.”

    Oh, fo’ shure. We are all takin’ notes. PDX: America’s cycling guinea pig!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Graham November 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    This makes me hungry for soup… And me without a soupscription! Well, it’ll have to be NoFishGoFish today, but I’ll look into signing up with SoupCycle.

    Actually, the job seems like a lot of fun too, though I don’t know how qualified I am for the heavy lifting part…

    Anyway, great idea, and I’m sure very inspiring to other bike entrepreneurs. There’s a lot of potential customers who want to support bike-based-biz. Myself, I walked past a number of coffee options at the last Farmer’s Market to get to the bike-powered coffee cart.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tony P November 22, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Not only delivered by bike, but it’s damn fine soup too! Highly recommended.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wendy November 22, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Expand Souplandistan!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Sander Lazar November 23, 2008 at 3:10 am

    That’s my brother! Go Jed! And Go Soupcycle!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tasha November 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Yet another reason I wish to live in the Southeast! I was just lamenting Portland’s lack of soup related cafes, carts, etc. and this would be perfect. Perhapd we can talk and open up a NE satellite delivery location?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Zaphod November 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I [heart] soup. Too bad that I am in NE

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bill Stites November 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Great to see Soupcycle rockin’.

    A trike is a smart choice for pulling/controlling a heavy trailer … and electric assisted makes it very practical for a business [where time is money].

    I continue to appreciate the open-mindedness of Portland’s bike culture!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • sunset! hooray! « West Coast Crafty November 25, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    […] on their site. I really like the way it looks in print (I share the page with Hopworks Brewery and Soupcycle, both right here in my neighborhood!) so I put a photo up on flickr so you and my mom can see the […]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Geoff K May 27, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    We’re big fans of SoupCycle. Posted an Interview with SoupCycle as well as a SoupCycle Review

    Recommended Thumb up 0