Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

A visit from Mr. SoupCycle, Jed Lazar

Posted by on December 10th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Yesterday, Elly and I got a nice treat compliments of a thriving, local, bike-based business — Jed Lazar of SoupCycle stopped by and brought us lunch.

Jed launched SoupCycle just six months ago, but as we reported a few days ago, his business is thriving. After getting a closer look at his operation, and tasting some SoupCycle turkey chili, fresh bread and salad, I’m not surprised.

Jed does all his deliveries on a recumbent tricycle that pulls a large cargo trailer. The soups and salads rest in coolers in the trailer and the fresh bread sits on a shelf behind his seat. He had 40 soups on board (chilling in quart containers) and the whole contraption weighed about 200 pounds.

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If you’re wondering how he zips around and fills deliveries all over SE Portland (what he calls “Souplandistan”) with that load, he’s got a secret weapon (besides eating all that healthy food).

Just near the shifters on his handlebars is a trigger for an EcoSpeed electric assist unit. “It sure helps up the hills,” says Jed. I gave the trike a whirl and it’s definitely got zip. With the ape-hanger bars and big trailer, you feel like you own the road.

Jed says he takes up a full lane of traffic downtown and that most people just treat him like any other vehicle on the road.

Jed’s in this business not only to sell soup and pay the bills, he also hopes to inspire others who will see him at work and consider starting their own bike-based business.

View and listen to the audio slideshow above to hear more from Jed.


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  • bahueh December 10, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    he needs to put some advertising on that monster…make it a tax write off!!

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  • Coyote December 10, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Give a man soup and he eats for a day. Teach and man to make soup, and he eats everyday. Teach a man to deliver his soup, and he puts a roof over his too.

    If that is not the Dream, then what is?

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  • Alison P. December 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Great idea and great work, Jed and Shauna! I’m so thrilled that I got to witness this business being developed from the start. Here’s to more bicycle-based/BGI/sustainability-focused businesses…

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  • Kat December 10, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    I LOVE this idea and am so proud of Jed and Shauna for starting SoupCycle! And kudos for Portland for showing them some love! Keep up the great work!

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  • marc in pdx December 11, 2008 at 6:12 am

    dammit! i live just north of i-84…NO soup for me! NEXT!

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  • Travis Wittwer December 11, 2008 at 9:01 am

    I have followed SoupCycle’s growth through BP’s stories and I glad to hear that it is going strong. Way to go Jed and all of those who supported him.

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  • IanO December 11, 2008 at 9:20 am

    The problem with his model is that you need to know what you want, how much you want, and when you want it a *week* in advance. I mean, I read this article and want some soup *NOW*! But I can’t have it. Tears are shed.

    I wish there were some way to make a next-day, same-day, or last-minute request. Even a first-come first-serve system where the answer might be “no, we’ve run out” or “no, I’ve already passed you on my route” would be better.

    Another idea: regularly supply a few local coffeeshops (like the Black Sheep at ActivSpace) so that folks could have somewhere to come in and have a taste trial.

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  • IanO December 11, 2008 at 9:49 am

    To clarify, because I was originally confused about this:

    This is a ready-to-warm meals on wheels service, not a ready-to-eat fast food delivery. Delivered chilled, you need to provide your own bowls and refrigeration or stove/microwave. Jed only makes one delivery a week (Tues Eastside, Weds Westside). Sounds like he will do special orders for catering, though.

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  • throwtheslinky December 11, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I love the SoupCycle! I’ve been a citizen of Souplandistan for a few months now and as a work-from-homer, I appreciate not having to cook for myself every day, but still having quality food to eat. This is a far cry from resorting to crackers or skipping lunch altogether, which a lot of us deadline-driven people tend to do. Bring on the deadlines, I’ve got soup!

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  • Mike December 11, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Jed makes a very welcomed weekly delivery to our office with his good soups!

    It’s like home-cookin brought to your door!

    Bike-tacularly groovy!

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