In this economy, small business success is hard to find. But for Jed Lazar and his partner Shauna Lambert — the duo behind locally based SoupCycle — the first year in business has been as healthy as their home made soups.
When we first wrote about them back in November 2008, things were already off to a promising start. But now, with the first year under their belt, SoupCycle has beat the odds and seems to be on a roll.
Lazar says from just seven original “Soupetarians,” (mostly friends willing to give the new service a shot) he is now making about 150 weekly bicycle soup deliveries and has made a total of 4,635 deliveries.
SoupCycle also recently expanded their delivery area to include Northeast Portland. Lazar says their “Souplandistan” delivery area is now about 16 square miles — 3.5 miles wide (NW 23rd Ave to SE 39th Ave) and 4.5 miles tall Killingsworth to Powell). Jed and Shauna have also hired their first employee. According to Jed that makes them a, “soup-fueled powerhouse team of three.”
With an expanded delivery range, they need plenty of healthy soup for fuel. On their Northeast delivery days, they cover upwards of 25 miles on their electric-assisted trike. Pulling over 200 pounds of soups, breads, and salads in the cargo trailer makes for “an intense day, especially in the summer heat,” says Jed.
SoupCycle now boasts a repertoire of over 50 soups, tailored for all four seasons (for instance, in the summer they’ve got Chilled Cucumber with Mint and Dill and Blueberry Dessert Soup).
Next for Jed and Shauna will be continued expansion of Souplandistan (Jed says they’ll base their next expansion on feedback they get on their website) and an increasing role in inspiring other bike-based businesses to get rolling.
From the outset of SoupCycle, Jed told me it was a goal of his to support others who want to build a bike-based business. He’s excited about the growth he’s seen and hopes to keep the trend going through his involvement with the fledgling Bicycle Business League.
Congrats on your first year Jed. Here’s to many more years and many more soups!
Check out the audio slideshow below for more about SoupCycle…