The genetic disorder...
Suzy DeYoung was born with what she refers to as the “family genetic disorder” of loving to cook- she was destined to become a chef. Her father, Pierre Adrian, brought fine dining and the city’s first Mobil 5 star rating to Cincinnati with The Maisonette. Her maternal grandfather, Albert Schmidt, was the chef of the Union Club in New York city. Another grandfather, Theo Kieffer was the Chef of the Sherry Netherland in New York City.
Following in her father's footsteps, she worked both the front and back of the house in many iconic Cincinnati restaurants. After a year in France, working as cook in casual bistros as well asMichelin 3 star La Gavroche London and L’Auberge d’Ill in Alsace, Suzy returned with a vision.
The post that changed everything...
For most of that first year, La Soupe was a small soupe shack cooking for a few people in need and rescuing 100 pounds of produce a week. Suzy was scrolling through Facebook one morning and came across this post from a teacher at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill:
"Oyler School is out of food to send home in weekend power packs for the children. That means many of our kids do not eat from the time they are released from school on Friday, until they return to school on Monday. This is not an exaggeration. I personally know of several children who were given six meals throughout the day today, because they starved all weekend, plus the snow day. One girl was too weak to climb the steps. I carried her, put her in a desk, and had to administer the state standardized test. I have 136 students. 11 have coats. The rest are cold and all are hungry."
Paying homage to her father, Suzy opened La Petite Pierre with her sister. As chef/owner, she brought a French flair to
their small bistro and catered for many Cincinnati
families. She had the distinct honor of cooking for both George W Bush, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Bruce Springsteen and Julia Child.
La Soupe is born...
In 25 years as a restaurateur and caterer Suzy felt the need to change the trajectory of her clientele. By redistributing catering job overages to those in need Suzy gained a new sense of purpose. In 2014, she made a huge leap of faith, sold her ownership in the company to her sister and launched La Soupe.
Suzy loaded all the food she had and headed to Oyler. She set up a row of tables and every kid at school got a healthy meal to
take home that day. That day marked the true start of La Soupe’s mission and Suzy’s calling in the community. Cincinnati is ranked #5 among U.S. cities with the highest childhood poverty rates. At the same time, 40% of all food produced worldwide is either lost or wasted each year.
To bridge the gap between food waste and hunger La Soupe rescues otherwise wasted produce to create delicious and highly-nutritious meals for customers, non-profits and food-insecure families. Since 2014 La Soupe has grown exponentially. Each week, La Soupe is rescuing 5,000 pounds of perishables and feeding up to 2,000 kids via 47 partner agencies. Through it all, Oyler remains being a weekly give partner and the first school to have the Cincinnati Gives a Crock program.