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A Soup Venture to Feed the Homeless: Federal Donuts, Broad Street Ministry Partner

July 2, 2014 Category: FundingPeopleUncategorized

Federal Donuts has a chicken problem. The popular purveyor of fried chicken and donuts, now with five Philadelphia locations, produces 1,000 pounds of inedible chicken parts each week. Instead of sending those off to a landfill, it wants to make soup — and turn soup-making into a sustainable revenue stream for Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative.

The proposed soup-selling operation, Rooster Soup Company, is the brainchild of Steve Cook and his partners at Federal Donuts, who knew that using whole chickens would improve the quality of their product, but also present a waste challenge.

After toying with different ideas for nearly a year, Cook, who serves on the hospitality advisory board at Broad Street Ministry, approached the organization with plans for a jointly owned venture.

“We fell in love with the idea because it takes a transaction that was a straight line and turns it into a circle,” he said.

Once Rooster Soup Company raises the funds for a brick-and-mortar restaurant, ideally in Center City, Cook says it could be operational in six to 12 months. Federal Donuts will provide the expertise and oversight, and 100 percent of the company’s net profits will benefit the hungry and homeless.

“This is something that everybody can get involved with, just by eating lunch,” Cook added. The Rooster Soup campaign has 24 days to raise nearly $80,000 in order to secure a match from a private donor.


Generocity’s funding + philanthropy beat reporter, Erin Kane, recently wrote a feature about other ways in which Broad Street Ministry is partnering with local businesses to help the hungry and homeless. 

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