(Photo by Tommy Baboon)
Rooster Soup Company celebrates its first birthday today.
The social enterprise/luncheonette/philanthropic happy hour spot, which makes its namesake soups from leftover Federal Donuts chicken bones and donates profits to Broad Street Ministry (BSM), opened exactly one year ago today after a successful crowdfunding campaign and many months of anticipation.
So, how’s it been going?
It’s been a “challenging” year, said Steve Cook, cofounder of Rooster Soup and Federal Donuts parent company CookNSolo, on Tuesday morning — “good, but challenging.”
Part of that is due to the usual angst of opening a restaurant, many of which fail in their first year of business (though not as many as common lore dictates), and July and August were especially harsh for a business with “soup” in its name, he said.
But even so, Rooster Soup has consistently kept with its mission of donating proceeds weekly to the homeless services nonprofit, and will continue to do so, according to Cook.
Food critic Craig LaBan noted in a May 2017 review that Rooster was donating about $500 per week to BSM, and while Cook said he couldn’t share exact numbers, he did confirm that the contribution amount had continued to be “pretty stable.”
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“This is a new thing for us — maybe for the industry. We’re trying to stay consistent,” Cook said, though “some weeks are better than others” in terms of how much is donated. He said he hopes the amount to be donated each week will grow as Rooster Soup becomes more established and earns more of a financial cushion.
The chicken, too, is still a part of the business model: “We’re saving every last bit of chicken parts from Federal Donuts not being fried and served to guests,” he said.
Cook said the partnership has been working out for BSM, too, beyond the obvious financial benefits, though $500 a week is admittedly a “relative drop in the bucket” for the $2.4 million org.
“The sort of exposure that is brought to their model, almost more than the financial side, has been a win,” said Cook, who sits on BSM’s Hospitality and Corporate Council.
To celebrate its birthday, this Saturday, Rooster Soup is hosting a “Late Night Birthday Breakfast Karaoke,” and all day today, a $10 donation to BSM comes with a slice of birthday cake.-30-
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