This post is sponsored by Boulder Organic.
Soup is comfort food, yet so many of the mass produced soups available in grocery stores today are canned and loaded with not-so-fresh ingredients.
This gaping hole in the fresh soup marketplace is exactly what led Boulder Organic’s founder, Kate Brown, to her ah-ha moment.
She says she was in the grocery store in 2006 searching for a soup to comfort her daughter after surgery. Lo and behold, the only soups she could find were shelf-stable canned soups filled with what she calls, “Frankenfood” (i.e. chemicals).
“I realized there was a big discrepancy between how we connect with soup [in times of illness] and what kind of soup is actually available [soup that makes you sick],” she says.
Struck by the belief that soup should be made fresh and with whole, real and organic ingredients, Kate began stewing up her own soup concoctions at home and invited the community in for taste-tests.
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
It didn’t take long for word to get out that Kate was brewing delicious, fresh, organic and gluten-free soup at home… and that’s when Whole Foods came knocking. A buyer wanted Kate to sell her fresh-made soups at Whole Foods.
Kate used whatever savings she had to learn and do everything she could to bring her fresh soups to retail.
“I didn’t know what the rules were so I tried everything,” she recalls, believing that her can-do attitude led to the innovative solutions in place at Boulder Organic today.
It was important to her, she says, that she remained mindful about every ingredient.
“I believe healthy, whole, organic food should be available to everyone,” she says, but she continually reminds herself that being a mindful company doesn’t allow for fast, off-the-charts growth; rather, Boulder Organic’s story is one of steady, incremental gains.
At the time inspiration struck, Kate had been dealing with a few health challenges of her own.
After having her gallbladder removed in 2003, she suffered from a slew of digestive issues that found her constantly on the lookout for the next toilet.
When her doctors couldn’t help her sort it all out, she decided to take health matters into her own hands by making an appointment with an Eastern medicine doctor. He suggested she switch to a gluten-free diet. Once she did, she says miraculously all her symptoms disappeared.
After going gluten-free and finding symptom resolution, Kate became keenly aware of everything she put in her body and how it impacted her. Today, it’s the fuel that helps her stay committed to sourcing only organic, gluten-free ingredients.
As I toured the Boulder Organic manufacturing facility, I grew keenly aware of just how hand-touched the process of cooking fresh made soup really was. Everything is cut, chopped, cooked and packaged at the Boulder Organic headquarters.
Boulder Organic is going places, that’s for sure. It launched its famous (and might I add, tasty) chicken noodle soup to the mix just last year.
I asked Kate, “Why the delay in making America’s favorite soup?”
She said it took a long time to find a gluten-free noodle that tasted good and had a texture that could hold up in soup.
Today, Kate says she feels content with where things are, and there’s nothing pressing keeping her up at night. However, she says, Boulder Organic is always restless to reach new people and bring new products to market.
Soup is highly seasonal, so the next venture finds Kate and the dedicated Boulder Organic team expanding its product offerings in the fresh food section (the refrigerated section near the deli counter) of the grocery store.
Kate also hinted that we’d be seeing more Boulder Organic soups in additional retail locations as the company works hard to expand its reach and distribution.
Find a retailer near you using Boulder Organic’s store locator.