Laura Adams with Cuban Black Bean(big cup), Senegal Stew(medium), and Ajiaco(small).Infinite Soups is located in downtown Tacoma. Lui Kit Wong/The News Tribune
Happy birthday to Infinite Soups, which marks its second year in business Saturday.
They've got plans to celebrate. "Come get a cupcake," said Wendy Clapp, who owns the Tacoma takeout soup restaurant with husband Todd DeShazo and Clapp's daughter Laura Adams.
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Last year, they gave away 60 Corina cupcakes to mark their first anniversary and ran out of the cupcakes quickly. This year, they ordered 150 – although Clapp and DeShazo just realized the anniversary falls on a Saturday, a typically slower day for the small restaurant that only sells soup. Clapp says come one, come all for soup this Saturday. They offer more than a dozen kinds of soup every day –in fact, that's all they sell is soup. Although it's a micro-focused concept to sell soup and only soup, the business has become successful enough that the three now plan to expand.
It's been a brisk two years for the trio, who massaged their business plan while running the cafeteria here at the News Tribune (full disclosure alert!). They gained traction with customers selling their soups at a Tacoma Farmers Market booth. Two years ago, they opened their small soup kitchen that is little more than a takeout counter and a kitchen. Lines frequently run out the door on weekday afternoons.
And now they're looking to expand – even in this down economy. "We're small, so expanding for us isn't the same as larger places," said Clapp.
The three are looking to add a lunch counter at Sanford & Sons antiques. They're also discussing opening a soup bar in the building that houses Embellish salon (a possible joint effort with Satellite coffee).
I asked Clapp how the business has evolved and she said that she and DeShazo and Adams have become much more efficient at producing their soups and running their business – a chief reason why they're making moves to expand the business. "We had to reach a measure of comfort, and we've reached that now and we're ready to put in more soup kitchens," she said.
What to try at Infinite Soups: My favorites now (and when the trio ran the News Tribune's cafeteria), are West African peanut, tomato basil and tortilla soup.
Where: 445 Tacoma Ave. S., Suite B, Tacoma; 253-274-0232
What: Second anniversary party, with free cupcakes from Corina bakery
When: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.