A new restaurant has occupied the once-vacant storefront at 342 Princess Street — and you can be certain you won’t hear anyone yelling ‘No soup for you!’ at this counter.
Since their soft opening on Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2019, The Soup Can has already begun to turn a profit and see a positive reception from the community, according to owner Dan Lemire.
Lemire, who co-owns and staffs the The Soup Can from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily with his wife Agnes, described the restaurant as a ‘mom and pop’ operation specializing in “fresh, wholesome, and homemade” soups. They have a limited trial menu for the month of June, and plan on launching even more soup and sandwich options during their grand opening Canada Day weekend.
The Lemires have previous experience in the Kingston restaurant industry and own Dag’s Catering.
“We found a niche that hadn’t been met yet in Kingston,” said Lemire, citing a lack of dedicated local soup restaurants. “We’d been thinking about it for two to three years, then there was an opportunity for an affordable downtown storefront.”
Everything is made from scratch. They start with a vegan stock, then add proteins, pastas, and vegetables.
“We try to cater to dietary needs, vegans, those who like to eat meat, people with severe allergies,” said Lemire.
The soups can be ordered with baguette, homemade croutons, and/or roasted snap peas. Bowls are served on wooden charcuterie boards handmade by Lemire’s mother. Lemire said that all cups and straws were biodegradable, citing a desire for sustainability.
While they focus on made-to-order build-your-own soups, they also have a sandwich of the week and daily soup specials. According to Lemire, they have had to keep a pot of their coconut curry soup ready to go at all times. Made with coconut milk, red curry paste, bamboo shoots, and a “secret blend of spices,” Lemire said the coconut curry soup has become so popular that “there was a line out the door.”
Lemire mused about the possibility of opening a second store in the West End next year if the downtown location was successful. He was optimistic about the Soup Can’s future.
“People love soup!” he said.