“You may find, in the kitchens of Europe, something as good, but you will never find anything better than this,”
This was a quote from the late Anthony Bourdain about Vietnamese Pho. And I couldn’t agree more – the aromas, the textures and the unbelievably clear broth that is flavorful and balanced with sweet, salty, sour, and umami that keeps you coming back for more to the point where you just pick up your bowl and just take a big gulp to get it all in.
This is where the journey for Soup Explorers started. Early on, we were ideating with my dear friend and mentor Mary Nguyen Aregoni about the type of food business we wanted to start. Mary ran three, acclaimed Vietnamese restaurants called Saigon Sisters in downtown Chicago. Many of her recipes were over 100 years old, handed down though generations of cooks and restaurateurs in her family. Her customers appreciated the authenticity and love she brought to every dish. At lunchtime, she had lines of people out the door for her Vietnamese phos, banh mi sandwiches and other rotating specialties.
Then it dawned on us, the only way to get delicious pho, or any ethnic soup for that matter, was to make it yourself (but who really has the time anymore), go to a restaurant like Mary’s or have it delivered through an app. There weren’t convenient and fresh options available in grocery stores besides dried soup kits reminiscent of the dried, MSG-laden ramen you had in college. So we partnered with Mary to develop a Vietnamese pho soup kit that is delicious, aromatic and easy to prepare at home or at work. We leverage a process called cold pasteurization (commonly used in cold pressed juices) that allows the ingredients to shine and taste fresh without having to use artificial preservatives, colors or dyes. This is not your college ramen. Not even close. We are so proud of what we have created and thankful to Mary for believing in us and her partnership.
Hopefully, this is just the start to the Soup Explorers journey. There are so many other soups and foods from around the world that can be experienced in a more convenient and fresh-tasting format. We want to connect people to the world through better for you food and can’t wait to see where we go next.