If you have dined with us at Soup For You! you probably have met our founder, Chef Judah. Born in the ghetto of Tunis, an Arab/Jewish child of a Holocaust survivor, Chef Judah was orphaned at an early age and became a child beggar, one among many. “I was hungry the first 8 years of my life” says Chef Judah. Thankfully, he was adopted and brought to America as an immigrant/refugee fleeing persecution. Years later he landed in Minnesota (now over 40 years ago). Like many others who were “a paycheck away…”, he experienced homelessness and hunger once again. “I was a troll and lived underneath the Franklin Ave Bridge, a quarter mile from the Seward Coop, for an entire year.” After surviving the streets, Chef Judah found himself at St. Martin’s Table, a non-profit Cafe and bookstore. For the next 15 years, he honed his skills in global vegetarian soup making. 

He ultimately had a vision of opening a soup café in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. That vision became a reality when Soup For You! opened on February 2, 2015 in the basement of Bethany Lutheran Church.

Since then we have had many positive changes including the formation of our house band “The Grateful Fed”, the addition of The People’s Cooler to make excess produce available to our guests, a clothes distribution area, and frequent distribution of groceries.

We have also met unforeseen challenges and have continued without missing a beat. When the COVID pandemic started in March of 2020 we needed to cease operations in our dining area but immediately switched to making and distributing lunches at our front door. When George Floyd was murdered the riots that followed hit the Seward neighborhood hard resulting in additional struggles for a neighborhood already dealing with the pandemic. When grocery stores were burned and subsequently closed for an extended period of time we ramped up our distribution of lunches, groceries and hygiene supplies. During this time our services were critical in the area.

When Bethany Lutheran Church ceased operations at the beginning of 2022 we filed to become our own entity and received our 501(c)(3) certification. Now with the upcoming sale of the church building we have been looking for a new home. The next chapter of this amazing story will begin when we move locations in June 2024. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis has graciously invited us to join their other partners in their facility. We are excited to see how the future of Soup for You! evolves at our new location!