TRURO – Soup lovers have spoken and it was the creamy broccoli cheddar from the Debert Hospitality Centre they liked the most.
That’s the soup that took top honours at the inaugural Soup Fest, a fundraiser hosted by and in support of the United Way of Colchester.
Coming in second was Taco Stiles’ chicken tortilla, with the lemon tarragon chicken from Great British Grub placing third.
Terry Hearn, the executive director of the local United Way, said the idea came from the successful event in Moncton now into its 12th year.
“I loved the idea of bringing people together over soup,” she said.
Hearn said she conversed with Margaret Congdon, from the Truro Farmers’ Market, about the idea, and she immediately came on board. The two women got to work preparing the event, with the help of Heather Hamilton, Tanya Colburne, and Michelle Bursey.
“We felt it was a great way to bring the community together and fundraise for us. It’s a fun way to get together with the community,” said Hearn.
The initial goal was to sell about 150 tickets. In the end, 170 were sold, and Hearn admitted they could have sold another 50.
“I was cautious about it because I didn’t want to run out of soup. Some vendors did, but others didn’t.”
Eleven vendors came together with their creations, with 12 soups available for patrons, most of whom were full after five or six samplings. Each was given three beans upon arrival, and were told to put their beans in the jars of their favourites. Any leftover soup was donated to the Truro Homeless Outreach Society.
“We’re really happy,” said Hearn, about the success of the event. “We received a lot of comments about how social the event was, and how it was nice having an event in February.”
She said the event attracted people from all age groups, from students to the retired. Before expenses, the event saw about $4,500 brought in. Jamie Rhae Oudemans, of Clay Café, jumped on board to make the awards for the winners.
Along with the soup, patrons were treated with buns, biscuits, apple cider donated by Noggins, and coffee from NovelTea Bookstore Café. Local musician Gordie Tucker provided entertainment.
With people in the community still talking about the event two weeks after the fact, Hearn says it will most likely happen again.
“I think it will become an annual event – if this year was any indication, we will do it again, absolutely.”