About

Soupbox features recipes that have been Voted Best Soup in Chicago.

- Paula Deen named Soupbox in her "10 Best Spots for Soups Across the Country”

- Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels Best Soup in Chicago

- Voted Best Comfort Food in Chicago

- The TV series "ER"

- Chicago Sun-Times

- Chicago Magazine

Inspiration

Life is a bit like a recipe. It’s a balancing act. As soon as you get it just right, something throws you off balance again. While, it is constantly changing there is so much wonder, vibrancy, and inspiration in this ever-changing atmosphere. Inspiration comes from many places…

Soupbox Creator/Owner, Jamie Taerbaum, was inspired by watching his single mother perform a daily balancing act by raising 5 children. In the kitchen, she performed this act as well. Through the adding and subtracting of household ingredients, she warmed her home with the aromas of hand-made, comforting, and simply GOOD food. Watching these balancing acts of life’s demands and the kitchen, Jamie was given the vision in life to create.

Jamie travels all over the globe and seeks flavors to set his soup creations apart from the rest. He’s found ingredients and unique foods in places like Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Sweden, Serbia, France, Italy, Spain, Aruba, Netherlands, Thailand, and the Virgin Islands. You name it, he’s probably heard of it. 

The Evolution of The Soupbox

Long before Soupbox was even a twinkle in the eye of Jamie Taerbaum, he was paying his way through college at the University of Illinois in Chicago studying Business Management. One of his few indulgences was enjoying homemade Italian Ice at Mario’s Italian ice in Chicago’s Little Italy. Wanting to pursue an entrepreneurial path, he decided to make his own version with just fresh fruit and juices calling it “Icyfruit”.

This led him to the decision to max out 6 credit cards and open a storefront named “Icebox”. His homemade icy concoctions caused such a fuss and had with lines out the door. Folks loved his simple comfort food served with a genuine smile and a friendly ‘Thank You’. When the cool, Fall weather approached, he decided to try his hand at another comfort food - fresh gourmet soups - continuing the business all year long. 

In October 1995, Jamie started making 70+ Gourmet Soups, serving a variety of 12 each day with freshly baked bread, a genuine smile and the friendly thank you his customers had become accustomed to. He decided to call this seasonal side of the business “Soupbox”. Folks came to learn “these aren’t your grocery store canned type soups” and the Soupbox business gradually started taking off. The Seinfeld “soup nazi” episode airing in November of 1996 helped too!  

Jamie's inspiration: "I'm inspired to this day by my single Mother who raised five children on her own which taught me how to "think outside the box" by using every last ingredient in the house to make really good soup (and occasionally a really bad soup!) via good ole trial and error. My personal philosophy about soup is just like in life, we all just want to feel good, so we add and subtract things from our life to align with that feeling until we get it just right. That's how I live my life, and that's how I try to make our soup!”

Ana Lopez eagerly joined Soupbox in 2018 as General Manager. Ana is a Chicagoan by way of San Diego. Personally, she enjoys reading and writing nonfiction essays, collecting tattoos and listening to her favorite band, Deftones. She leads a motivated, hard-working and friendly Soupbox team with the goal of putting a smile on each and every customer. Ana says “Meeting new people and catching up with our regular customers drives me to provide the best products and enjoyable store experience."

Soupbox now features soup recipes that have been voted best in Chicago. With 12 fresh soups every day with varieties including low-fat, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and spicy options. Soupbox has been recognized by a myriad media outlets including Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels, Best Soup in Chicago, Best Comfort Food in Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, WGN TV, ABC News, MetroMix, Chicago Magazine, the TV series "ER", and Paula Deen named Soupbox in her "10 Best Spots for Soups Across the Country". Plus many others. 

We would love to serve you soon!