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The Soup Korner in West Bend (and Hartford) with Renee and David Paape
Episode 6420th December 2022 • Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz • Fuzz Martin
00:00:00 00:11:25

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A couple of months ago, a listener named Stacy reached out at and recommended that I get Renee and David Paape from Soup Korner in West Bend on the show. I was all about it since it has quickly become one of my favorite places to get a sandwich. And now they've just announced news that they're going to be opening a second Soup Korner location in Hartford, Wis. this coming spring.

Renee and David join me on this week's episode to talk about why they decided to open their first restaurant during a pandemic, what makes their food taste so fresh, their new Hartford location, and why the Soup Korner isn't on a corner.

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Fuzz Martin 0:09

the week before Christmas and:

Fuzz Martin 0:44

Okay, that should make sense now. But if there is something that will always keep you warm that soup unless of course it's gespacho. Today I'm joined by Renee and David Paape of the Soup Korner in West Bend. If you've never been there, it's one of my favorite sandwich shops in West Bend. They've got great food. They've got a great story. And they've got some exciting news. And with that, here's 15 minutes on Soup Korner with Renee and David Paape on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.

Fuzz Martin 1:29

Renee and David thank you for joining me today on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz for those who don't know where is Soup Korner's, West Bend location.

Renee Paape 1:38

Soup Korner is located in the north side of West Bend about a block and a half south of Moraine Park,

Fuzz Martin 1:43

What road is that? Main Street Main Street Main Street. Okay. So let's get this out of the way first. Everybody wants to know this. Why is the Soup Korner not on a corner?

Renee Paape 1:54

Well, when we were originally looking at the space, we didn't have a name picked out yet. And when we were in there looking around trying to figure out how we would set up the dining room we figured well cozy, quaint and in a corner. So that's how we came up with Soup Korner.

Fuzz Martin 2:08

Love it. Perfect. It doesn't matter that it's not in a corner. It's what's inside that matters. It's delicious. So you successfully open a restaurant during what was probably the most challenging time for anybody to ever open a restaurant in the history of restaurants. Perhaps what made you decide to open Soup Korner when you did

Renee Paape 2:26

the building in September of:

Fuzz Martin 2:43

Soup Korner offers soups. I've had some they're delicious, but your sandwiches are awesome. So what makes your sandwiches Soup Korner different.

Renee Paape 2:51

So we believe in whole foods, we cook down our own meats, we do whole chicken whole beef and we shred it ourselves. We use pork and we shred it up ourselves and that's what makes our sandwiches so much more unique.

Fuzz Martin 3:04

Yeah, and you guys seem to have a menu that kind of rotates a bit to like you've got some staples, but you guys have different like sandwiches of the month.

Renee Paape 3:12

And so we try to incorporate like fun sandwiches during the time of year. Like we just did a Thanksgiving Wrapped Up. And it was it was a pretty good sandwich. Depending on what time of year it is. We like we just like to get more people in the door to experience the awesome foods that we offer.

Fuzz Martin 3:29

How did you come up with the menu that you have?

Renee Paape 3:33

Well, my family and I went out west and the only thing we could find for we have seven children so the only thing we could find was tacos subs or pizza or deep fried foods trying to find fast and healthy was challenge. Okay. So it started from that

Fuzz Martin 3:49

You lead with soup so is soup kinda that your thing is that

Renee Paape 3:53

I love soups. Okay. And with having so many kids soups is an easy meal to make at home

Fuzz Martin 3:58

to make a lot of David, what's your favorite thing on the menu?

David Paape 4:02

Probably the pastrami, slaw and bacon.

Fuzz Martin 4:04

I have that all the time. Yep.

Renee Paape 4:07

So that is actually the sandwich that he picked out to be put on the menu. So that's definitely David's sandwich.

Fuzz Martin 4:13

And then Renee, what's your favorite thing in the menu?

Renee Paape 4:16

Um, you know, I tried narrowing this down and honestly it's so hard to pick one thing because everything on there I eat Sure. Sure. I focus more on gluten free because I am celiac so I was diagnosed this summer. So anything that I can eat that's gluten free through the restaurant. That's mostly what I'll pick now one of my favorites, the gooey gooey on a gluten free bond with him and the tomato basil. Soup is to die for

Fuzz Martin 4:42

There you go. So you do have a gluten free menu and option of if there are people

Renee Paape 4:46

Yes, almost every sandwich can be gluten free. Minus like the gravy on a mushroom beef and Swiss but you can get anything on a gluten free button. And then our soups are labeled it'll have a gluten free, okay. And we also offer V and options vegetarian options, dairy free options, we just try to hit all all four of them points. So there's at least something for everybody.

Fuzz Martin 5:08

What is what seems to be your customers favorite item or items on the menu? What what moves the most

Renee Paape 5:14

Our mushroom and garlic soup. Oh, really? Okay. Yes, that is that is our top seller, because it hits all four points of the gluten free dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and people are amazed by that soup, because there's big chunks of mushrooms in it.

Fuzz Martin 5:28

That sounds delicious. And, and it's as we're recording this, it's almost lunchtime. Are you guys still doing breakfast too?

Renee Paape 5:36

Not at the West Bend location. We tried it out during the summer. And we got a lot of feedback from the customers saying, you know, with there only been 12 seats. People were coming in and there was no place to sit. Okay, gotcha. So we just continue to and but we're going to have it at the Hartford location.

Fuzz Martin 5:52

What's talked about that news just came out that you're opening your second location. You said Hartford, but were in Hartford is the new Soup Korner going to be?

David Paape 5:59


David Paape 6:03

The old George Webb's.

Fuzz Martin 6:04

The old George Webb's? Yes. Outstanding. What made you decide to open in Hartford?

Renee Paape 6:09

We recently just moved to Hartford. Okay. We bought a house in May. And we renovated it and we were able to move in about two months ago, surely?

Fuzz Martin 6:18

Great. First of all, is that is that on a corner?

David Paape 6:22

Corner of the building.

Fuzz Martin 6:24

The building has corners. Good. How will that location be different from the West Bend location?

Renee Paape 6:31

Oh, the Hartford location seats 50 people. Wow. Okay, so it's definitely an upgrade. And there's ample parking. And at this location, we'll be able to do our breakfast as well.

Fuzz Martin 6:42

Right. And is the new location going to affect anything with the West Bend location? No, nothing? Okay.

Renee Paape 6:49

No, the only differences is the West Bend location just won't have the breakfast are still going to serve lunch, but the Hartford location is going to do breakfast and lunch.

Fuzz Martin 6:58

Gotcha. Okay. So what are the challenges? Being small business owner? What are the challenges of opening up a second location? I see you smiling. David. I'm guessing there's some challenges?

David Paape 7:10

Well, I we entered this question last night. And we both kind of decided that after opening during COVID. And seeing just about every challenge there was out there. There's there's not a lot of challenges that we can foresee coming up ad could really affect us that we think are challenging. Sure. Other than just that staffing issues and just being in a new location.

Fuzz Martin 7:32

Yeah. So just the the challenges of opening any business. Right. So I suppose when you've gone through some of the hard stuff, the seems, it seems like a kind of a weight off the shoulders, maybe. How when is that location open? And in Hartford?

David Paape 7:46

We're hoping to be open in April in April, of two thousand 23.

Fuzz Martin 7:49

Great. And so are you hiring people already right now? Or are you just kind of I suppose it might be a little bit far out to?

Renee Paape 7:57

We haven't started yet. But we've had some people reach out and they can either reach out to us on Facebook or email at info at some We will be starting the hiring process probably end of January.

Fuzz Martin 8:10

And then you I assume you'll be looking for all sorts of positions, people cooking servers, things like that. What are your hours at the West Bend Soup Korner location?

Renee Paape 8:18

The West Bend location is open 11 to three Monday through Friday, except on Thursdays? We're open 11 to 7pm. Okay, yeah, we're closed on Saturdays and Sundays. And we'll probably never be open on a Sunday, no matter what. Because we have families. Yeah,

Fuzz Martin 8:34

no, no good. And I'm actually really happy to hear that you guys are open late on Thursdays because I always told my wife that here at Epic. We had Soup Korner for lunch. And she gets jealous because she's a teacher in Lomira and can never have the food from there. So she's like, Well, why don't you pick something up and bring it home? And I'm like, well, it'll be you know, it'll be sitting around for a while by then. So now if it's if it gets a little seven on Thursdays, I'll be able to make Mrs. Martin happy.

Renee Paape 9:00

We had a lot of messages requesting that we opened back up on Saturday, but it just it wasn't working out for our family with still having five children at home. And, you know, most of our staff are moms. Sure. And we all have families. So it just it just works best to be open later on a weekday night versus a weekend.

Fuzz Martin 9:21

How old are your kids?

Renee Paape 9:24

So I have a 23 year old, a 21 year old, 15 year old, almost 14, 12, 11 and eight.

Fuzz Martin 9:32

Okay, very good. I've got a 18 year old and a seven year old so I kind of got this span. Yeah, I've got the gap but I don't have the frequency.

Renee Paape 9:41

Yep two are adults and five of them are still at home.

Fuzz Martin 9:45

All right. All right. Well, kudos to both of you for opening two businesses while you have kids in the house. I know that like just being you know, parenting itself as a full time job and and running a business is more than a full time job.

Renee Paape 9:57

So there are the five of them are all involved. All right at the restaurants. Yep.

Fuzz Martin:

Oh, excellent. Put them to work. That's great. We're looking forward to sue corner in Hartford opening at the old George Webb location in April. And looking forward to getting lunch at soup corner this coming week. But congratulations on the new news. And thank you for coming on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. Thank you. Thank you.

Fuzz Martin:

Thanks again to Renee and David Paape for joining me on this week's Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. I hope you have a great Christmas break and I'll be back in January, take next Tuesday off. Merry Christmas to me. If you'd like to sponsor this show in the new year, you can email me at That's Fifteen spelled out with fuzz at I release new episodes on Tuesdays. And while you're listening right now click the follow button in your podcast player. And you can set it to notify you when new episodes of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz come out. All right, thanks. We'll talk to you real soon right here on Fifteen Minutes with uzz. Have a great Christmas




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