Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., Feb. 24
Fresh Soup for Sale: Decker Brothers
Earlier this week, my old man and I had a conversation about that phenomenon where you hear of something (a word, a name, a person) for the very first time, and then suddenly it’s everywhere. It happened to him recently. A co-worker brought up a college he'd never heard of. The next day, he ran into someone whose kid goes there. And then a day or two after that, he heard it mentioned on NPR.
This week, something similar happened to me.
There I was, enjoying a bowl of soup at my favorite coffee shop. I decided to write about said soup, and inquired as to who makes it. “Decker Brothers,” the owner informed me. I’d never heard of them.
And then. . .
Two days ago, I arranged to sample some cupcakes from a baker here in San Diego. I was supposed to meet her yesterday at the kitchen where she rents space, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I could not make it before she had to leave.
“It’s ok,” she said. “I’ll leave the cupcakes at the kitchen for you. The Decker Brothers will be here making their soup, and I’ve told them you’ll be coming.”
The Decker Brothers?!
And so it was that I happened upon the Decker Brothers, live and in person. Well, one Decker Brother: Chris. (Karl is in Florida.)
Chris took a few minutes out of his busy soup-making schedule to answer a couple of questions and to give me peek into a large cauldron of Broccoli Blue Cheese Bisque.
Chris and Karl Decker provide wholesale soup (or should I say soup wholesale?) to 30 restaurants, coffee shops, delis, and lunch counters around San Diego. The company started about six years ago after Chris pulled a soup cookbook that had been gifted to him off his bookshelf and began to make one recipe at a time, as was his habit with cookbooks.
“Soup recipes don’t just make one or two servings,” Chris told me. “So I’d bring soup to friends and co-workers.”
The responses he heard made him aware of a lack of freshly-made soup options, and he and Karl decided to do something about it. And now we have the Decker Brothers. Today, they make 100 to 120 gallons of soup per week, and the flavors change every month.
Chris says the chilies are their best sellers, but his personal favorites are the Truffle, Potato, Mushroom, and the Pumpkin Thai.
You can find a list of eateries that sell their soups if you click on the Find Us tab on the Decker Brothers website.