Standing as nothing but an abandoned parking garage just months ago, the faint smell of broth now wafts through the air surrounding 1400 N. Front St.
After celebrating its grand opening Dec. 3, the site is now home to Good Spoon Soupery, an eatery that specializes in soups with organic, locally sourced ingredients. The original plan for the space was to house a commercial kitchen and food-storage area for Good Spoon, which has been selling homegrown soups to farmer’s markets since 2010. After noticing the amount of space the garage had to offer however, owner Kate Hartman decided to give a face to the Good Spoon brand.
An avid supporter of fresh, preservative-free food, Hartman said she stresses the use of seasonal vegetables in all of her culinary creations.
“We try to focus every soup that we make to really highlight the star ingredients of the soup,” Hartman said. “So when we make a sweet potato soup, it’s highlighting how amazing an in-season local sweet potato tastes.”
Due to the restaurant’s focus on seasonal ingredients, Good Spoon’s menu fluctuates with the time of year. Constants include various lentil soups, a chicken and peanut stew and a traditional chicken soup recipe.
Aside from broth-based delicacies, Good Spoon also offers a selection of baked goods and side salads. Homegrown goods from nearby farmers and farmer’s markets also vary in availability, like maple syrup from Emerick’s Pure Maple Products in Hyndman, Pennsylvania, and honey from Tassot Apiaries in Milford, New Jersey.
All soups are made from scratch in the eatery’s commercial kitchen. Stocks and broths are created from the ground up and, true to the space’s neighborhood focus, even the chicken bones used to make certain broths are brought in from local farms.
Manager Lanie Belmont, a past employee of the Vegan Commissary and former owner of the Yumtown food truck on Main Campus, said she believes cooperation with nearby farms plays a key role in Good Spoon’s mission.
“I think it’s really important to support our local farming community, which it feels like Philadelphia has really embraced in the last five or so years,” Belmont said. “There seems to be this really excellent growing community of people who actually give a whatever about where your food comes from.”
Employee and cook Colwin Bocasan shares Belmont’s sentiment.
“It’s always better when it’s locally sourced,” Bocasan said. “Everything grows during a certain time of the year for a reason, and using fresh products like that really just adds to the integrity of what you’re making.”
True to its localized standards, grass-fed beef is brought in from Kensington Quarters. All of the eatery’s dairy products are shipped in from Trickling Springs Creamery, while Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative and Hartman’s connections from past farmer’s markets provide various other ingredients to the soupery.
Similar to its organic mission, Good Spoon takes an environmentally conscious approach to its practices. All service materials are compostable, and the eatery has recently employed methods to minimize waste production.
With three months of business within the new space under her belt, Hartman said she sees a bright future for Good Spoon.
“Before we opened the shop, [Good Spoon] didn’t have a customer base in this direct area, so it’s been nice to be introduced to a whole new group of people,” Hartman said. “I think just continuing to nurture that, and continuing to work with the other businesses in the area and to help this community continue to develop is really exciting.”
Eamon Dreisbach can be reached at eamon.dreisbach @temple.edu.