WORDS TO LIVE BY: DAVID ANSEL
“Well you’re in your little room and you’re working on something good but if it’s really good you’re going to need a bigger room and when you’re in the bigger room you might not know what to do you might have to think of how you got started sitting in your little room (la la la la la la la etc.) “Little Room” by The White Stripes
Soon after I began The Soup Peddler, I was cooking my soups after hours in a Thai restaurant downtown. At the time, I was listening heavily to The White Stripes’ White Blood Cells. The song “Little Room,” a raspy Jack White chant, struck me as a harbinger of what was to come.
Thirteen years later, the song has become the anthem of my personal path with The Soup Peddler, particularly in light of our company’s recent move to a new, pristine, incredibly equipped commercial kitchen. Very few food businesses are blessed to have such a long arc from very humble beginnings ($90 “initial capitalization”) to a relatively stable, mature age. The song has constantly called upon me to ground myself through the varied, often great challenges and changes along the way. That grounding recalls my original desire to study international foodways to create comforting, nourishing food (a sometimes difficult combination to find). Much like some companies have their mission statements, this sense of rootedness is my rudder for keeping The Soup Peddler moving in a righteous direction. I think because of that, Austin has been kind enough to reward us, to push us onward. I’m deeply thankful that we have been able to move into bigger rooms, just like Jack promised.