Business Beat: Drew Kinney, Soup Maker Extraordinare – Kamasouptra

Business partners Sarah Jerome & Drew Kinney

By Carol McCracken (Post # 604)

Chilly weather is soup weather and MHN.com is always on the lookout for good soup this time of the year because it won’t be found at home. One of the best places around to satisfy that apetite is at Kamasouptra. The retail store is six months old and it’s located on the second floor of the Public Market in Monument Square. The three partners had been in wholesale business for about 1 l/2 years prior to the Public Market niche.

On a chilly day earlier this week, MHN.com decided to try this soup center having heard positive feedback about it generally in the neighborhood. Upon unquiry, MHN.com learned that Drew Kinney, soup maker lives on the Hill – so he met my basic requirements for additional scrutiny! Upon the first sip of this white bean + soup the seasoning convinced this soup lover that this soup was a rare winner!

“Salt is one of the most important cooking elements,” said Kinney, “although a lot of people are afraid of it. It brings out the flavor of the raw ingredients.” The amiable Kenney who was compiling his shopping list for the next days soups took time out to talk about his business. He and his partners usually work well-into the morning tasting and cooking and tasting again the variety of soups to be sold the next day. “The final product is done when it’s balanced. No particular flavor stands out more than another unless its intentional – like a tomato soup,” he said. The proof is in the soup!

He’s probably made 150 different soups since opening up in Portland. He uses seasonal and local produce. Having the Wednesday Farmers’ Market below his window is very helpful in selecting fresh and seasonal produce. But sometimes he has to go elsewhere. He has to go to California and the southeast for citrus fruits that are available in large supply in those places. One of his biggest soup sellers at Monument Square is “loaded baked potato.”

Kinney grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. He attended Texas Culinary Academy, in Austin. Following that, he worked at the only 5 star restaurant in Austin – at the Driskill Hotel. That’s where he met his current business partners, Mike Jerome and his sister, Sarah Jerome.

“We’ve just begun talking about expanding in the next year,” said Kinney, although he didn’t go into any more detail at this time. Take out orders are available as well.

Please call 207 – 239-5662 for more information or email Kinney at kamasouptra@gmail.com