Dale Kroop, Director
call (203) 287-7030
The Soup Girl Grows and Grows and Grows
The Soup Girl Grows and Grows and Grows To the Next Level
A Story About a Successful Hamden Business
On February 17th, Jessica Hazan known as the “Soup Girl” purchased her building at 1246 Whitney Avenue. This included her space, and the commercial space formerly known as First Niagara. The building, located near the corner of Whitney Avenue and Ralston Avenue, also includes a two bedroom residential unit on the second floor.
What started out as a food truck at local festivals has evolved into one of Hamden’s most interesting stories about a small business and how it has taken advantage of the services we have to offer for small business growth. “Jessica was a good business woman and was eager to learn how to take it to another level. Now she owns a business and she is a real estate investor in the sought after Whitneyville neighborhood”, stated Dale Kroop Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization.
Ms. Hazan originally came to the Economic Development Department in 2009 for help to develop her business plan with the idea of someday having a store front for her homemade soups. “Jessica was a typical small business owner that had to do everything, to make, sell and market the product as well as handle the business side of things. It is a great challenge for the over 70% of Hamden businesses that have less than 10 employees”, further stated Mr. Kroop.
Ms. Hazan came to the Towns Business Assistance Center and worked with the Coordinator, Richard Pearce from Evolution Enterprises. She worked on her business plan to move to a location which eventually led her to the space on Whitney Avenue. She has been there ever since and when First Niagara vacated the space in 2016, Ms. Hazan was then able to acquire the building. Since her initial work with the Business Assistance Center, she was referred by Mr. Pearce to Quinnipiac Bank, where she received her first business loan. “Our goal is to work with small businesses, coach them to help them identify their business goals, write their business plans and then get them to a lender that is appropriate”, commented Mr. Pearce.
From Jessica Hazan (Owner)……
My husband and I relocated to Hamden from New York in 2003. I was taking time off from teaching to raise my two boys. When it was time for me to return to work I knew I had a choice to make. Go back to teaching or pursue my passion for cooking (and eating!). The Soup Girl was born in 2008 with an idea and a few supportive neighbors. There was only one problem; I had no business experience. Early on, I was fortunate enough to be referred to the Hamden Economic Development Office. With their guidance I began to turn my idea into a real business. Richard Pearce helped me to set goals and think about both the big ideas and the small details. After years of participating in local farmer’s markets and building my brand, I was ready to open a brick and mortar shop. In 2011, I again turned to the Economic Development Office. After several unsuccessful attempts at writing a business plan (all those numbers gave me a headache!) they worked with me every step of the way to obtain a small business loan that helped me realize my dream of a retail store. We have now been thriving in the Whitneyville section of Hamden for five years. We offer four hot soup choices daily and have many soups in our fridge for customers to take home. We have tremendous community support and lots of loyal soupees. When our current space became available to purchase we knew we had to buy the building. I am proud to be a property owner and investor in Hamden and the Whitneyville Business community.
Ms. Hazan closed on the purchase of the property with the assistance of Dave Raccio for the Community Investment Corporation in Hamden and Newtown Savings Bank. Richard Barredo represented the Newtown Savings Bank.
Ms. Hazan now has 2,366 square feet plus a full basement for storage of commercial space available at the former First Niagara location as well as a one bedroom apartment. For more information about that space, contact Jessica Hazan at The Soup Girl at 203-654-0663 (Scott) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Hamden Business Assistance Center or Hamden’s Business Incentive Program, go to
or call the Office at 203-287-7030.
Dale Kroop at 203-287-7030 or email@example.com or visit our web site at
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