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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to us!

It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, Union of Genius was only a day old. How time flies when you’re making soup. (“Waiter, waiter…”)

It’s safe to say our first year went pretty quickly, and of course getting a new business off the ground is a scary ride. But our second year has seen us move on in leaps and bounds. I always think it’s nice to stop and take stock (!) of life’s changes on anniversaries, so I’ve listed some of Union’s milestones below.

Back in 2011 when we opened our doors on a similarly sunny October day, it was just me, Amy, and Elaine, running the soupmines. Bruce was, as he still is, on hand to make tea. Today, we open our doors with a magnificent 7 members of staff, and an eighth on the way.

We had no completed loyalty cards and only a handful of returned packaging for composting. Today, we have more than 200 completed loyalty cards – the equivalent of approximately 20,000 individual pieces of packaging composted, or 7.5 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill. (Thanks for that, guys!)

730 days ago we sold soup, and bread, and some coffee. Today, we sell, soup, bread, coffee, salad, more cakes, more hot chocolates and as of next week, our own line of exotic spices with which to make soups like ours. Come in and check them out, if you’ve ever wanted to see za’atar in its naked form. We’ll also be selling eco-friendly branded jute bags to complement our Keep Cups and Fuel Pod range, and a few of our more unusual grains.

October 25th, 2013, and 17,520 hours have passed since the casual era in which we only made soup for one cafe: our own. Today, we currently supply 15 other cafes as well as the Bethany Care Van. To do this, we run a commercial kitchen, part-funded by our fabulous friends and customers through our Kicktarter campaign at the start of the year. The kitchen is led by Cheryl, who joined us almost a year ago today. It produces 215 litres of soup a day, every drop of which is pedalled out carbon-neutral across the city each morning.

But today is the last day that 215 litres will be our daily average, for a new friend will be driving our total up. His name is Dumbo and he’s coming to a street near you soon…

More on that next week though – for now, we raise our soup pots in thanks to you, our fantastic customers, for all your support and cheer over the last 1,051,200 minutes. Souper!