©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Inspired by food bikes in Asia, now in Brussels
I stumbled across this soup cargo bike when I was at the CYCLO opening for their vintage window. Two vats of soup available to one and all. They actually pressed everyone to come back and taste the second soup – my kind of food. So, I had to find Susanne, Soupreise and their cargo soup bike at their location on Place Luxembourg near the European Parliament. They are there Monday to Thursday from 11:30 – 14:30. Find them, on Facebook.
©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A local professional chef, inspired by soups from around the world, creates the daily offerings.
“The food thing was my idea, but the bike and the food bike developed at the same time. We were travelling the world, my husband, our kid and me, travelling all through Asia. The street food was so good and I had worked in the European Parliament for years and I ate such bad food every day. We thought we should develop something new. I quit my job and, at the same moment,, my husband said, ‘Why not put it on a bike?’, like the ones we were seeing in Asia. And then we found XYZ and all the ideas came together at the same moment.
“We made the first bike last year and used it privately for the kids. At the same time, we were developing the project and we put it all together. When we got back to Brussels and we made our first food bike. We built the additional carriers, the rooftop and more. We have all the tools at home to cut the metal. We needed all the extra structures because, by law, we have to carry water and a trash can and then the supports for the water trays. And then the roof cover. That is all made by us.
“The most difficult part of the project has been the paperwork. All the permissions. Administrations, communes, licences, joining entrepreneurial groups. The signatures only take a few seconds, but then we had to wait three months for the permissions to arrive. It takes a long time.
©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Two different and unique soups as a faster, healthy food alternative every day
“We don’t have a kitchen ourselves so we use a co-working kitchen in Brussels. I have a professional chef who makes the soups. He is actually a professor at a cooking school in Brussels. You can really taste the difference. The idea behind it is I really wanted to offer healthy, fast food. That is why it is served in a cup. You just put a lid on it and you can go to your meeting and no one will even know. They will think you are having coffee. Except for the smell. But that is our advertising.
I worked for years in the Parliament and we usually had meetings over lunch, so you only had 20 minutes for food. I ate so many sandwiches. I would have been really happy to know there was something like this out there and I could look up their location on Facebook and then take a cup and get my soup. Then I would be eating something healthy and good.
Every day we have two different soups and every day it is something different. It will be a long time before we have to repeat, there are so many recipes out there. And then we want to ask our customers what they want to eat. What did they have on vacation, and then we can make it.
©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A short walk from the EU parliament buildings and all delivered on a bike
“It is an XYZ cargo bike, a project in Hamburg, Germany. We found them on the internet and they told us to go there to build the basic bike frame, and then we installed all the components. It is called XYZ because all the corners have an “xyz” shape and is the most solid. It is what the military uses when they barricade streets. The same construction. The Cyclo [vintage window opening] was out first event and it was so nice to have support from the biking organisations. And now we are able to offer soups for meetings where they cannot come to us. We bring the soup to them. We leave a container and a heater and they help themselves. We have a second cargo bike for those deliveries because a car will not work if you have multiple clients. You will, always be stuck in traffic. We have to deliver by bike, otherwise it will not be there on time.