Eulogy to Souplantation

lemon muffins
These homemade lemon muffins I baked for my sister recently reminded us both of Souplantation’s muffins.

From the start of this year, none of us have been strangers to bad news.

Today I found out that Souplantation, the beloved AYCE soup & salad chain is closing for good. I’m not exaggerating when I say the news almost brought me to tears. And yes, admittedly it’s been an even tougher past couple weeks for me than usual, but for me and many other fans, Souplantation is not just a buffet chain. It represents my childhood, my hometown, and also my family and the friends I grew up with.

I’ve been eating at Souplantation since I was 6 years old. I broke a plate there once because the tray and ceramic plate were too heavy for my 6-year-old arms and I watched the plate slide off the tray in slow motion. For a period of time, it felt like every Sunday my family ate at Souplantation with our neighbor friends. As I got to high school, I started eating there with my friends. High school fundraiser events would take place there. Fast forward to adult life and I’m eating there with my childhood friends post-college. Then with my husband, and occasionally running into coworkers eating there with their families. My brother-in-law’s wedding speech to us spent a good 5 minutes on Souplantation and what we like to eat there together.

This year is one of upheaval in many ways. And maybe it’s necessary. But I will miss that Wonton Chicken Salad. And adding pasta noodles, eggs, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds to it. I’ll miss the little round bowls used to fill up with clam chowder, mushroom chowder, and sometimes to pour chili over their little squares of cornbread. I will definitely miss the blueberry muffins with a side of honey whip. I will miss the mac and cheese, the side dish that only I seem to like among my group. Lastly, I will miss the chicken noodle soup, which I always had to close out the meal. (No gross soft serve for me). The end of Souplantation also brings a part of my childhood to an end. Thank you, you will be dearly missed.