|Centerpieces for a Storey soup night in the works|
like to see one on your block, you will find plenty of help from the hosts
whose stories are described in this book. Several of them took the extra step
of outlining some of the things they have learned over the years about how to
orchestrate Soup Night and keep it going. I have grouped them together here,
along with my sincere thanks for their generosity. I have supplemented their
accumulated wisdom with the following step-by-step outline of what it takes to
start a Soup Night in your neighborhood.
neighbor as a partner. If you don’t already know all your neighbors, ask
someone who knows the people you don’t to be your partner in this adventure.
two weeks away to host your first neighborhood Soup Night. Weekends are
generally the best.
explaining the idea and giving the specifics of the first Soup Night, to be
held at your house. List your address and phone number, along with the date and
time in big letters. Make enough copies for all the houses on the block.
your partner, introducing yourself if need be and explaining your idea. Leave a
copy of the letter.
where no one is home, and make a second effort. If they’re still not home,
leave your letter with a handwritten P.S. asking if they would please call you.
reminder invitation two or three days before the event and distribute it to
everyone. Add a handwritten line for those you have not yet heard from, saying
you hope they will come.
- Invite everyone. That’s really the whole point — so that
people get to know each other.
- Do as much in advance as possible. Many soups can be made
ahead, either completely or partially. Garnishes can be prepped ahead too. You
don’t want hours of last-minute work, or how else would you survive to do the
next Soup Night?
|Among tonight’s attendees: authors of these Storey titles.|
- We distributed creative invitations for a number of years,
but a neighborhood directory which includes e-mail addresses has moved the
invitations to the electronic level of communication and makes it a lot less
expensive and a lot less work.
- We live in a small historic district with defined
boundaries. Having a clearly defined area also makes our Soup Nights successful
as we have an identity as neighbors. Identifying and defining a geographical
area is important even if there isn’t a ready-made target area.
- I keep a file for soup ideas to get me launched, but of
course, adapt according to what I have on hand or what’s for sale. It’s good to
give yourself permission to be flexible.