A veteran-owned business’ commitment to soup and sustainability

April 29, 2020

Left to right: Roy, Laura’s father, and Terry with Capener Creations soup

To celebrate Earth Day, we challenged members and friends of The Prince’s Trust Group to share their favourite soup recipes with us. Soup has powerful, sustainable and social attributes – it can be made from leftovers in the fridge and is made to be shared. This Friday we’ll be highlighting the wonderful recipes that were shared with us.

We’re kicking things off with Laura and Terry Capener, co-owners of Capener Creations and purveyors of delectable soup kits. Look at their menu today and you will find a robust list of 16 unique varieties of soup kits, ranging from Butter Chicken Lentil to Minestrone, many of which are vegan and gluten free. What their menu doesn’t show is the hard work and strong values behind each soup.

For Laura and Terry, the idea of making and selling soups came when they saw them for sale at a farmer’s market and felt that they could do better. However, they didn’t act on the idea right away. Two life events finally pushed Laura and Terry to begin making and selling their own soup: Laura’s health and Terry’s retirement. Laura, a long-time teacher, was forced to retire when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that made her allergic to many foods and environmental factors.  In response, Laura began to experiment with foods to discover what worked best for her. At the same time, Laura’s husband Terry, a Warrant Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, retired after 31 years of service. Through her experiments, Laura had discovered that more natural foods were the best. This realization formed the backbone of their business, which is committed to using all natural and Canadian ingredients (save for a few spices) from a curated list of suppliers. It is this unique focus that helps distinguish them from their competitors.

Laura and Terry’s conviction that every part of their soups be as natural, local and sustainable as possible is readily apparent. They have ensured that all the bowls, lids, spoons, sample cups and napkins are biodegradable or made from recycled materials. They utilize low electricity kitchenware, and by sourcing ingredients from within Canada, they have minimized the negative environmental impacts of transportation.

Each soup is developed with care and a lot of trial and error. Whenever a new recipe is being tested, Terry takes it into work to share with his colleagues, whose feedback he trusts.  Laura thinks they are the perfect feedback group and said, “military folks are extremely blunt and with so many palates, you’re going to get a cross section of society…”.

There are a couple of important lessons at the core of Laura and Terry’s commitment to unique, natural, local and sustainable soup. The first is that if we set our minds to it, there are always opportunities to be more sustainable. For instance, we can take steps like freezing or dehydrating our food to extend its life and avoid waste. Capener Creations’ soup kits have a one-year stable shelf life because of the dehydration technique.

The second is that soup is for everyone and can be made by anyone. With time and some trial and error, you can end up with something amazing! What do you have in your fridge right now? It might be the start of something great.

Check out Capener Creations’ soups here.