What happens when the former COO of booming, quality-obsessed Juice Press teams up with a celebrated chef who has run kitchens at restaurants like Craftbar and competed on Iron Chef America?
In this case, Indie Fresh—a new company making gourmet-caliber, healthy soups.
Aforementioned juice-world vet Shom Chowdhury launched the brand with Akhtar Nawab, currently the executive chef at Choza Taqueria, in November. And Indie Fresh’s popularity is starting to simmer, landing the New York City brand a permanent storefront at Gotham West Market. They also ship their soups nationwide.
Indie Fresh is just the latest in the wellness trend of sippable nutrition in the form of soups and broths, rather than juice. Companies like Splendid Spoon and Soupure are picking up steam on both coasts, and bone broth is being added to menus all over.
The genesis of Indie Fresh
“What I started to notice was that the trend was shifting from juice to customers wanting something more hearty and filling to eat, as well as a habit they could sustain,” Chowdhury says.
At Juice Press, he says, he found that after detoxing through cleanses, customers often struggled to figure out how to re-incorporate healthy foods, or had trouble maintaining an entirely raw, vegan diets—a problem that spoke to him personally. “To fuel my own workouts—a lot of running and Flywheel—I turned to protein and Paleo.” It was a wellness (and business) epiphany: soups could blend the substance he needed with the ease he craved.
Chowdhury tapped his long-time friend Nawab to add culinary cred—and a whole lot of deliciousness—to the venture.
Cooking up the soup
Currently, Indie Fresh sells seven different soups, all of which flirt with being Paleo, but don’t go all the way. There’s no dairy, added sugar, or gluten, and they’re made with good-for-you ingredients like coconut oil, fresh vegetables, ancient grains, and meats sourced from Pat LaFrieda.
Three are three delicious vegan blends, like a genius Broccoli, Coconut, and Hemp Curry (a staff favorite), and for meat-eaters, options like a mouth-watering Butternut Squash & Chicken and a Bison Borscht, which is loaded with Tuscan kale and chia seeds.
All of them constitute a full meal, and since they come packaged as individual servings in mason jars, you can just pop one in the microwave for a quick lunch (without worrying about leaching plastic). The delivery box even includes simple instructions from chef Nawab on how to heat them up.
And with broths being the hottest thing since sliced (gluten-free) bread, Indie Fresh is also on it with a selection of beef, chicken, mushroom, and veggie broths. With all this hot liquid nutrition being ladeled out, we’re thinking you might need a bigger spoon this winter. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.indiefresh.com