Herndon is home to more than 100 restaurants and 1,300 businesses, according to Dennis Holste, economic development manager for the Town of Herndon.
More than 40 businesses are now located in Sunset Business Park.
Walk into 100 Bowls of Soup on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; “this place is humming,” said owner Katharine Mardirosian, of McLean.
“When the two kettles are going, piping hot, it smells spectacular. It could be the spices in the curry lentil, it could be the tomatoes in the the tomato basil, it could be the aroma from the chicken stock; the smells and sights are part of the experience,” said Mardirosian.
Hands-on cooking classes are planned for the fall and Mardirosian wants to help customers learn the preparation and cooking of simple, fresh, nourishing meals from scratch.
“Part of our mission is education and enrichment,” she said. “People aren’t just looking for the how to, but the why; why is this good for me, why should I eat this way, why should I choose these ingredients, why should I choose this way of life?”
Mardirosian relocated her business, 100 Bowls of Soup, from her 150-square-foot space in Vienna to 279 Sunset Park Drive in Sunset Business Park.
A formal ribbon cutting is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 12, 2015, even though she is already open for business.
“It is a leap, a huge business decision,” she said. “Not only am I doubling down, I’m tripling down.”
Mardirosian shares her kitchen space with Deborah Gudelsky of Deborah Joy’s Gluten Free and Deepa Patke of Aromatic Spice Blends.
MORE THAN 14 restaurants are located in Sunset Business Park, according to Holste.
The Aslin brewery is close to its opening around the corner from 100 Bowls of Soup.
Andrew Kelley, a financial planner who lives in Clarendon, Kai Leszkowicz, a Fairfax County police officer who lives in Herndon, and Richard Thompson, a remodeler from Reston, plan to open their nano-brewery on Sept. 4, 2015 at 257 Sunset Park.
Getting to 100
A sampling of the 100 soups eventually to be included on the menu at 100 Bowls of Soup.
Tomato Basil (summer menu)
Watermelon Gazpacho (summer)
Zucchini Basil (summer)
Summer Minestrone (summer)
Fennel Garlic and Bean (summer)
Cuban Black Bean (summer)
Tomato Gazpacho (summer)
Green Gazpacho (summer)
Beet Gazpacho (summer)
Spicy Black Bean
African Coconut Curry
Arugula, Leek and Yam
Black Eyed Pea and Cabbage
Fall Butternut Squash
Harissa Red Lentil
Mushroom Onion and Miso
Roasted Fennel, Garlic and Bean
Parsnip Apple Ginger
Spicy Black Bean
Sweet Potato Vindaloo
Three Bean Chili
Frozen Real Chicken Stock
Frozen Real Beef Stock
Frozen Real Vegetable Stock
Frozen Mushroom Stock
“We are all home brewers and just had that interest,” said Thompson. “At first, we were just joking around but each one of us would do something that furthered the process along.”
When their beer tasted as good or better than their favorite craft beers, they knew they could trust their vision. “Everything has fallen into place fairly easily,” said Thompson.
Thompson has remodeled and built the bar, even crafting the wood holders for taste testing in the shape of Virginia. Motorists have driven by and seen his sign.
“Countless number of people have stopped and asked, ‘When are you opening?’” said Thompson.
THE MENU CHANGES with the season at 100 Bowls of Soup.
Right now, soups on tap include curry lentil, green gazpacho, tomato gazpacho, beet gazpacho, watermelon gazpacho, spicy black bean, tomato basil, fennel garlic and black bean, minestrone and zucchini basil. But in the fall, her menu will include apples, beets, mushrooms and potatoes.
You’ll see Mardirosian and her colleagues at the Herndon’s Farmers Market on Thursday morning, selling their soups but also growing their partnerships with vendors of local, organic produce that she uses whenever possible; her stock/bone broths and meat soups are made from pastured chicken and 100 percent grass fed beef.
The kitchen is gluten free.
She says she was inspired by her love of soup and her mother-in-law’s cooking.
“I started 100 Bowls of Soup in 2009 with the idea of sharing simple, homemade nourishing soup and stock with friends and family. I wanted to create soup from scratch and real bone stock that was as flavorful and fresh as it was nourishing,” she wrote about her store. “I wanted to cook seasonally and get to know the farmers and artisans who grew and raised the ingredients I used in our soups and stock. I began cooking my first batches of soup in a local church kitchen, selling the soup at several artisanal food stores and at the Reston Farmers Market,” according to her website.
Her soups are now available at MOM’s Organic Market, The Organic Butcher of McLean, Maple Avenue Market in Vienna, Salud in Great Falls, and online via Washington Green Grocer and Hometown Harvest.
The kitchen, open Monday through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., includes a retail store with soups, broths both vegan and stock/bone, gluten free baked goods, and spice blends and chutneys.
She envisions, by the time temperatures drop in winter, having two pots of hot soup ready for customers to carry out, and a pot of stock/bone broth to serve.
“Just like a cup of tea,” she said, “It’s so nourishing.”