Nancy Chang makes and delivers exceptionally flavorful and nourishing soups to customers around Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond through her microenterprise home kitchen operation called Purpose & Hope.
Initially, her “purpose” was to care for her mother through cancer treatment in 2006 with the “hope” for her mother’s recovery. The experience planted a seed: Could offering comforting, healing soups with strong nutritional profiles actually work as a business?
In order to gain the knowledge of nutrition she needed, Chang pursued holistic nutrition studies at Bauman College in Berkeley and then took a set of classes at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.
Once she was successfully making and selling her soups, Chang kept that original goal in her sights: getting that food to people in need of healing nourishment, and so she also created a Soup Sponsor program that’s directly attached to her business.
“I currently have a handful of monthly donors that help fund soups that are donated to the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic and the Women’s Cancer Resource Center,” she says. “The soups are gifted to their clients for free since most are low income. I’ve always wanted to weave in a way to provide access to the soups despite the ability to pay to those who could use the support and nourishment.”
The nonprofits have reported back on how deeply their clients appreciate the soups, which has encouraged Chang to make the service more visible to the community so more of those clients can be served. Her Soup Sponsor page shows how anyone can help.
Not every soup Nancy Chang invents in her Purpose & Hope kitchen makes it onto her menu. For instance, this Maitake & Sunchoke Soup below but didn’t freeze well, so she decided to offer the recipe to us to try in our home kitchens.