Verheaghe has turned Red Cup Cafe, 115 Broadway, into a soup kitchen for the
duration of the Governor’s stay-at-home order, she told the Chesterton
“I always joked
that I wanted to do this for free,” Verheaghe said. “I’m working on my first
big order and hoping to partner with the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry.”
took the Tribune’s call one-handed, as she stirred a big, hot pot of
tomato bisque. She’s been taking phone orders from individuals since Tuesday
and was just finishing up her first large order, 60 quarts of soup for St.
John’s United in Chesterton, Thursday night.
the retail value of the order she’s making for the Presbyterian church at
The effort is
self-funded and supplemented by whatever contributions come Red Cup’s way.
Members of the public can contribute via PayPal or call Red Cup at (219)
929-1804 to make card donations.
she received a large donation of produce from The Goblin & The Grocer
restaurant in Beverly Shores, which has decided to close for the duration of
the stay-at-home order according to its Facebook page. Verheaghe also
expressed her immense gratitude to Tom and Roberta Dakich, who started her
off with $1,000, and thanked everyone who has thrown in a range of smaller
Free soup is
available to all in need, no questions asked, until Verheaghe runs out for a
given day. Those who want to make an individual or family order can call Red
Cup to arrange a contactless pickup at the Cafe between noon and 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday. Selections will change daily but could include
great northern bean and ham, tomato bisque, garden vegetable and pasta,
mushroom and barley, and veggie lentil.
Verheaghe said she
plans to offer this service for the duration of the stay-at-home order, if
possible. “We’re all scared, we’re all hurting, and I just want to do
something for our community for as long as I can,” she said.
Red Cup has closed
its for-profit enterprise during the stay-at-home order, but patrons can
still show support by contributing monetary donations to the free soup
effort or following Red Cup on Facebook and leaving positive reviews.