Kevin Fortun founded StockPot in 1981 after working as the purchasing director for Bellevue, Washington-based Schwartz Brothers Restaurants.
While working at Schwarz Brothers, Fortun noticed that the group's 15 different restaurants often experienced variances in the quality and consistency of items made from scratch. So Fortun set out to find a line of premium quality soups that could deliver consistent, made-from-scratch taste at each restaurant every time.
Fortun decided there must be a market for a line of fresh-refrigerated premium quality soups. With a dream and $50,000 in capital, Fortun launched StockPot®...and Schwartz Brothers Restaurants was his first customer.
A spirited entrepreneur, Fortun's vision was a compelling one. He was determined to build a company that could provide foodservice operators with fresh-refrigerated soups that had made-from-scratch taste and appearance. He consulted with chefs, located suppliers of high-quality ingredients and used a network of restaurateurs to gauge market potential. After Fortun sampled his new recipes with his friends, StockPot®'s first line of fresh-refrigerated soups was introduced.
StockPot quickly gained a reputation for next-to-scratch quality by using local produce, premium meats and seafoods, proprietary seasoning blends and authentic recipes. Finally, foodservice operators could serve kettle-cooked soups prepared with the same ingredients they used in their own kitchens and at a price competitive with lower quality frozen soups.
After "four years of total hell and losing money," Fortun had finally built the network of customers and distributors he needed. In 1984 sales reached $330,000 and his brothers Mike and Steve joined the endeavor. Together, the brothers worked to broaden StockPot's customer base. Soon they had a national foodservice account and a distribution network that included TGI Friday's®, Claim Jumper Restaurants, and a few international clients.
US Foodservice San Francisco now stocks 12 Stockpot items including one organic and three vegetarian.
Organic Vegetarian Chili with Four Beans
Thick and hearty, this vegetarian chili starts with four beans: black, pinto, kidney, and garbanzo. We add diced tomatoes, red bell peppers, zucchini, and green chiles, and then finish with a sassy blend of jalapeño, cilantro, and smoky chipotle.
Mai Pham's Lemon Grass Pho Vegetarian Broth
This authentic Vietnamese pho broth is made with a flavorful vegetable stock infused with star anise, ginger, and traditional spice. All you need to complete this culinary treasure is add rice noodles and top with sliced tofu, your choice of vegetables.
Uspn # 4746285
A hearty Italian classic loaded with tomatoes, ditalini pasta, kidney beans, spinach, green beans, and zucchini simmered in a rich vegetable stock seasoned with sweet roasted garlic and basil, and finished with a drizzle of olive oil.