A Truly Souper Match!

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It's not often that Spark matches blow up Twitter, but a recent match between Soup Bee, a Winnipeg social enterprise that sells soups made with local ingredients by individuals facing barriers to employment, and Shel Zolkewich, a marketing specialist and food blogger, did just that.

Spark is CCEDNet's pro bono matching service in Winnipeg, connecting community organizations to resources, ideas, and people who can help them.

Social media is currently a bit of a hot request at Spark, so when Kelly got in touch looking for help with Facebook we thought it was time to find a new volunteer/pro bono consultant. So I reached out to a group I'm in, asking for suggestions. When Shel asked for more information, I was beyond excited: I'd never met her, but I absolutely love the local food scene, and have been following her on Twitter for some time. I also knew that she was involved with the Manitoba Food Bloggers Facebook group, and couldn't have been happier at the thought of bringing her together with Kelly.

Well, sure enough a mentoring match was made, and Shel had many great ideas for Soup Bee - including involving some local food bloggers by having a Soup Bee-hosted soup making competition. 

At the end of February, eight people and their supporters gathered at Knox Community Kitchen (a group which has also received Spark help, for their lovely website), and competed for the bragging rights of being named the best soup maker. Based on the video taken at the event, it looks like everyone had a wonderful time.

You can get in on some of the excitement and fun of the event by checking out #SouperBee on Twitter. As well, I've shared some participants' blog posts below. Some of the contestants included recipes for their entries, and others have promised to share soon - yum!

As you keep an eye out for more recipes to appear, you could also follow us on Facebook to watch for the launch of Spark's new website, coming later this year. We're excited about the chance to share even more about our matches and the great people doing amazing things in this fine city.

Thanks again to Shel, Kelly, and all the participants and sponsors of the event. Thanks also to Chef Ben Kramer for the photo: he was one of the lucky judges, and snapped it before declaring the winner.


Katie Schewe is a Recruitment Co-ordinator for Spark, where she works to connect Winnipeg's vast and varied talents to support nonprofits in their work. Through her experience working in the financial service industry and communications, Katie brings a unique perspective to community collaboration and motivating volunteer engagement to support the work of local organizations. Katie is a graduate of Canadian Mennonite Bible College and the University of Winnipeg. She enjoys networking to inspire new connections, matches, and partnerships.