LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Digging through a fridge, Pamela Haines showed the kinds of fresh ingredients she puts into her healthy soup: lettuce, celery, tomatoes, green beans and more.
Haines is the owner of a Sweet Peaches, a restaurant in Louisville's Russell neighborhood.
Once a week, she gives away free bowls of the soup to the community.
"I had to find a way to do my part with the COVID-19," she told Spectrum News 1. "What could I do? Somebody like me, what can I do? I can cook, so I thought maybe soup.”
She said she started out using a small soup pot and now refills a much larger pot multiple times to feed everyone.
Nine years ago, Haines started selling cookies to afford working on a Ph.D. in philosophy and conflict resolution.
"Didn’t finish the Ph.D., but I got into something a little more heartfelt for myself," she said. "When I started selling cookies, one cookie led into giving somebody a reading lesson, giving somebody a pair of shoes."
Haines has stayed right where she is at 18th Street and West Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
Through the support of the AMPED Russell Technology Business Incubator, she was able to renovate the restaurant this year.
Recently, Sweet Peaches hosted a small business accelerator breakfast with Russell: A Place of Promise, focused on Black women-owned retail and restaurant businesses in the neighborhood.
“I want more African American-owned businesses for the Russell neighborhood," she told Spectrum News 1. "I want to see some of the old, worn down houses built back up ... These people down here are good people, hardworking people. They deserve to have everything that any other neighborhood has that’s thriving."
Sweet Peaches provides bowls of free soup each Tuesday.