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Introducing Simply Souperlicious

Simply Souperlicious have been feeding the Women in Digital Switzerland Lausanne Chapter since last year, and have been excellent contributors to the discussions, sharing their insights and experiences.

The talented women behind Simply Souperlicious are Carolyn Moncel and Sara Barradas, both professionals in the domains of Digital Marketing and Change Management. Beyond their remarkable expertise in their respective fields, they share an ardent passion for the culinary arts, which is evident in the exquisite flavors and creativity infused into their culinary delights..

With nearly three decades of expertise in digital communications, marketing, and project management, Carolyn possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience that is truly unparalleled. Prior to embarking on the exciting journey of founding Simply Souperlicious, she served as senior Engagement Manager at the renowned Alimentarium in Vevey, as well as the Deputy Head of Marketing at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Carolyn's academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications from Loyola University in Chicago, which has provided her with a solid foundation to excel in her professional endeavors. Additionally, she has showcased her literary talents, having published three collections of short stories, alongside a repertoire of online media relations and lifestyle articles.

Sara brings forth a unique blend of academic prowess and extensive professional experience in the dynamic realm of digital. Her academic background encompasses a diverse range of disciplines, including Economics, Statistics, Information Management, CRM & Market Studies, and Supply Chain Management. Throughout her career, Sara has successfully navigated various sectors, making notable contributions in corporate communications within the Financial Services, FMCG, and Energy industries. With an inherent passion for innovation, she transitioned into the software sphere, where she thrived as a digital solutions presales and implementation consultant, catering to clients across diverse industries. Sara's expertise extends to global implementations, where she has deftly handled significant change management requirements. Her remarkable capabilities in this domain have propelled her to excel as a specialist in Change Management and Process Optimization.

We know you both from our Lausanne events but tell us a little about Simply Souperlicious and your mission:

Simply Souperlicious produces an array of delightful, freshly made soups using locally sourced, seasonal vegetables. Right now, B2B customers can order online by subscription, with our diverse offerings refreshing on a weekly basis. Soups are delivered via thermos/warming kettles and served in reusable cups. Embracing the principles of the circular economy, Simply Souperlicious goes the extra mile by meticulously sourcing and upcycling ingredients, while forging strong partnerships with local producers. Our value chain encapsulates the essence of sustainability and responsible consumption. The “Subway” of soups, our secret sauce, ultimately will allow customers to “personalize” their own soups, while enjoying our family broth recipe as the base. The result? To turn veggie “haters” into veggie “lovers” – one soup at a time.

During the conceptualization phase of Simply Souperlicious, two distinct target demographics naturally came into focus: higher education students and professors, as well as working professionals. We noticed that individuals within these groups often endured demanding schedules, with extensive hours dedicated to studying or professional commitments. Having healthy, nutritious options for lunch and dinner was hard to find.

And as the women behind the brand, what are your backgrounds and what brought you where you are now?

Carolyn Moncel: I’m American, originally from Chicago, but I’ve been living in Lausanne since 2007. I’m a mom to two young adults. I’ve been working in digital communications, marketing, and project management for almost 30 years; both in the public and private sectors, as well as an entrepreneur, in the United States, France, and Switzerland. However, my journey to Simply Souperlicious has been a personal one. A health scare forced me to pay better attention to my body. My daughter’s suggestions inspired soup creation. A 14-hour train trip to Budapest made me realize that I wanted a soup company. Networking led me to my partner, Sara. Answering yes, to every request led to our first B2B clients, and Simply Souperlicious was born.

Sara Barradas: I’m Portuguese (from Lisbon), the mother of a young adult, living in Rolle since 2007. I’m a statistician and have worked in the software industry for many years, as well as in Supply Chain consulting, and lately in Process & Systems Optimization and Change Management. Why soup? Portuguese love food and cooking. Our traditional cuisine includes many soups, and I always had soup as part of most of my meals. When I met Carolyn a few years ago, and she mentioned Simply Souperlicious I told her right away that I’d be willing to partner with her. By that time we both had full-time jobs, but we kept our project in mind. Slowly but surely we started producing soup for our B2B clients.

Your unwavering passion and invaluable contributions at WDS events have not gone unnoticed. What factors have ultimately convinced you to embark on this collaborative journey with us?

Carolyn Moncel: We are passionate about participating in WDS events. These gatherings have provided us with invaluable opportunities to connect with a multitude of exceptional women. Recognizing the intricate dynamics of the digital tech landscape, we wholeheartedly acknowledge that it may not always foster the most inclusive and supportive environment. Consequently, we have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary efforts women exert to thrive within these spaces, displaying unwavering determination and dedication. During the conceptualization phase of Simply Souperlicious, two distinct target demographics naturally came into focus: higher education students and professors, as well as working professionals. We noticed that individuals within these groups often endured demanding schedules, with extensive hours dedicated to studying or professional commitments. Having healthy, nutritious options for lunch and dinner was hard to find. Our interest in collaboration stemmed from the fact that many of the members of WDS worked under similar conditions. We wanted to collaborate and introduce them to our offering.

Sara Barradas: As a professional woman working in Digital, I’m keen to support your members, meeting many talented women, sharing incredible professional and life experiences. We all know how hard it is to have a full-time job and still take the time to meet after work. We need to support each other. I can't see a better way to do so than by sharing some home-made soup. Happy to continue our collaboration.

And what has been your favorite event so far?

Carolyn Moncel: It may sound cliché, but I enjoy every event because I love the topic selections and I love meeting new participants each time. Personally, my most memorable event featured D. Helen Shapiro. I enjoyed it because she discussed GDPR in really great detail, and what I learned there was extremely relevant to a project that I was working on at the time within an organization.

Sara Barradas: It is hard to say, but maybe “Activate Your Vitality and Power of Transformation”, where Doris Oberholzer shared her experience and much needed guidance on how we can reduce and eliminate stress and help us to restore and maintain our vitality. This is so useful to any working woman!

Tell us something about you both that might surprise us

Carolyn Moncel: I am a genealogy and history buff. For over 15 years, I’ve been working on my family trees. Doing so really helped me to better understand my family’s history and its connection to food and farming. It turns out that food and farming have been a part of my family’s journey for at least seven generations, spanning time before the creation of the United States. So working on Simply Souperlicious brings my family’s history full circle, and that’s a pretty neat discovery.

Sara Barradas: I have ancestors from Amazonia (Brazil) and those roots, close to the nature, are extremely meaningful to me. And my Portuguese grandparents were still living in villages, close to fields and eating home-grown tasty vegetables. See how this relates to Simply Souperlicious?

What do you love the most about your business?

Carolyn Moncel: Getting out and meeting people is my favorite part of this business. I love interacting with our customers. I love meeting our customers as well. Likewise, I appreciate receiving their feedback, and their requests, and learning how we can continue to improve the soups that we make. My absolute favorite parts are when customers try to guess the ingredients, when they discover that their preferred soup contains a vegetable that they swore they hated, or when they relate those flavors to personal memories. The greatest compliment that a customer can ever give us is when they say, ‘This soup tastes just like my mother’s soup or my grandmother’s soup.’ It’s at that moment that people will share a story or memory, and suddenly we learn something new about a culture or history that we knew nothing about before. That’s powerful. For me, our soups are healthy and sustainable, yes, but our soups also connect customers to home, wherever home may be.

Sara Barradas: Just like Carolyn, I really fancy meeting people and their stories. And then relate those to food and soup! It works all the time… Namely, when a soup contains vegetables they used to hate, just like Carolyn mentioned. Or when they realize this could be the best way to achieve a healthy and weight-loss favorable diet!

And what is the biggest challenge that your face as entrepreneurs?

Carolyn Moncel: I think our challenges are the same as for most entrepreneurs. Funding and scaling remain our two biggest challenges. For the last four years, we’ve been bootstrapping our way toward each new milestone; taking our time to really learn our local markets in an organic way. However, if I am to be very frank, one of the biggest “hidden” challenges that we face is being taken seriously, as mature, female founders, and because we’re not producing the next sexy tech ‘unicorn’. Simply Souperlicious makes local, seasonal, vegetable soups! Our innovation will likely come in the way we think about using technology to source/track ingredients procured from local partners, the way that we choose to package and distribute our soups more sustainably, how we work within a circular economy, and the ways in which we plan to empower future employees and give back to the communities in which we serve. Sometimes the innovation is in being daring enough to look backward in order to find what you need to move forward.

Sara Barradas: Probably how to scale up, namely since I’m still working full-time. The journey of scaling up presents its own set of challenges, and I am acutely aware that a pivotal decision will eventually demand my attention: to prioritize either my current job or the flourishing soup business. Undoubtedly, the key lies in identifying the opportune moment to take the leap!

Which future trend is the most interesting in your opinion?

Carolyn Moncel: When I think about digital communication and marketing, I’m most excited about the use of generative AI. On some level, AI has been with us for quite a while, but what’s exciting is the ways in which it can be used to simplify some processes and repetitive work. I think, when used responsibly, it’s a great tool for sparking creative ideas, but bringing those ideas to life still lies within our own imagination.

Sara Barradas: Working in the digital world for a while, but caring for our species, I wonder if we’ll be able to make the right choices in order to make use of AI to better serve human beings - it’s what we call “responsible AI”. I sincerely hope so.

Find Simply Souperlicious at our Lausanne events and on social media:

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Hi All, thank you so very much for featuring Simply Souperlicious! It is always a pleasure to serve you and it's always a wonderful feeling to be in the company of such a talented group women working in digital and tech! We look forward to seeing you soon! Carolyn

Rachael Camp
Rachael Camp
Jul 05, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Carolyn, we are so grateful for your contribution to our community!

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