Owner Lisa Ruddy, right, and daughter Alex both serve customers and prepare the food at Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company. (Staff photo by Allie Ward.)
Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company is located in Palmer Square East and Hulfish Street in Princeton. (Staff photo by Allie Ward.)

By Allie Ward

When a customer told Lisa Ruddy his sandwich was the best he’d had “in like 100 years,” she knew she was doing her job right.

“That was the greatest feeling for me,” said Ruddy, owner of Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company in Palmer Square. “I like taking care of people.”

Ruddy has been satiating Princetonians’ appetites for the last six years. The first four were spent under the Original SoupMan franchise, but now Ruddy and her husband Scott are busy growing PSASC into a brand of its own.

The location and quaintness of the shop first attracted Ruddy, a South Brunswick resident, to the area. PSASC sits tucked away on the corner lot at Palmer Square East and Hulfish Street, a kind of cozy café with tables lining the sidewalk.

“I love Princeton; it’s a beautiful place to be,” Ruddy said. “Even years later, I smile every day getting up in the morning to come here.”

Ruddy’s résumé includes retail—she used to work in management at Nordstrom—and she took the experience from that field and related it to the culinary world.

“I was able to apply the same concept of quality service backed by quality product, and I think you need the two of them to go hand in hand to really be successful,” she said. “So this is food and that was clothes, but the philosophy is the same.”

Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company is part diner, with breakfast sandwiches, muffins and bagels, and part deli, with Boar’s Head cold cuts and an assortment of cheeses. They also serve fruit smoothies, hot dogs, falafels, salads, desserts and vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The eatery specializes in soups and sandwiches and features seven homemade soups each day, from the hot and savory lobster bisque to the cool and refreshing chilled gazpacho.

“I don’t think you’ll find better soup anywhere in town,” Ruddy said. The restaurant offers free local delivery and catering, with almost everything made fresh on premises.

Because space is tight, Ruddy is considering expanding the business in the future, but she knows she wants to stay in Princeton.

“We definitely have outgrown this location,” she said, “but I love Palmer Square and I love this little corner spot.”

After disaffiliating from the SoupMan franchise—the chain started by Al Yeganeh, the man who inspired the Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode—Ruddy and her staff turned their focus to getting more involved in the community, and they are using Facebook as a key self-promotion tool.

“When we were the franchise, we had such high prices and still, even two years later, people associate us with that so we’re trying to break away from it,” Ruddy said. “We’re trying to grow the Facebook page and participate in everything we can locally.”

Above all, Ruddy said, she wants to please her customers and give them what they want.

“They’re going to get a healthy, high-quality meal,” she said. “We really try to go over and beyond in both quality and service.”

Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company is located at 30 Palmer Square East in Princeton. Call (609) 497-0008 for more details. On the web: princetonsoupandsandwich.com. To receive a deal, like “Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company” on Facebook.