Why We Strive to be the Ritz Carlton of Soup, Sandwiches, and Salads

Every week our owner Tom Stoner and Chef Dave can be found at local farmers markets bagging seasonal local produce to incorporate into their menu items at the 5 Spoons locations in Fort Collins.

Tom Stoner has always wanted Spoons to be the “Ritz Carlton” of soups, sandwiches, and salads. And that journey begins in the kitchen. Spoons is unique in that everything served is grown and prepared locally. All of the salad dressings, soups, and sandwich meat is seasoned, sliced, and cooked in our own Kitchen.

Understanding our standard of serving fresh ingredients, local farmers often come to Spoons before they take their products to the market, knowing our value of local food on our menu. Chef Dave recently bought 200 lbs. of local butternut squash that will be incorporated into different soups over the next few months– such as Pumpkin Green Chilli, Cajun Pumpkin, and Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Soup.

At Spoons, our focus is on the process to serve you our best. From finding the best ingredients, to creating the best food, and serving it to you at our best price, we have you in mind through the whole process.

Our journey always starts with you, our family, and leads us to finding high-quality ingredients. Short cutting the process of finding wholesome ingredients and creating our own recipes would be easy, but that wouldn’t be best for you. The passion we hold at Spoons is to deliver an incredible variety of soup, sandwiches, and salads in a way that our customers know they can count on every single menu item being sourced responsibly and made carefully.

Each morning Chef Dave enters the kitchen hours before dawn, he works with an empty pot as an artist works with an empty canvas. Adding ingredients, tasting the soup, looking for the jewel hidden in every pot. The goal? To create a jewel and take it from our Chef’s pot to your family’s bowl.

Spoons exists because Fort Collins deserves great food. The community of Fort Collins has given back to us in so many ways and supported our dream of opening a soup restaurant that serves quality, local, and wholesome food. We owe it to you to give you our best, because you haven given your best to us.

Big Idea: Meet the Man Behind the Soup.

Every morning, Chef Dave arrives at Spoons’ kitchen hours before dawn to begin his daily soup creation starting with just an empty metal pot. Dave loves soup, in fact, some might say he is crazy about soup, including himself. “I have a thing for I make soup all week. I’ll make 250 gallons of soup every day, and come Saturday, I am shopping at Whole Foods and the farmers market buying ingredients to make soup at home.”

Chef Dave is the man behind the soup you enjoy at Spoons, and to him, soup is an opportunity to create something that matters for the people of Fort Collins. Creativity fuels Dave’s passion for soup and is what gets him out of bed each morning. “Starting with an empty pot, turning it on, starting with some sautéed vegetables, building it up, adding ingredients. The colors, tasting it, smelling it, that is where it’s at.”

In 1980, Dave was 20 years old and had just moved to Durango, Colorado from his home state of Michigan to work in a kitchen resort. After working there for about two months, the resort hired a new chef– a 30-year old with a passion for making high-quality Americana food. That chef was Tom Stoner, who would later move to Fort Collins to establish Spoons in 2002.

Tom took Dave under his wing, teaching him his best culinary tricks and creative touch to delicious menu items. One day, while Tom and Dave were making a tomato soup, Dave watched as Tom cut fresh basil and poured the herbs into the soup. The taste of the soup before and after the herbs were added amazed Dave. He never knew how much of a difference fresh herbs made to the overall flavor of soup.

Even today, Chef Dave’s cooking reflects his early experiences from his partnership with Tom in 1980. Today, Chef Dave can be found in Spoons’ kitchen carefully chopping fresh parsley and adding it to his famous Mom’s Chicken Vegetable Soup. “I want to dig a spoonful and see that chopped parsley in there because that means somebody took the time and the effort to chop up a fresh herb and get it into the soup. It’s not dried, it’s not flakes, it’s the real, fresh stuff.”

Over the last 30 years, Tom and Dave have worked both together and apart, and today, they consider themselves not as owner and employee, but more like “two people who really dig food and just want the best.” Spoons’ culture centers on care– from the preparation and production to the final product you enjoy, every spoonful reflects the care for each consumer and the menu items you love most.