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Why is Jerry Seinfeld Banned from The Original Soupman?

The Original Soupman is a soup restaurant business founded by Ali Al Yeganeh and is based on Yeganeh’s first restaurant, Soup Kitchen International. But did you know that the famous sitcom actor and comedian, Jerry Seinfeld was banned from Yeganeh’s soup stall? 

Jerry Seinfeld is banned from going to the New York soup stall that he used for the premise of The Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. Seinfeld visited the stall for lunch after the episode aired, and Yeganeh requested him to leave because he didn’t like the label the show had given him.

The Soup Nazi, Al Yeganeh

In the eponymous episode of the NBC television sitcom Seinfeld that was initially aired on November 2, 1995, Yeganeh inspired the Soup Nazi character. Before relocating to the United States, Yeganeh was born in Iran and lived in Khorramshahr.

In this episode, Yeganeh, who was fictionalized as Yev Kasse, was depicted as a dictatorial soup seller who required all of his clients to follow a rigid set of regulations in order to obtain a bowl of one of his prized soups.
Jerry Seinfeld and many members of the production team went to Soup Kitchen International for lunch weeks after The Soup Nazi aired.

Yeganeh did a triple take when he recognized Seinfeld and then launched into a profanity-laced rant about how the program had ruined his business and demanded an apology. 

Spike Feresten

Yeganeh asked the group to leave his establishment. Despite Yeganeh’s dislike for the Soup Nazi persona, Soupman, Inc. stated on July 22, 2015, that the picture of actor Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi character on Seinfeld, has been licensed to promote Yeganeh’s soups across America. (Source: The Soup Nazi

The Original Soupman’s Growth and Expansion

The Original Soup Man established franchises in locations around the United States and Canada, including four in Manhattan. Yeganeh licensed his recipes, name, and likeness to the corporation.

Forty-five soup variations in 8-pound bags were distributed to franchisees rotating. Ranch One and Cold Stone Creamery were among the restaurants that subfranchised the soups. 

On April 22, 2005, Soup Kitchen International Inc. and Yeganeh announced that a retail line of heat-n-serve soups would be available at select grocery shops. SoBe Beverages created five different variants, all of which were overseen by Al Yeganeh. 

The soups came in 15 oz. containers. Clear ‘Grab-N-Go’ packaging. The Original SoupMan line of soups has been marketed in 14 states and over 7,000 grocery shops across the United States and Canada since May 2005. (Source: The Daily Princetonian

The Soup Original Soupman’s Bankruptcy and Re-launch

Robert Bertrand, The Original Soupman’s chief financial officer, was arrested and charged with income tax evasion in May 2017 for failing to pay the company’s Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes since 2010. The chain declared bankruptcy less than two months later. 

The Original Soupman was able to re-enter New York City’s public school lunch program, increase sales to delis and supermarkets in the New York City area, and eventually open its first post-bankruptcy physical site in Times Square in December 2018. (Source: The Wall Street Journal

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