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Campbell’s takes its soup kitchen on the road

Pop-up restaurant to appear in Toronto's Distillery District and Montreal's St. Laurent Blvd.

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Fresh after opening The Cantina by Campbell’s last February—a pop-up restaurant on Toronto’s trendy Queen St. W. that featured four soup varieties by a celebrity chef—the soup maker is repeating the experience in Montreal.

A new version of the Cantina is also making an appearance in Toronto in a booth at the Distillery District’s Christmas Market.

“Because (last winter’s pop-up) was highly successful, we wanted to repeat that experience and expand it to Montreal and then continue with an experience in Toronto,” says Melissa Mendoza, senior brand manager at Campbell Company of Canada.

La Cantine Par Campbell’s opens Nov. 18 on Montreal’s trendy St. Laurent Blvd. and runs between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily until Dec. 16. The Cabin by Campbell’s opens Friday at The Distillery District and runs for five weeks.

Mendoza says the events are extensions of Campbell’s Real Food campaign which was launched last year. “It is an opportunity for people to experience real soup in a real world physical activation.”

“The objective is really attracting next generation consumers,” she says, and to “strengthen their perceptions about Campbell’s and the relevancy the brand plays and how we can fit in their lives.”

Campbell’s Canada team has partnered with chef Antonio Park to create unique recipes for the pop-up restaurant, using Campbell’s Soup products as a base.

Park, a judge on Chopped Canada, also owns two Westmount, Que. restaurants, Park and Lavanderia. Both restaurants were heavily damaged by a fire on Sunday and will be closed until they are repaired. However, despite the fire, Park is slated to make appearances at the Montreal pop-up.

Park has developed soups that focus on fusion and include Chicken Tortilla Daikon Soup, Creamy Tomato Hot and Sour Soup, Vegetarian Miso Mushroom Soup and Vegetarian Tom Yum Pho Soup.

As was the case in Toronto, the Montreal initiative features a corporate social responsibility component. Guests will be invited to share posts about their experience at #LeMondeEstSoupe. For each shared post, Campbell’s will donate a can of soup to the food bank Moisson Montreal.

The space will also feature a giant six-foot soup can which will be painted on-site weekly by four local artists. The paintings will be donated to the food bank for auction.

As well, visitors will receive Campbell’s Soup Kit and Condensed Soup samples and coupons.

In Toronto, visitors to The Cabin will sample two of Park’s recipes and receive coupons for Campbell’s products.  Guests will be asked to drop an LED bulb into a tube that will create an image of a sunset. Campbell’s will make contributions to the Daily Bread food bank for each visitor.

In February, Campbell’s teamed up with Matt Dean Pettit, founder and chef at Toronto restaurant chain Rock Lobster, to create four soups using its products. The activation had 16,000 visitors during its three week run.

Some 30,000 visitors are expected in Montreal during the four week pop-up and 100,000 visitors are expected to sample soups at the Christmas market which gets more than 1 million people.

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