Creativity, fresh food recipe for Soup & STAN-wich

Marianne Gillespie
Stan Taylor stands by the front window of his new business, Soup & STAN-wich Inc., located on Cedar Street. Owens Design Group of Chillicothe created the caricature of Taylor for the sign.

The name for Stan Taylor’s signature item on his menu came by accident.

His wife, Debbra, was talking on the phone to her sister about six months ago.

“The kids are coming over to have a STAN-wich,” she told her. Her sister asked her if she realized what she had just said. She didn’t, until she repeated it.

“Well, when I said it, we had talked for days trying to get a catchy name,” Debbra said, and it stuck. Her slip of the lip is now the couple’s gain as Soup & STAN-wich Inc. opened Nov. 16.

The STAN-wich is an item Taylor concocted and made at his home, originally. His brother-in-law told him he needed to sell the signature sandwich.

He grinds chicken breast and then makes it into a burger. The bun receives special treatment as he toasts it with a garlic-infused olive oil. Add to that some extra spices and citrus.

Between the chicken burger and the bun are a couple key pieces: dill pickle relish, real bacon crumbles and Stan’s special sauce. His sauce is so special, he is not giving up the recipe to anyone — even his own employees.

The food business is new to Taylor, but not the making of food.

“I’ve been cooking since I was in grade school,” said Taylor, using his siblings as guinea pigs. He will readily admit that some things he has tried turned out great, and others were flops.

A Princeton native, he has lived in Chillicothe for 32 years. He retired from Peoria Charter and worked at Caterpillar too. Debbra is from Decatur originally and works at Mediacom.

He is funding the new venture through his retirement money.

Each day the soups change, but chicken noodle and B.A.’s Chili is offered every day. B.A.’s Chili is named after his brother-in-law who gave him the chili recipe, which is one of the few items he doesn’t make from scratch.

Other soups that have been on the menu board include tomato, mushroom, French onion, and a customer request: broccoli cheese. He encourages residents to suggest soups they would like to see.

“My big thing is to make everything as fresh as I can make it,” said Taylor, including his own stocks for the soups.

Ask him why and he gives a simple answer: “It tastes better.”

Originally he was only going to offer chicken burgers, but he was talked into beef burgers, including one-third pound hamburgers and cheeseburgers. He also offers regular and jumbo hot dogs, cheese dogs, chili dogs and chili cheese dogs.

Also on the menu are brats, grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, as well as fresh cut French fries and combinations of cheese and chili fries.

“It’s a good place to start,” said Taylor of his business location, the former spot where Wendy’s Hot Dog business was located, 320 Cedar St.

“It’s fun. When it ceases to be fun, I’ll put someone else in charge,” said Taylor with a chuckle, who employs five people.

He plans to start making his own bread soon, as well as some desserts. Some names of items may even reflect from whom the idea came.

While he says the food is quick, that does not mean it is fast food. He normally gets to the business before 7 a.m. to prep the food.

He plans to keep experimenting with food for menu items.

“I’m researching all the time,” said Taylor, who easily chats with customers while they are eating or picking up food.

He encourages residents to call ahead at 603-9000 for quick pick up as he has limited seating. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and is closed Saturday, Sunday and holidays.