Soupergirl is the brainchild of former stand-up comedian turned soup maker Sara Polon. After reading Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Polon decided to get involved in the local food movement. Polon thought back to her childhood, when her mother Marilyn raised her kids on natural, freshly cooked and delicious food.
Together, the mother and daughter decided to team up to bring locally inspired, nutritious and plant-based soup to the Washington, D.C. market and beyond. Since its inception in 2008, the business has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, NBC’s Today Show and CBS’ The Dish, and its food products are available for delivery nationwide and at select grocery stores including Costco, Whole Foods and Wegmans.
“[We] started as a local online delivery business and we rented kitchen space, and then we added retail and grocery stores and then national direct to consumer,” Polon said. “Our focus was and still is that grocery business, while working on the delivery business. And now both the local (which is what we launched the business on in 2008) and the national [home delivery program] has become absolutely essential to the business and our growth plans.”
With so many moving parts and an aggressive growth and business strategy, it was only a matter of time before security considerations came into play for Soupergirl. At first, the company got by with a traditional alarm system, locks and keys, and non-functioning cameras at the retail space, according to Polon, but the more the company continues to grow, the more essential access control has become.
With the help of security integrator Deltacom Security of Vienna, Va., Polon implemented a Brivo Complete subscription-based access control and physical security system along with Eagle Eye video surveillance. Deltacom Security integrated the systems together across two of Soupergirl’s locations so that Polon would be able to remotely manage and visualize both sites and both systems all from one Brivo OnAir platform.
“With Brivo OnAir, Sara has access to everything in one place versus multiple apps and that’s a big difference,” Darrell Mack, president of Deltacom, said. “And with two sites, she can monitor everything from one place and each one has its own employees, so being able to give access accordingly at both locations is great. With cloud video, she doesn’t have to worry about NVR tampering or recording issues; the video is always safe.”
Polon said she can easily manage the system, giving employees access to different doors, adding in groups and deleting access as needed. Another added benefit of Polon’s new system is mobile credentials.
“It’s so easy,” Polon said. “Most people use Brivo MobilePass to access the doors, but some use fobs. If they lose it, no big deal, we just deactivate it and set up a new one. I know exactly who has come in; I know when they come in; I can link their entry to a camera moment. I feel so much more secure now than I ever did with the traditional alarm.”
Polon said that for Soupergirl, the Brivo Complete subscription services made the most sense since the company didn’t have to commit a large upfront capital expense typically required for an access control and surveillance system.
Brivo Complete is a financing service that allows clients to pay a monthly fee for the system, rather than paying for a complete system in one large capital expense. It is also beneficial to the integrator as well, said Mack. “It can be really helpful to a business owner to not have to pay a large sum upfront. It makes access control more affordable and easier to implement and it allows us to offer something to every customer.”— By Maggie Shein, Former SDM Managing Editor