5 questions for Jennifer Levison

The culinary queen behind Souper Jenny restaurants discusses her Buckhead café’s new home at the Atlanta History Center and her knack for creating communal dining experiences.

What compelled you to move Souper Jenny Buckhead to the Atlanta History Center?
I felt joining forces with the Atlanta History Center was the perfect match. The History Center was looking to update their image and become more accessible to younger generations in Atlanta, and we were looking to be a bigger part of the community. For me, it’s a match made in heaven!

Souper Jenny is known for its soups, salads and sandwiches, but now, there’s also Sunday brunch.
Brunch is a fantastic feast! I wanted to create an atmosphere like I have in my home when I invite people over: a lavish, delicious spread that is filled with healthy as well as decadent options. It’s $20, which includes juice and coffee.

Speaking of atmosphere, your restaurants feel very homey and whimsical.
If you were to visit my small, cozy home, you would definitely see the resemblance between that and my businesses. Casual, warm and comfortable. Eating is at the center of so many rituals. There is nothing more common than sharing a meal.

Describe your personal experience with creating culinary rituals.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love having people around my table, and my son and I constantly have guests over for a meal. It’s how I connect and it doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s just about taking the time to care for yourself and others through delicious, whole food.

What’s next for Souper Jenny and the Atlanta History Center?
[President and CEO] Sheffield Hale has fantastic plans for the center, and we are excited to be involved. Were interested in hosting more community events and special evenings in our space, and I love the marriage of the bookstore and the food. It’s perfect.