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'Seinfeld' inspiration offers soup line
No 'no soup for you' -- 'SoupMan' to sell products in grocery stores across the nation.
April 22, 2005: 12:05 PM EDT
By Jessica Seid, CNN/Money staff writer
Al Yeganeh, the inspiration for a famous episode of
Al Yeganeh, the inspiration for a famous episode of "Seinfeld."
Turkey chili and other flavors will come in a pouch.
Turkey chili and other flavors will come in a pouch.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The soup chef famous for inspiring a "Seinfeld" episode character isn't saying "No soup for you" anymore. In fact, he's trying to bring his creations into homes across America.

Soup Kitchen International Inc. and the "Original SoupMan," Al Yeganeh, announced Friday that a retail line of "heat-n-serve" soups will be available next month in select grocery stores. National roll-out is slated for September. The 15-ounce packages of turkey chili, jambalaya and seafood bisque, among other offerings, will cost $3.50-$5.50.

Soup Kitchen International said Yeganeh will supervise the production of the soup that caused people to wait in line outside his mid-Manhattan storefront.

It was those lines, and the purported attitude of the eatery owner, that resulted in the famous "The Soup Nazi" episode in the seventh season of the comedy series. The owner was portrayed by actor Larry Thomas.

"Al's creations will define the super premium soup category, while adding a dash of attitude and fun to his recipes with his 'soupside' manner -- who can resist?" John Bello, Chairman and CEO of Soup Kitchen International, said in a statement.

Soup Kitchen International, which said its investors include Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, added that there are plans to open 1,000 The Original SoupMan restaurants over the next seven years throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Promoting the Seinfeld link marks a change of heart for Yeganeh. According to the "Seinfeld" Web site, he was unhappy with the publicity from the episode and was quoted as saying he threatened to "smack" comedian Jerry Seinfeld's face.

A spokesman for the "SoupMan" confirmed that originally Yeganeh did not want to be associated in any way with the hit show, although he now gives a "slight nod" to the jokes that made him famous.

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