TEMPLE WEATHER

Sooooo Delicious

Susan Ovenell, owner of Sooooo Hummus Factory in Temple, shows off some of the many varieties of hummus she makes and sells. The business started in Phoenix in 2016 and moved to Temple this year. She is becoming a regular at local farmers markets and sells her products online. David Stone photo

Hummus company now calls Temple home

DAVID STONE | Sept. 7, 2022

Sorry, Phoenix. It’s our hummus now.

Sooooo Hummus Factory moved its operations from Arizona to Texas in May, and the healthy snack is now made at the Temple home of Susan Ovenell. She plans to move the business to a commercial kitchen in the near future.

“Business wise, I’m kind of starting over, but I’m thrilled to be in Temple,” she said. “I’m still making the same vegan hummus that is free of gluten, oils, dairy and soy.”

“One thing I have noticed is that the flavors that are popular here aren’t necessarily the same as in Arizona,” she said. “In Phoenix, my big sellers were Cilantro-Jalapeño and Green Hatch Chile, but the most popular here seems to be Smoky Habanero. Spicy still is a big seller.“

Sooooo Hummus Factory features 11 flavors of hummus, but that number fluctuates by season. Pumpkin Pie hummus, for instance, is about to return to Ovenell’s lineup.

“I also offer dessert hummus,” she said. “Chocolate is very popular.”

Ovenell has hit the ground running since her move a few short months ago. She has been selling her hummus at events at FoxDog and at the monthly Farmers Market in Downtown Temple.

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Ovenell began her hummus journey in 2011 while working in a Mediterranean restaurant in Denver.

“I worked in the kitchen, and I was good at prepping food before it went to the chef,” she said. “I never really cared for hummus until I was hired and introduced to the hummus that was made in-house. The co-founder of the company was from Israel, and had a traditional recipe that had been handed down in his family. I tried making the recipe, and it was delicious.”

The restaurant grew, and so did the demand for hummus. Ovenell was moved to a commissary, which is similar to a food hall — several vendors and cafes share a common kitchen and dining room. The hummus business thrived.

“I was put in charge of producing hummus for 14 stores,” she said. “I had a small crew, and we produced pallets of hummus to be distributed to different stores.”

While classic hummus was the mainstay of the company, Ovenell began exploring with different ingredients.

Eventually, Ovenell left Denver, and five years later she accepted a food service position in Phoenix.

“Employees would bring in healthy snacks to share,” she said. “One person brought in hummus. I hadn’t made hummus in years, but was inspired to make a batch. This was the spark I needed to follow my dream to make and sell my own product.”

After creating a complete line of hummus flavors and receiving rave reviews from customers, Ovenell launched Sooooo Hummus Factory in 2016.

“I got aggressive in finding markets for my product,” she said. “I had a sales team, and we hit four farmer’s markets every Saturday. We were selling about 300 8-ounce tubs of hummus every week.”

Today, Susan is rebuilding the business here in Temple and she continues with the formula that worked so well in Arizona — farmer’s markets. But, she also is looking to get her hummus into local specialty shops.

In addition to farmer’s markets and other events, Ovenell also sells her products online at sooooohummus.com (there’s 5 o’s in sooooo).

“If you order five tubs or more, I will deliver locally,” she said.

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