Nancie McLeod
Nancie McLeod

When Nancie McLeod opened her front door one afternoon in mid-November, she discovered a mystery gift of homegrown squash. “With friendly neighbours all around her, it didn’t take long to discover the identify of her fairy gourd mother,” says Sutton Group in a news release.

Story continues below

McLeod, a salesperson and designer with Sutton Group Old Mill Realty in Toronto, used the squash to make soup and discovered she had plenty to share, especially when the gardener offered to drop off more. She ramped up production and delivered 21 jars of nutritious, delicious soup to seniors and their caregivers.

“During the holiday season, as it gets colder and darker outside, it can be a particularly lonely time for many, especially seniors who live alone,” says McLeod. “I decided that my project – dubbed Soup with a Smile – would be the perfect way to warm them up. So, off I went with my jars of soup.”

Every weekend for five weeks, she donned a mask, sanitized and visited her senior neighbours with jars of soup. “I made sure to only visit people I knew so they would be comfortable opening their doors to me and accepting the homemade gift. Door knocking never felt so good.”

McLeod posted pictures on social media to tell friends and family what she was doing in hopes that it might inspire them to do the same. “The more soup and smiles out there the better. I heard from a friend in London who delivered to her community. Here in Etobicoke, a friend cooked five different types of soup and delivered jars to the same three seniors on his street.”

Just days before Christmas, McLeod put her soup-making project on simmer; however, she notes, “Who knows what will happen in January? It will be cold and dark, and Soup with a Smile may just come back online.”


  1. Nancie, I’ll see if I can find an old column where I wrote about what I put together for when a buyer was moving in… if not my buyer, I packaged things with a welcome note marked “from my seller.”

    Toilet paper, paper towel, wet wipes, baby things if appropriate. Utensils. Paper plates. A coupon for a couple of pizzas. Loads of things: dishwasher soap, a coupon for a cleaning company, a potted plant or fresh flowers.

    Would you believe in the old days, a toss away camera for the small kids, the things I had done for my sellers when the house was on the market.

    Relocation people loved it all. I had a past client moving off to London On and when they told over there what I had done, her agent was so surprised she adopted my ideas.

    Pleased to connect with you. Email me and we can set up a time to talk, one on one. A great networking opportunity. Appreciated.

  2. Nancie,
    What a nice thing to do… it’s especially important now where so many families have lost loved ones and are alone in lockdown.

    Copied from one of my columns in March :

    One of my hopes with the REM Recipes for REALTORS Gourmet Cooking column is to introduce to the new Canadian immigrants some “everything old is new again” eatings as we grew to love over the years. Sometimes formal, others not so much; clearly casual. I am happy to receive email private questions as well as recipe comments on REM.

    Sometimes I forget that other people are often not familiar with certain foodstuffs, although many are who have access to deli foods and fresh markets in areas where they live. And some even have access to wonderful fresh air farmers’ markets within walking distance or a short drive.

    If you have local seniors or new immigrants living near you who can’t get out, perhaps you might offer to get for them a couple of fresh tomatoes in season or a couple of fresh peaches locally grown. Or make one of my recipes and deliver as a Canadian surprise to a senior living alone, or to new immigrant family.

    Or offer to take a new immigrant grocery shopping. A niche opportunity for a REALTOR?

    Maybe send to shut-in’s a copy link of my free exclusive REM gourmet cooking columns so they can read in lockdown and there’s lots of real estate learning woven in at:

    Enjoy! “Soup’s On”

    Stay safe in our hope for Spring just a dozen weeks away.

    [email protected]

      • Nancie, maybe check out my comments at:

        Respectfully, sometimes I wonder if I could coach using a different method in my retirement.

        I helped a wonderful out of town agent recently who was thinking of leaving her real estate career. She credited me for her having put together six transactions that month, and working on four more with clients created using my ideas. Some agents don’t do that much business in a whole year. She just needed a little confidence building. Already a good person, she was a good agent. Just needed a mental reassurance. So proud of her. She did everything I suggested.

        Carolyne L

        Sent from my iPhone

  3. Thank you for the feature! My hope was to bring some brightness to my neighbours lives but also to inspire others to look in on seniors or others who might be alone during the dark days of December. All the more reason to reach out now that we are in lockdown. I encourage people to give it a go! I’ll share my recipe in return. :) Safe safe, share soup and smile!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here