SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99¢/month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Rochester's Chez Bojji giving away soup, winter clothes through Christmas

In need or not, this soup's for anyone.

120621-CHEZBOJJI-1505.JPG
Free soup is available from Chef Youness Bojji and his wife Amber Bojji Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, outside of Chez Bojji in downtown Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Traci Westcott

“Free soup.”

It’s a warm sign as people stepped into a cold day in downtown Rochester.

The occasion?

“What’s not the occasion?” said Chez Bojji chef and co-owner Younness Bojji. “You don’t need an occasion to do something good.”

ALSO READ: Specialty food stores give Rochester 'abroad' offerings
The restaurant doesn’t have regular dining hours on Mondays. However, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday now through Christmas, Bojji will offer free tomato basil soup to anyone who needs or wants it.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If you have money, if you don’t have money, who cares, you’re welcome to have soup,” he said.

“It’s tasty, warm and full of vitamins,” said Amber Bojji, Chez Bojji co-owner.

120621-CHEZBOJJI-1525.JPG
Chef Youness Bojji and his wife Amber Bojji Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, outside of Chez Bojji in downtown Rochester. Though Chez Boijji is closed on Mondays, they are offering free soup and winter wear to those in need. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Traci Westcott

Chez Bojji’s location in the historic Avalon Building, 301 N. Broadway Ave., has high visibility in a walkable neighborhood near a homeless shelter and Salvation Army. That means more people who want or need it are taking him up on his offer, he said.

“That’s what we want,” he said, adding that more than 80 people accepted soup on Monday. The count usually ranges from 60 to 180 people, he added.

Bojji also offers winter coats, hats and gloves to anyone who needs them.

The items are new and donated, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Nobody’s taking any leftovers,” he said.

120621-CHEZBOJJI-1521.JPG
Free soup and winterwear for those in need is available from Chef Youness Bojji and his wife Amber Bojji Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, outside of Chez Bojji in downtown Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Traci Westcott

He called the offerings a “tradition” he started at his previous restaurants including Casablanca in the Barlow Plaza. It was something he knew he would do if he ever achieved his dream of opening a restaurant.

“I’ve been hungry. I’ve been cold. I’ve eaten from garbage,” he said.

Bojji said he isn’t concerned about the cost and isn’t taking credit for helping provide for those in need.

“The credit is to Rochester and the people have been supportive of me,” he said. “I couldn’t do this without them.”

ADVERTISEMENT

What to read next
Members Only
Adrienne Fisk opened her in-home salon, A&C Men’s Grooming, this week. Fisk, who has specialized in men’s grooming for the past 13 years of her 21-year career, is offering a full slate of male services, including haircuts, straight-razor shaves of faces and heads, beard trims and waxing.
A typical combine ride spurred Emma Kratcha's agricultural based research.
Members Only
Mayo Clinic is adding more cardiac services to its London clinic, which it opened as a joint venture with Oxford University in late 2019. Mayo Clinic became the sole owner in 2020.
Rochester firefighters were called to the warehouse at the 1600 block of Opportunity Road NW just before 11 p.m. Saturday. As of Monday, there was no estimate available on how many packages were destroyed in the fire.