Remembering Sue Fine

Sue Fine — founder and owner of Soup’s On, the popular Main Street gathering spot — died last month in November. She was 82.

Carole Sue Coulon was born in Boston, and grew up in the Hotel Vendome. She worked there after school and during summers, learning the “people skills, guts and stamina” that helped her when she opened Soup’s On — a “country kitchen” — in 1978.

Sue’s son Peter recalls watching proudly as his mother “moved heaven and earth” to serve grateful customers wonderful dishes, made with fresh, local ingredients.

Peter Fine and his mother Sue

There was always something delicious cooking at home too, he says. Friends often came around for “the food and the fun.”

At the time he craved spaghetti and meatballs — basic food his friends’ mothers made. But as he grew up, he says, “I realized how lucky I was to have someone instill the passion of good food in me.”

His mother was “a courageous and tireless entrepreneur, and a constant body in motion. The outpouring of love and stories that have flown freely since her passing have centered on her indomitable positive spirit, style and grace, along with her trademark ever-present smile and sense of humor.”

Sue Fine

Sue and her late husband David lived in Westport and Weston, and loved New England, particularly Boston and Nantucket. They were original investors and active part ownwers in Nantucket’s famed 21 Federal restaurant. Sue created and operated 21 Federal Specialties, offering takeout food for vacationers.

She also obtained her realtor’s license, and was a resource for anyone wishing to buy or rent on the island.

Sue and David moved to Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida in 2004.

“Sue was a tenacious believer that hard work, grit and gumption would get you far, and passed those traits on to her children,” her obituary says.

Peter — a restaurateur and real estate consultant — recently opened Milestone in Georgetown, Connecticut. Sue was a proud investor.

Peter Fine and his mother Sue, outside his new restaurant Milestone. The photo was taken last summer.

Sue’s son Bill is president and general manager of WCVB-TV, Channel 5 Boston. Her daughter Kim is a mentor and teacher at Firewood Academy in Homer, Alaska.

Sue is also survived by 7 grandchildren, and her dog Buster.

She will be buried with her husband privately at sea, off the coast of their beloved Nantucket, this summer.

Donations may be made in Sue Fine’s name to The Home for Little Wanderers — an organization she first supported as a child — which provides services for at-risk children in Eastern Massachusetts. Click here, or mail to 10 Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135.

11 responses to “Remembering Sue Fine

  1. I worked at Soups On way back when. They had a firecracker French woman running the kitchen who hired me because “I was an Aquarius and would follow directions ” !!

  2. A wonderful role model for people of all ages.

  3. Soup’s On– That’s old Westport. RIP Sue and condolences to the family.

  4. Soup’s On was my favorite restaurant. I still miss it.

  5. A life well lead! Godspeed! – chris woods

  6. I loved Soup’s On and still miss it.
    Godspeed, Sue. Condolences to her family.

  7. I too worked at Soups On. Sue Fine was a dynamo with a superlative work ethic and an inspiration to us all. As previously mentioned she was indeed a wonderful role model. We worked hard because she did. She treated us extremely well and as a result we would do anything for her- a business model that should be in every textbook. Comraderie at its best.
    I am both fortunate and grateful Sue and the Soups On Family she created were part of my life.
    I offer my heartfelt condolences
    to her family. I will always cherish
    the memories of those crazy days and nights serving so many in such a little
    space and having fun while doing
    so!

  8. Doug weren’t you friends with Bill Fine in Westport ?

  9. I am so very sorry to hear this – I was sad to have missed Sue when she was last in town for her son’s restuarant opening and was hopeing to catch up with her next time and now there will be no next time. I too worked for Soups On making deserts into early moring hours in that little kitchen that Sue created to make all the soups and desserts for tiny Soup’s On on Main Street. It was a brilliant idea – soups, salads and desserts and hard work. I got Lilli her cooking gig there – that firecracker French woman John Dennis refers to above – and love what he says her -. She cooked soups in the day (she did not know what a tsp ( teaspoon) was at the time) and I baked at night – carrot cakes, chocolate roulades, chocolate pecan pies, and cranberry nut tortes. Lili went on to start her own catering business and ran the coffee shop on the far side of the Westport train station until her death a few years ago. When Sue expanded her kitchen facility to where Stiles market is now I took over that little kitchen at 58 Saugatuck Ave for my own catering business Cabbages and Kings. The rent was an unheard of $350 a month at the time. I remained there for 35 years. Sue was a pioneer in this town.There is quite a lineage of those who worked at Soups On and those who remember it too. It was a special place as was Sue. . I am passing this on to Katie Croarkin a Montesorri school administrator now in CT and Jen Jones a farmer in northern CA. They both worked at Soups On also. Sue created great opportunities for us all, My condolences to her family, How wonderful that she got to see her son Peter carry on the family tradition that he grew up with.

  10. Great family and a great lady. Growing up with Pete, I had the chance to be a taste tester for some of the early Soups On dishes. The two that stuck out, though there were many, was a killer Chile Con Carne and the most awesome French Onion Soup.

    Carol Sue was an amazing lady. RIP.

  11. This sadness is full of great accomplishments. RIP, Sue Fine, and thank you, Peter Fine.

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