MAHWAH, N.J.– Former two-time Super Bowl-winning New York Giant Leonard Marshall of Mahwah found the key to his post-playing career in, of all places, a bowl of soup.
Marshall, 54, is an equity owner of The Original Soupman and has a distribution deal with Inserra Supermarkets and Wakefern Food Corporation to sell the soup line in 22 North Jersey ShopRite locations.
Soup samplings were created for each, starting with Ramsey, Lyndhurst, Wallington and Lodi.
“I didn’t want to be in the restaurant business. I wanted to be in the supply business,” Marshall said. "I wanted to be in something different, something smaller with less exposure.”
Enter Soupman — who you might recognize as a character from the TV sitcom “Seinfeld.”
Marshall joins Shaquille O’Neal and Reggie Jackson as the other sports figures involved in the business.
The top-seller is the lobster bisque, made with 100 percent North American lobster meat, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Louisiana native said.
His business approach is as simple as a quarterback sack.
“You must demand of yourself from others what others demand of you,” Marshall told Daily Voice. “When you don’t do that, that’s when you have to take a real good look at what you’re doing and how you got there.”
Although he played a single season for the Jets and Redskins, Marshall has remained true blue to Big Blue fans.
To give back, he struck a deal with MetLife Stadium, which sells the soups at four stadium kiosks and averages an estimated $80,000 in sales each weekend during the season.
The 11-year defensive lineman -- and two-time Pro Bowler -- was working part-time in marketing for the Meadowlands racetrack when he forged a lifetime friendship during a chance encounter with Bill Laforet, who's now Mahwah's mayor.
Marshall then moved to Mahwah in 1985.
A decade later, he relocated to Boca Raton, to escape the cold weather.
But the more time he spent away from the Garden State, the more “I started to realize I left a lot behind,” Marshall said.
He now lives in Hackensack and is in talks with Paramus Catholic officials to assume the position of defensive line this fall.
“What I love most [about New Jersey] are the people -- the people are real," Marshall said. "There’s a hard-working community. Very prideful people.
"I consider this place home."