‘Build it the way you like it,’ is scrawled in bold green letters across the storefront window.

Since June, Diane Williams has been encouraging customers to get their fill of fresh greens and made-from-scratch soup at The Garden Patch Soup and Bar, located at 811 Pacific Ave. Ste #12, Long Beach.

“I’ve been thinking of a salad bar for a few years because I love salad bars and we didn’t have one,” Williams said. Roughly six months after opening, she’s has zeroed in on what works.

“I find that anything with meatballs sells well and the cheddar vegetable is also a favorite,” she said. “I do two soups a day usually with a vegetarian and gluten-free option.”

Locals have been then backbone of the business since the start.

“My customer base is like 98 percent local,” Williams said. “And that’s what I need, the locals.”

A recent nationwide recall on romaine due to E. coli contamination fears left Williams without the lettuce for two weeks.

“It was a challenge because they pulled romaine and I wasn’t the only person looking for the lettuces,” she said. “I bounced from place to place trying to find different product. But the romaine is okay now and back on the salad bar.”

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