soup form Zoup!

Zoup! celebrates 20 years of serving the ultimate comfort food.

Like so many other success stories that occur during the passing of time, this, too, has made huge strides from its original simple idea.

Because boyhood friends Eric Ersher and David Elias had the dream and a wonderful idea, Zoup! became a reality … and is celebrating its 20th anniversary today, Sept. 27.

Richard Simtob and Eric Ersher
Richard Simtob and Eric Ersher

Eric and David were selling spice and soup mixes to restaurants … Spending much of their time in restaurant kitchens caused them to think that truly good, full-bodied soup with numerous styles of tasteful variations was difficult to find … Thus, came the sudden electric bulb lighting of their idea … Why not a restaurant that specialized solely in variations of truly good soup?

They lost little time in renting the kitchen of a closed down General Motors auto plant just north of the Eastern Market and worked with a chef they had hired to develop various soup recipes.

The first Zoup! restaurant was born … which is still there … in the Franklin Plaza Shopping Center on Northwestern Highway, just north of 12 Mile, Southfield.

While it took years to create a profitable business model, the success of their first restaurant proved what they had suspected … There was demand for really good and different styles of soup.

Additional locations were opened … and, in 2003, their first franchised restaurant opened in Ann Arbor … Richard Simtob joined Zoup! in 2010, bringing extensive franchising experience as partner and director, integral to the growth of Zoup!

When first opened in Southfield, only bowls of soup were sold with a big hunk of fresh-baked bread … Today, 12 varieties of soups are rotated daily, with hundreds of proprietary recipes … but now also made-to-order salads and sandwiches … This past May, a new menu category was added, Power Bowls … with three varieties, Kale Chicken, Citrus Garbanzo and Fiesta Chicken … Each is a meal-in-a-bowl made fresh with generous servings of nutrient-rich kale and toppings … Soups include customer favorites like Chicken Pot Pie, Lobster Bisque, etc., including low-cal, low-fat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free options and more … crab and mushroom chowder, pepperoni pizza, chicken chile, etc.

With colder weather on the way, folks will undoubtedly be clamoring for huge favorites like the Brewhouse Cheddar soup and many more.

That simple thought by two boyhood friends has become the leading soup-differentiated fast-casual restaurant operation, boasting more than 90 locations in the United States and Canada … Yes, dreams do come true … again … Zoup! proves it.

READER MINI REVIEWFrom Jon Isenberg … “I couldn’t agree more with what Gary Cochran sent you. My wife, Lorrie, and I have gone to Fork n’ Pint on Cass Elizabeth Road in Waterford numerous times and have never been disappointed.

“Our recent visit proved to be still another fabulous meal. We started with the Brussels sprouts appetizer and enjoyed it greatly. The combination of honey and siracha gave it a sweet and tangy flavor. Our main courses were again wonderful. Fresh Walleye and Chips, grilled salmon, Bacon, Tomato Mac and the Pulled Brisket Dinner. My pulled brisket was outstanding. It was tender, well-seasoned and melted in my mouth. It was about three pieces of brisket served in a barbecue sauce on a slice of bread. I had it served along with two sides, the Roasted Root Vegetables and Grilled Veggie Skewer.

“We have visited the Fork n’ Pint at least six times in the past nine months. The food and service are always good and well worth the price. We can certainly understand why Gary and his wife rave so much about Fork n’ Pint.”

REARVIEW MIRROR … Seeing customers doing double takes at Jacque’s on Telegraph, Bloomfield Hills, when they saw two former sports greats working there … Dennis McLain, one-time 31-game pitching winner great for the World Series champions 1968 Detroit Tigers, as Jacque’s organist … and Leon Spinks, who became the World Boxing Champion in 1978 by defeating Mohammed Ali, greeting people at the door and  working as Jacque’s bouncer.

GRAD TIDINGS … Oak Park High’s 1969 class is looking for grads to help out on the 50-year reunion at Detroit Marriott, W. Big Beaver Road, Troy … July 6, 2019 … Contact Ken Korotkin, or call (248) 258-4936 to get more information or to stay updated on the reunion.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Abe goes to see his doctor for a check-up and comes home with sad news … Sarah asked him what the doctor said … “That I have tuberculosis and have to die.” …  Sarah calls the doctor and says, “That’s terrible! How long has he got?” … The doctor replies, “A long time. But I told him he has too big a tuchus (rear end) and has to diet.”

CONGRATS … To Louise Abrams on her birthday … To Dino Mitropoulos on his birthday … To Sandie Resnick on her birthday …To Neal Rubin on his birthday.

Danny’s email address is

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