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      Fresh food company celebrates grand opening with Red Cross benefit

      Help support the Red Cross

      A new healthy dining option in Toledo is about to open its doors, but not before helping to give back to the community.

      Zoup! Fresh Soup Company will hold a grand opening at its newest northwest Ohio location, 4204 W. Sylvania Ave., in the Talmadge Town Center on Thursday.

      On Wednesday, Zoup! will host a pre-opening fundraiser to benefit the local chapter of the American Red Cross. The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. For a $5 donation, charitable guests will receive a bowl of soup, bread, and a fountain drink.

      The fundraising event comes just as the local Red Cross announces that tough economic times have led them to cut back. The head of the Western Lake Erie Region says the chapter has laid off five employees in a reorganization effort to ensure long-term sustainability. A donor center will also be closed in Findlay.

      All proceeds from Zoup's benefit will go directly to the American Red Cross. A day later, the new restaurant will open to customers, offering 12 daily rotating varieties of soups.

      "We created Zoup! after discovering that really good soup is hard to find," said Eric Ersher, Zoup!'s founder and managing partner. "Also, in talking to people, it became clear that there's something special about soup and the way it elicits thoughts of family, well-being and comfort for many people. We strive to offer authentic, hand-crafted soups that are as good - and as 'feel-good' - as the homemade soups our mothers and grandmothers used to cook up."

      The new restaurant will be the second Zoup! location to open in northwest Ohio. The first store is located at 310 W. Dussel Dr. in Maumee.


      Looking for another way to help out the Red Cross? Give the gift of life at WNWO & American Red Cross Holiday Blood Drive - Friday, Dec. 21st from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons. Give blood between now and Jan. 19th and enter to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle.