Weekly Feature

2006-07-19 / Business

Soup, soup and more soup

The Original Soup Man to open in Amherst

Justin Pod, 25, of Williamsville researched and analyzed Williamsville's population, income, education and spending habits, and then compared it to national statistics for a school project.

He read an article about the Original Soup Man, which is a restaurant in New York City and decided to use the statistics he researched to open a franchise business in the Georgetown Plaza, at 5225 Sheridan Drive.

He contacted the owner, Al Yeganeh, and explained his idea to him.

"Al is passionate and dedicated to his soups," said Pod. "Soups are his life."

The restaurant features more than 50 homemade recipes.

Pod's restaurant will be the 18th opened in the country since its creation in 1984.

Yeganeh saw an ambitious young man who wanted to pursue this business, Pod said about why he was chosen as a franchisee.

Pod chose the Georgetown Plaza because of the high traffic. Sheridan Drive gets more than 40,000 vehicles traveling on it each day and Evans Street sees about 30,000.

The restaurant will have sit down service as well as take out.

The menu will not only feature soups but also sandwiches, wraps and salads.

The soups are in a category of itself, said Pod.

"We cut no corners," he added. "All seafood comes from the North Atlantic Ocean and we use spices from all over the world."

The Original Soup Man is a healthy alternative to what's out there, Pod stated.

"I love soup," said the Williamsville owner. "We focus soup as a meal or the center piece."

Bread, fruit and chocolate comes with the meal.

"We use chocolate for a little indulgence," he said.

Pod's favorite soups are the lobster and crab bisques.

Chilled soups are featured during the summer.

"We're more than just soup," he said. "But soup being the center piece."

The grand opening will be held after Labor Day.

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