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West Carmel Soup Shop Has Been Serving Up Favorites For 7 Years

Photographer: Ryan Woodall

Millissa Kurcinka, owner of Zoup! West Carmel, 1430 West Carmel Drive, believes there is always something comforting about the great taste of soup.

“Unlike any other food, soup has the power to not only nourish but comfort,” Kurcinka says.

So far that power has been the secret to Zoup’s success.

“Many of our customers tell us how much our soups remind them of the soups their grandmothers made,” Kurcinka says. “To us, that is the greatest compliment. We are committed to serving only the highest quality soups, salads and sandwiches and to making every guest feel welcomed and appreciated.”

Kurcinka and her staff have been making delicious meals since the restaurant opened in Carmel in 2011. The shop is part of a highly successful chain.

“Zoup! opened its first restaurant in metro Detroit 20 years ago and now has more than 90 locations across the United States and in Canada,” Kurcinka says. “Our soups have received a variety of local and regional awards including winning Best Soup Restaurant and soup and chili competitions. We are most well-known for our Chicken Potpie and Lobster Bisque.”

Zoup’s founders began the successful franchise with some easy discoveries while they were building their first company, which made soup and spice mixes for restaurants. The original business gave the partners access to top chefs and managers at hundreds of restaurants.

It also gave them the opportunity to confirm what they had wondered all along — that really delicious soup can be difficult to find and that soup elicits feelings of comfort, warmth and well being.

Zoup is also well known for its large selection of different mixes of soup that give customers that special warm feeling.

Kurcinka and her staff are especially proud of their “Something for Everyone” daily menu, including soups that are low fat, dairy free, vegetarian, spicy and made with gluten-free ingredients.

Carmel residents have fully embraced the restaurant.

“We are proud to be part of such a close-knit community,” Kurcinka says. “We consider it a privilege to support local schools and organizations with fundraisers, and we love it when people send us nominations for our “Zoup! to the Rescue” program.

“People can nominate a friend, co-worker or loved one who could use some comfort to receive a Zoup! Rescue Care Package, which is a bowl of soup, bread and a beverage,” she says. “It’s easy to nominate someone. Just visit zouprescue.com.”

Kurcinka noted that because Zoup! serves 12 different soups every day. There are many customer favorites.

“Some of their favorite soups include Loaded Baked Potato, Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque, Fiery Chicken Enchilada, White Chicken Chili, Cajun Chicken & Sausage Gumbo and Burger Cheeseburger,” Kurcinka says. “Many customers pair these in a ‘Try Two Combo,’ with our Chicken Toscana or Southwest Turkey sandwich, a Cranberry Almond Sonoma or a Chicken & Bacon Cobb salad for the perfect lunch or dinner duo.”

Kurcinka’s favorite soups are the Curry Thai Chicken or Dragonfire Noodle Bowl.

“I like things a little on the spicy side,” Kurcinka says. “My favorite sandwiches are the Maple Bacon Ham and the Zesty Chicken Bacon.”

Popular salads include the Cranberry Almond Sonoma; the Classic Caesar Salad; and the Chicken & Bacon Cobb.

Kurcinka enjoys recommending favorites and has made many friends over the past several years.

“What I like most about Carmel are the people who make up this community,” Kurcinka says. “In our almost seven years in business, we have met some great and loyal people. To us, they are not just customers. They feel like family. We know their names and what is important and going on in their lives, and they care and want to share in our lives as well. This is what makes it so great to be a part of this community.”

Kurcinka adds that she still gets a laugh from something many of her patrons inquire about.

“One question I get asked all the time is if I eat soup every day? The answer is yes, I can eat soup every day,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if it is hot or cold, there is something comforting about a bowl of soup.”

Zoup! is located at 1430 West Carmel Drive. Give them a call at 317-810-9800 or visit them online at zoup.com for more information.

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