Zoup! Spotlights Community-Focused Franchise Owners During Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, Zoup! would like to highlight a few exceptional franchise owners that have shown commitment, perseverance, and heart during an extremely difficult year. The common thread is a passion for their business, family, team and service to their communities. Zoup! could not be any prouder to share these stories.

Eric & Dia Ames

Multi- unit Zoup! franchise owners – Delaware

Eric and Dia Ames both left careers in financial services to open their first Zoup! restaurant in Wilmington, DE in 2013 and their second location in Newark in 2016. In the true sense of a family business, husband, wife and both sons work together to manage the two busy restaurants. The Ames family live Zoup!’s core values, especially “Passion for the Brand.” This passion brought them worldwide TikTok fame with a viral “12 Days of Christmas” video in 2020. Dia’s TikTok account grew from 20 followers to 13,000 and earned 1 million likes in one week. The hashtags #zoupeatery and #zoupdelaware have gained over 50 million views, boosting Zoup’s brand awareness to previously untapped markets. The Ames family’s embrace of the Zoupsim “Have Fun, Be Proud” was rewarded with a new market of zealous fans helping to spread the word about Zoup!

 Watch the Ames TikTok here: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJv5DT6C/

Earl Harris

Zoup! Franchise Owner – Bloomfield, MI

Earl Harris opened his Zoup! restaurant in Bloomfield, MI, it was also the first newly redesigned and rebranded Zoup! Eatery, on January 20, 2020. Coincidentally, his dream of opening a restaurant came to fruition on Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Earl’s love of cooking and hosting made his transition from management at a national cable company to restauranteur an easy one. The expanded menu offerings, prime real estate, and Harris’s vast network of friends, family, and business contacts helped the new restaurant open with strong sales and an active fan base.

What he did not expect was the pandemic that hit the entire country two months after he opened his doors. Earl and his team were quick to respond by launching and adhering to strict a cleanliness protocol, retrofitting the restaurant with transparent safety dividers, offering new curbside pick-up service, and executing direct and third-party deliveries quickly and accurately. The growing catering business also shifted gears to offer menu items focused on individually packaged boxed lunches and “on-the-go” buffet options. The shift in operations was an easy redirect for the agile, passionate team that Earl had cultivated and trained during the weeks leading up to his restaurant’s open. The Zoup! Bloomfield team continues to work hard and eagerly look forward to welcoming guests back into the restaurant for the dine-in service they love. 

Check out the new Zoup! model (Harris’s restaurant) on the Franchise homepage: https://www.zoupfranchise.com/

Tonisha & Vincent Bryant

Franchise Owners – Southfield, Mi

Tonisha and Vincent Bryant opened their Zoup! restaurant in Southfield in 2017, nearly 20 years after the opening of the original Zoup! Fresh Soup Company only 5 miles away. Being familiar with the Zoup! brand, residents and workers were thrilled to have another location to serve the growing population.

Tonisha says that her years being a registered nurse and mother helped her transition into the role of restaurant owner. All three roles demand compassion, understanding and a good ear for listening. Bryant strives to be a role model as a business owner, not only for her children, but for her community. She takes great pride in owning a business and serving quality food that her family can be proud of. That commitment to the Bryant family business has helped keep them afloat during an unprecedented year, where “work from home” orders emptied the business park surrounding their restaurant. The local neighborhood residents continue to frequent their Zoup! and show Tonisha’s team just how grateful they are to have their local go-to for “comfort in a bowl.” 

Hear more about Tonisha and Vincent’s story here: https://www.zoupfranchise.com/franchisees/tonisha-bryant/

To learn more, download the free franchise guide below or contact Richard Zimmer at rzimmer@zoupco.com or call 800-940-9687 ext. 4