Zoupwerks looking for a new name


File photo by Caitlin Restelli.

Lindsy Neer

Fewer than three months after its opening, Zoupwerks “funky soup and chowdah joint” is cooperating with a request to change its name.

Zoupwerks posted on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon that suggestions from the public would determine the new name, with $100 going to the winner. The reward has since been upped to $150.

“A certain national soup franchise has politely requested the change, and we are going to co-operate,” the post said.

Owner Randy Durant said he received a cease and desist letter a couple months ago. He wouldn’t say what franchise sent it, but said, “They don’t want me to use the word ‘zoup.’”

A further look into court documents revealed that no formal lawsuit has been filed against Zoupwerks. Although Durant wouldn’t name the company that sent him the letter, there is a national soup and sandwich chain called Zoup!.

Eric Ersher, Zoup!’s founder, wouldn’t confirm or deny the cease and desist letter.

“We’ll just leave it at what (Durant) said,” he said.

Despite the setback of having to rename the restaurant, Durant is choosing to focus on the future of his business.

“I believe it’s going to further my brand somehow,” he said. “…I don’t think it’s going to be detrimental because we’re at the genesis of Kent.”

Durant said he’s not sure how long the contest for the new name will go, but after he chooses the possibilities, the names will have to go through his attorneys to make sure they aren’t taken.

Zoupwerks’ Facebook page received more than 100 comments on the name change within the first day. As of Wednesday evening, there were more than 380 comments.

The names with the most “likes” are “Son of a Bisque,” with 14, “Bisquey Business,” with nine, and “The Groovy Spoon,” with 12.

Jenna Chilinski, freshman public relations major, submitted “The Groovy Spoon.” She said she was surprised by the name change, but ultimately happy Durant decided to take suggestions from the public.

“I really like their name, but a lot of people don’t seem to know what Zoupwerks was,” she said. “I think they need a name that goes with their theme.”

Chilinski said she and her dad have been eating at Zoupwerks since it opened.

“I go (to Zoupwerks) at least once a week,” she said. “I’ve tried at least 10 different soups. We’re big fans.”

What will she do if she wins the $150 prize?

“I’ll probably go to Zoupwerks!” she said.

Contact Lindsy Neer at [email protected].