Shop taking shape in new year
Updated: Jan 21
16 Jan 2019 — Charleston Gazette Mail
By Judy Grigoraci
The new location for Charleston's longtime Shape Shop Café is, well, taking shape.
At the end of this month, Owner Millie Snyder - the woman responsible for the establishment of Weight Watchers of West Virginia here in Charleston - is moving her Shape Shop production to the Bonham Business Plaza at Edens Fork in the old Bonham Elementary school.
She sold Weight Watchers a few years back, but maintained the Shape Shop, which was always a separate entity. She soon began to miss the Weight Watchers interactions.
"Selling Weight Watchers was the second largest event in my life," she said. "I love what I do, working with people. After giving it thought and exploration, the Mediterranean style of eating came into mind. The cuisine can satisfy so many who want to eat, drink and become healthy. So two years ago I started my Mediterranean lifestyle sessions which will continue at 706 Central Avenue."
Snyder supplies quality instruction with no calorie counting, no points, no denial of certain foods.
Instead she is active in the promotion of a rich, healthy food pyramid in her classroom, plus recipes for daily living.
As she pointed out: "The class emphasis is centered on fruits, vegetables and all wonderful things that grow, which include dairy, and the best proteins. I've even gone the Mediterranean direction myself."
To that end, Snyder, the award-winning author of "Lean and Luscious" and "Lean and Luscious Meatless" cookbooks, has just put the finishing touches on a third.
"Lean and Luscious Mediterranean," a 375-recipe tome, is set to be released by the end of March or early April.
And that isn't all. Something very different for Snyder is in the works. She soon will also be in the food truck business.
"It really isn't a truck, but technically it's a trailer that will be pulled by a truck," she explained. "I'm almost tempted to drive it around myself. I have a lot to learn about that truck."
The Shape Shop Cafe at Bonham's will still have all the from-scratch salads, soups, house-prepared baked, broiled, and grilled meat for sandwiches, paninis and wrap fillings. The popular Dippy-Do frozen dessert bars will continue production at the new site.
The food truck will have that same menu with hot pizza as an addition, since there will be a pizza oven on board. On the flip side, a freezer will accommodate offering the frozen treats.
"Our Dippy-Do's have recently undergone an improvement to be sugar-free," she says. I couldn't change the chocolate coating because there wasn't any satisfactory substitute."
The truck, set to roll in March, will draw attention by being wrapped in the Shape Shop logo. She's brainstorming a catchy name for it as we speak.
Why a food truck? "When I would go to other cities in West Virginia, I was asked why didn't I put a Shape Shop in Logan? In Summersville? In Ravenswood? In Huntington? I decided not to place myself in a building in one or two towns, but to take my building to all of them. The food truck idea was born."
Follow Snyder on Facebook (or shapeshopwv.com) for information about purchasing the cookbooks, notifications about the relocated Shape Shop, registering for the Mediterranean classes, and when and where you will be able to visit the food truck.
From the Kitchen
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 12-ounce bag frozen sweet corn
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
Optional - chili powder or McCormick Mexican Seasoning to taste
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
Salt to taste
HEAT oil in stockpot on medium heat. Add onion and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in potatoes, corn, chilies, garlic, cumin, pepper, and broth.
BRING mixture to a boil; immediately reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
PUREE half the soup in blender (or with immersion blender) and return to pot. Stir in milk and simmer until heated through. Taste to add salt and additional pepper, if needed.
Source: Adapted from Mediterranean Diet website
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries (no need to thaw)
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen unsweetened dark sweet pitted cherries (no need to thaw)
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries (thaw and drain if frozen)
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons softened butter
2 tablespoons orange juice
PLACE berries and cherries in large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch; toss to coat. Place in sprayed 9-inch pie plate.
COMBINE oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar for topping, mixing well. Add butter and orange juice. Mix until ingredients are moistened. Sprinkle evenly over berries.
BAKE uncovered at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is crisp and berry mixture is thickened. May take a little longer for the frozen berries to cook.
Source: "Lean and Luscious Meatless"