Shape Shop to start home delivery
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In 1976, when Millie Snyder couldn't get restaurants and grocery stores to sell the healthy foods people needed to lose weight, she did it herself. Snyder, a longtime Weight Watchers franchise owner, wanted the businesses to offer foods her members could eat.
"They said no," Snyder said. "It wasn't just one request. I asked, and I asked and I asked. I got the same answer. So I got an attitude and I said, 'Fine I'll do it myself.' And I did."
That was the beginning of the Shape Shop. Nearly 38 years later, despite selling the Weight Watchers franchise earlier this year, the Shape Shop is still offering Charleston residents healthy food choices.
"I'm no longer the franchisee, but I have so many other projects and this is my baby," Snyder said of the Shape Shop.
And soon Charleston residents won't have to come to her Patrick Street location to pick up a panini, pizza, bowl of soup or any of the other menu items. Beginning Thursday Jan. 2, the business's Charleston location will offer delivery.
"Sometimes Patrick Street isn't convenient if you work at the Capitol, and it might not be convenient to Northgate [Business Park]," Snyder said. "So we will deliver."
Once the delivery system is up and running in January, the Charleston store will take orders three ways: by phone at (304) 346-5328, by fax at (304) 720-8252 or on the store's website at shapeshopwv.com. The store will take orders between 9 and 10 a.m. for the lunch hour, though delivery will not be limited to lunch, she said.
Snyder's two other Shape Shop locations -- Huntington and Morgantown -- will also eventually offer delivery.
Snyder said she wants to get her feet wet with delivery in Charleston, then start delivery in Huntington and eventually offer the service at the Morgantown store.
The Morgantown location is currently closed because the former manager moved and Snyder had trouble finding a replacement. Snyder has now hired a new manager and plans to train her and reopen the store soon, she said.
Snyder said she sees offering delivery as an extension of the business.
"I hope it will grow the business," Snyder said. "I think it will make a lot of people happy and I think it will meet some needs."
Though Snyder opened the Shape Shop with Weight Watchers members in mind, it's never been associated with Weight Watchers.
"For years people have said, 'You know, I'd really like to go in that store but I'm not a member of Weight Watchers,'" Snyder said. "Well, I never understood that because this is open the general public."
People who are trying to stay fit need not sacrifice their favorite foods, she said. Shape Shop customers can find soups and sandwiches and even ice cream cones and brownie sundaes.
"It's not that chocolate is bad, it's not that ice cream is bad, although our ice cream is very, very low fat," Snyder said. "It comes down to how much you eat of it. There really are no bad foods, it's about how much."
Snyder takes pride in offering food that isn't processed, she said.
"I think there are lot of places to eat in Charleston but I don't think anyone focuses on the fresh, not processed, portion-control that I focus on," Snyder said. "Our things are a little different."
Snyder hopes offering delivery will give more people the opportunity to find out what her store offers.
"Many people tell me they love [the store] and many don't know it's here," she said. "I'd like to reach that market. I think that delivery will do that."
Reach Lori Kersey at email@example.com or 304-348-1240.