Funky Ladles in Kent's Acorn Alley changes hands

By Kyle McDonald | Staff Writer Published:

The Funky Ladles soup and sandwich shop in downtown has changed hands and is expected to reopen under a new name with expanded offerings in May.

The 135 E. Erie St. shop was the first of Acorn Alley II business when it opened in October 2011 as Zoupwerks before changing names.

But, family illness has caused Randy Durant, the shop's founder, to refocus his priorities, said Michelle Hartman, vice-president of Phoenix Properties, the firm that oversees the Acorn Alley developments.

"It just made good sense for him to do this because he was needed elsewhere," Hartman said.

On March 18, Funky Ladles officially transferred to Mike Awad, owner of the Main Street Continental Grill and Laziza restaurants.

Awad said he plans to keep the soups Funky Ladles offered, including the popular "Lobstah" Bisque, but is changing the name to Rise and Shine Cafe, with an expanded menu including a full breakfast, more sandwiches, wraps and specials. He projects a grand re-opening date of May 1.

Rise and Shine Cafe will feature a redone interior, and offer omelette and waffle bars, pancakes and more for breakfast.

"We'll roll into lunches with the soups, healthy sandwiches and wraps, and have your good old mom's meatloaf special or something like that," Awad said, adding that business hours aren't yet set in stone, but the cafe will open around 6 or 7 a.m. and close after late lunch hours. "We're going to stay with very healthy ingredients -- low-fat, low-sodium."

Rise and Shine Cafe will add a few soups to the menu, focusing on hot soups in the winter, and adding cold soups during the summertime, Awad said.

"I've been really excited about the concept from day one," he said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127 or kmcdonald@recordpub.com

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  • It is sad to see Funky Ladles close. I eat there at least once a week since they opened. Amazing soup at an amazing price. I hope the owner will be able to open another restaurant some day. It is sad that most of the independently owned restaurants in Acorn Ally are closing.

  • Thank you for a brief and respectful summary of our unfortunate closing. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Dix, as he was a ardent supporter of Funky Ladles. More Scleroderma awareness would be most what I would like to see become of this closed business chapter in Kent history.It is nasty, unforgiving, and selects whomever it wants, without probable cause. There is no genetic link, there is no cure. Comedian Bob Saget is a staunch advocate for research and education for family members and primary caregivers, as he watched his sister suffer and die with the disease. Please do a little exploring of this terminal condition. A little knowledge, is better than none. Thank you to the Record Courier, for keeping it classy, and fair. Thank you to those that believed in our concept. Thank you, Mr. Dix. Long prosper REAL newspapers!