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Restaurant Road Trip: Shape Shop

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WESTOVER -

Eating healthier in the new year is a popular choice by many, and an organic soup and sandwich shop in Westover may have the tastes and quality your healthy diet needs in 2013.

"The fundamental of the Shape Shop is healthy food, good food, well cooked food, well-proportioned food," said head cook Jake Rife.

And the Shape Shop does it without preservatives, and with local produce and health in mind.

"We focus on spices and herbs, and flavors, and bringing the natural flavors of the vegetables out and the meats we do cook with out, as opposed to using salt, or some type of synthetic base or anything like that. Everything is natural and healthy," Rife said.

Located on Commerce Drive in the WesMon Plaza, the Shape Shop is part of a small West Virginia chain with other locations in Charleston and Huntington.

The health first mentality is an attraction for many looking to eat better.

"I'm not fanatical or anything, but I try to avoid a lot of salt, a lot of fat; stuff like that," said customer Nathan Green. "I'm just trying to watch the calories and eat as healthy as I can."

And it's not just the customers looking to eat right. Rife himself was looking to be healthier when he joined that staff.

Now he's responsible for serving up the Shape Shops' quality soups and sandwiches.

"We do a stuffed green pepper soup, and people love it," said Rife. "A vegetarian vegetable soup and I've had vegetarians tell me it's the best vegetable soup they've had."

Special dietary needs like gluten and sugar free options are part of the Shape Shop Way as well, just as tasting good is.

"Some people have an issue thinking that I'm either getting good tasting food, or food that's good for me, and the fact of the matter is it can be attained. Healthy food can be good tasting food," Rife said.