When COVID-19 is finally defeated, either by social distancing, a vaccine, or a combination of efforts, celebrations around the world will go on for weeks, if not months.
And when that time comes, Noor Ballroom at Paseo Colorado in midtown Pasadena will likely be the location of many of the parties that are likely already being planned in the greater Pasadena area for that time.
Right now, however, Noor, like many other businesses that have been deemed nonessential, is closed.
In the meantime, Noor, also not unlike numerous other businesses, is using its time to give back to the community that made them a successful enterprise over the past decade; doling out free cups of soup to go to people in need and to a number of local nonprofit organizations, said Robert Shahnazarian, Noor’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
“Every Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. we have provided over 1,200 servings of nutritious plant-based soups to those in need,” wrote Shahnazarian, who runs the family business with the help of his wife Maggie and brother Sarkis.
“In addition, we have delivered our soups to the Ronald McDonald House, Hathaway-Sycamore Child and Family Services, and the Pasadena Senior Center,” he continued, adding Noor has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to cover the $5,000 a week needed to pay for the program, which started on March 27.
It was at that time that Shanazarian said Noor opened its commercial kitchen and called in as many staff members they could afford to pay. They outfitted the kitchen with a medical grade filtration system and equipped staff with face masks and gloves to begin the Soup-To-Go program.
“It was our promise to our community to continue this program for as long as it was needed and here we are five weeks later still keeping our promise,” said Shanazarian. “The soup that we are serving isn’t ordinary soup. It is plant-based, and made with completely fresh and natural immune–boosting ingredients.”
So far, the Noor crew has made and donated vegetable and barley soup, vegetarian chili, vegetarian borscht soup, tomato and rice soup, potato and leek soup, green pea and spinach soup and minestrone soup to thousands of people in need, along with supplying soup to local nonprofits dealing with children and the elderly.
“We are doing our best to help keep our local community fed and healthy but our Soup-To-Go program desperately needs funds in order to continue,” Shahnazarian wrote on the ballroom’s website.
Noor is located at 300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 400-6537 or visit noorevents.com for more information. To contribute to the Soup-To-Go program, visit gofundme.com/f/help-us-to-continue-to-feeding-our-community.