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Weight Watchers Debuts on Highland Place (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Weight Watchers is taking a higher profile location at 7 Highland Place in the Village.

The giant poster of a significantly slimmed down Jennifer Hudson in the window is hard to miss.

Weight Watchers has come to Maplewood Village proper — more specifically to 7 Highland Place.

The internationally known weight-loss support and nutritional education company has been in Maplewood for years — meeting at the Woman's Club until recently. But is stepping it up with its very own storefront on the highly traveled Highland Place.

Store manager Tina Leslie, Vice Mayor Kathy Leventhal and frequent Dr. Oz guest Liz Josefsberg were on hand for the ribbon cutting on Friday, Oct. 14. Other guests were vying for a chance to have their pictures taken with Josefsberg, a South Orange resident and a long-time Weight Watchers member and leader who has recently worked closely with spokeswoman Jennifer Hudson on her remarkable weight loss.

Also on hand was Richard Uniacke of the Community FoodBank of NJ. Uniacke picking up a trunk load of food donations from the Weight Watchers "Food for Good" campaign. "It's not a lot like people are cleaning their cupboards of junk," said Uniacke. "I'm seeing Fiber One and other heathly choices in there." Uniacke said that the partnership between the FoodBank and Weight Watchers was a good one that made good sense: "The FoodBank is trying to focus on nutrition education as well."

"We're all about feeding people and healthy living."

Besides the trim and dapper Uniacke, the store was filled with slim and lovely women — many wearing tags announcing the amount and date of their weight loss. Peggie had lost 45 lbs in 2002, and maintained the loss. Tina Leslie, the store manager, had lost 22.5 lbs in 1988. Shivani had lost 20 lbs in 2010 — and significantly lowered her cholesterol.

"I walked in with a friend in 2009 and I was battling cholesterol. It never struck me that it was connected with weight!"

The newest member of all is Vice Mayor Kathy Leventhal. Said Leventhal, "My goal is to become a life member. Being as I am older than I was when I was 40, I think I can make it!"

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