Success is measured by goals. It’s not about how much you make or your “status” in public, it is if you accomplish what you set out to do, whatever that may be. Michael D. Moore is the epitome of a true success story because he established the height of the bar that he wanted for himself, then set out on a path to soar above it, blazing a trail along the way. This entrepreneur went from being the neighborhood child collecting cans to being the face of a brand on HEB store shelves. It all started, simply, as a young boy trying to help his mother.
After the divorce of his parents, at the tender age of 11, Moore became the “man of the house.” Determined to be there for his mother and younger sisters, he jumped headfirst into his new responsibility, becoming one of the breadwinners in the family.
And just like that, “Michael the entrepreneur” was born.
He first started by collecting and selling cans to make money, then strategically began positioning himself at gas stations on rainy days, making himself available to pump gas for customers who did not want to get out of their cars.
When that wasn’t enough, he started knocking on his neighbors’ doors at the Third Ward Cuney Homes apartment complex, asking if he could take out their trash for some change. Moore, or “Moe” as he was known in high school, was relentless in his hustle, which began to shape him as a small businessman.
This type of perseverance led to him becoming an All-American/All-State football player at Westbury High School, and later an All-American fullback at North Iowa University. From there, he transferred to Prairie View A&M University, but eventually, due to some unforeseen challenges, made the difficult decision to leave school, rather than accumulate a debt he felt would take a lifetime to pay back.
He went back to what he knew best – carving out his own lane.
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With $460 from an unemployment check, Mike Moe founded Beltway Records and built it into a prosperous company generating a six-figure annual income. But even with that success, it wasn’t quite the “calling” that was inside of him.
Throughout his teen years, Moe worked at a number of fast-food restaurants, including Taco Bell and Luther’s Barbecue in the Fondren SW area. He had always been a natural cook but wanted to learn more. After deciding to move away from the music industry, he took it upon himself to volunteer at Jake’s Grill in Pearland, learning how to run a restaurant. It was there that he started to experiment with different seasonings.
While traveling across the country and visiting many upscale restaurants with fine dining, Moe became intrigued with the quality and presentation of food. As a chef and Bar-B-Que Pitmaster, he wanted to “up his game” and began to experiment mixing different kind of seasonings.
In addition to that, he also started reading self-help books. One book resonated with him called “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne. Little did he know that title would become part of his destiny.
An opportunity arose in 2012 when a friend encouraged Moe to enter the “Crawfish Contest” at the Vida Loca Mexican Bar & Grill. He was hesitant at first, but he heard what he knew was God’s voice saying, “Go, because there is something out there for you.”
Moe was up against some big cooking teams and, since he was flying solo, knew it would be hard to win. He decided he would simply beat them on flavor. He combined several seasonings and called it his “Magic Dust,” as inspired by his favorite book.
He stepped out in front of his tent and yelled, “CRAWFISH MAGIC DUST, THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!”
It worked, Moe wowed the crowd and advanced to the next round, then won. Driving home, he knew what he needed to do.
Moe continued following God’s whisper and began to build a company around his seasonings. He contacted a graphic designer to help put the vision in place and went through a series of trials and errors before he had the perfect spice for the new “Moe’s Crawfish Magic Dust.” Coupled with the perfect packaging, he was ready to present to the public on a larger scale.
What Is Special about Moe’s Magic Dust Seasonings?
Moe says his seasoning is like no other. It is a fabulous blend of herbs and spices that is low in sodium, and the unique seasonings taste different on each dish, never compromising taste or quality.
The Moe’s Magic Dust brand has expanded to seasoning blends for Creole Cuisine, Southern Cuisine, Seafood Cuisine and Cajun Lemon Pepper, located in various grocery stores across the country.
His partnership with grocery stores began after he shared some of his seasonings with a local manager at Pyburn’s Farm Fresh Food. He approached the store manager, who was Vietnamese, about putting his product in the store and left him a sample. Two weeks later, he returned, and the store manager appeared puzzled when he approached him. Moe thought it was a language barrier that was breeding the confusion until the man said, “I tried that s___, last night on my chicken and it was great!” Moe’s Magic Dust found a new home, but he had another goal on his list; a partnership with HEB, a chain that was known for supporting and launching homegrown entrepreneurs and their products.
In March 2021, he got his chance.
“Having the right product, remaining consistent and having the right people speak up for you is key. Joining with HEB feels like going to the Super Bowl,” Moe said.
His future is now booming as he is branching into pork skins, barbecue sauces, seasoned rice, canned goods, seafood batters and a whole lot “Moe.” Within the last two years, he has opened two restaurants called “The Stuffed Baked Potato Factory,” which was inspired by the success of Moe’s Magic Dust.
We asked what he would say to anyone with a “dollar and dream.” He kept it simple.
“Do what you can with what you got and what you need will find you.”
Not too bad for a little boy from Cuney Homes!