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They say life is made up of a million little moments that happen to you along the way—short blips in time that can later define your future without you even realizing it.
That’s exactly what happened to me, the partner at the Chattanooga community stores.It’s all because of a chance meeting between my wife, Shanda, some 20 years ago that would eventually lead me down a path I never expected: business owner and biscuit maker.
Scott Moore is the founder and visionary behind Maple Street Biscuit Company in Jacksonville. Before his name became synonymous with the best biscuit on the First Coast, he lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife, Robyn, and their three children. It was there that Robyn met my wife Shanda 18 years ago at another sandwich shop called the Bagel Market. As women tend to do, they easily struck up conversations that led to a lasting friendship between the couples. So much so that me and Shanda asked Scott to officiate their wedding in 2001.
In 2012, much to our surprise in Tennessee, they got word that Scott had left his job with a national grocery chain to pursue his new passion: biscuits. And his vision of a community store featuring southern comfort food with a modern twist was taking the Jacksonville food scene by storm.
As all good friends do, we made spring break plans to travel to Florida, support our friends, and really find out what this Maple Street was all about. I recall waiting in line to place his order in a packed store. All he could repeat in his head in disbelief was, “It’s just a biscuit. This packed for just a biscuit?”
Well, it didn’t take long for me to be “pleasantly surprised.” I was so surprised that three years later I still remembers his first order: Sticky Maple, Hashups and of course, an Iced Cinnamon Pecan Biscuit as well. Our family was so impressed that they implored Moore to open another location one day back in Tennessee.
Fast forward almost a full year and I am in a place I never expected. It was February 2014 and he was professionally unhappy. The stress of giving energy to a job where other people didn’t seem to care was taking its toll. Unexpectedly, I had a thought; I should be the one to open the Maple Street store in Chattanooga. I texted my wife on a whim to gauge her shock value, and much to his surprise, she immediately said “Okay.”
When I got the news to Moore, I quickly found himself down in Jacksonville at a Maple Street Biscuit Company—this time behind the scenes to get entrenched in the culture to see if this could really be my dream too. For three days he was with Chris Sears at the then new Jacksonville Beach store making sausage gravy and simultaneously picking the minds of team members about the culture and the atmosphere. When I went to leave, Moore urged me to take a week and go home and pray about it with my wife before giving him his final answer. It was a quick seven days with no looking back.