Brownies, lawns and music: a first dive into entrepreneurship

CraigAnthony Moore sells baked goods through the company he founded during his sophomore year of high school. (Photo by Elle Su/Student Life)

When freshman CraigAnthony Moore walks by Bears’ Bikes, Bear-y Sweet Shoppe, Wash U Wash and the other student-run businesses at South Forty, his eyes are on the one-day addition: Moore Services and Company.

During her sophomore year of high school in 2019, Moore noticed that several students in her community were trying to generate extra income by selling candy, but the market was getting too crowded. In response, he decided to capitalize on his passion for baking by selling brownies. His baking business will eventually be called “Chef Curry’s”, one of three services his company currently offers.

Once the pandemic hit, the young entrepreneur expanded into offering lawn services. And then, just before moving to campus, Moore added his company’s third department: DJing and providing music entertainment services to customers.

Currently, Moore Services and Company “operates as a sole proprietorship”, which means that Moore handles all marketing and communications, handles agreements and partnerships, and helps with some of the practical aspects of his business, such as the pastry chef Curry desserts. When his lawn services are in high demand during the summer, Moore contracts out other lawn care companies to streamline efficiency.

Moore grew up in a single parent family and was driven by a desire to contribute to his family’s finances. However, it faced some limitations. “We lived in social housing, [and] in social housing, your household income cannot exceed a certain amount,” he explained. “So that means I couldn’t be in a W-2 or W-9 job, because if I had done that, we would have exceeded the income gap for the household. So there was always a push to earn money, but not necessarily in a formal job or position.

Since joining WashU, Moore’s main goal for his company has been “to grow from a side hustle to a formal business entity.” Part of this process included implementing some of the information and skills he learned from Olin Business School courses into his business strategy.

“We have a phenomenal business program here at the University of Washington — some of the things I learned I was able to apply instantly,” Moore said. “I was able to write a business plan. I was able to plan for the long term. I was able to assess supply and demand.

One of his big future goals is to work with WashU’s Skandalaris Center to establish a physical location for Chef Curry’s on the South 40.

After further development, he also plans to sell shares of Chef Curry’s, likening it to “starting a franchise”. He wants to dedicate the rest of Moore Services to providing a “plethora of services to the St. Louis community.” And if we expand beyond the St. Louis community, that’s great. Real estate and tax preparations are two of the planned extensions.

Moore also envisions his business, especially Chef Curry’s, “giving back to the community.” He would eventually like to create the Chef Curry Scholarly Program, which would fund scholarships for budding student entrepreneurs in the Ferguson-Florissant school district. Chef Curry’s also recently partnered with Natalie’s Cakes and More in Florissant, Missouri, which Moore says is a great way to “help each other expand our networks.”

He also intends to donate his leftover products to surrounding communities.

“My goal with my products is to give them back to the homeless when they don’t sell. Let’s say, for example, that I don’t sell 150 brownies in a week. The goal would be to get students from the community, Washington University community, and maybe WUPD affiliate, and go to downtown St. Louis, where we have a pretty big homeless population and then simply send the products to the homeless as a way to get back into the community.

If Moore has learned anything about himself from his business endeavors, it’s that he’s hugely ambitious. As his ambition continues to grow, he relies on his friends and family, whom he thanks for being “there since day one”.

“My friends have been hugely supportive, and I just want to say thank you to those who have continued to support me.”

Moore’s family helped him in everything from testing brownie flavors to promoting the company’s services. Her mother’s help was especially important, as she supports every event and uses her own personal networks to spread the company’s message, Moore said.

After graduation, Moore plans to either get a master’s degree or work at a real estate company to gain experience, which he says is “where [his] the heart is.

For now, Moore is still working on expanding his business. And her experience has given her insight for any student looking to start their own business: “Often we think we have to start with a business plan, and truth be told, we don’t. Don’t be afraid to do it.

Comments are closed.