“In this economic climate, people are nesting more, cooking more at home, entertaining more at home. And there’s a movement toward real food and cooking,” Moore says, which contributes to her store’s continued success.
The grand opening for the East Cobb location takes place Saturday, Nov. 12, from 5-8 p.m. at 1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 568, Marietta, GA 30068. The event will include food samples, cookware demos and special guests knife artisan Bob Kramer and Chef Sonya Jones of Sweet Auburn Bread Company signing her new cookbook.
‘It’s important as a gay person to be involved in a well-rounded way’
Moore, who is openly gay, says her sexual orientation does not play a key role in who she is as a businesswoman.
“I don’t focus on that as a tool. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more comfortable other people are with you. And it doesn’t become fodder,” she says.
“I think it’s important as a gay person to be involved in a well-rounded way. Once you start isolating … you’re cutting yourself off from opportunity,” she explains.
Moore once managed the kitchens and cooked at award-winning Atlanta restaurants Partners, a Morningside Café and Indigo before she went into business for herself and opened the first Cook’s Warehouse in 1995 in Amsterdam Walk.
“I couldn’t find a great resource in Atlanta for what I needed so I decided to do it myself,” she says.
Cooking classes continue to be a major part of The Cook’s Warehouse success, says Moore, who still finds time to teach while also operating her four stores. The stores are also very popular with gay clientele — and all people who love gourmet food, wine, travel and golf. Moore herself is an avid golfer and a devoted Atlanta Dream fan.
“I’ve always played sports throughout high school — basketball, softball, volleyball,” she says.
Moore is passionate about the organic food movement and the farm-to-table movement. She and Cook’s Warehouse have worked for the past two years with the Decatur school system to teach cafeteria chefs how to properly prepare fresh foods so students can eat meals that taste good and are also good for them. The Atlanta Public School system is seeking her help to do the same.
The Cook’s Warehouse is also a great supporter of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and partners with nearly every major cooking event and gourmet association in Atlanta.
Moore, who has received numerous honors from the culinary industry, believes part of her and her stores’ success is dedication to giving back to the community.
She’s set to be president of the Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an invitation-only organization for women in the culinary field who mentor other women.
“It’s all about women helping women,” Moore says.
While Moore and The Cook’s Warehouse focus on healthy eating and the proper way to prepare those healthy meals, that doesn’t mean Moore doesn’t enjoy a bit of junk food every now and again. Her favorite? Chicken wings.
“I could also eat my weight in chips and salsa and cheese dip,” she says.
Photo: Mary Moore, owner of the Cook’s Warehouse. (via Facebook)