President Stuart Gulley presented Mary Moore ’87 with the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2011.
Ms. Moore is the founder and CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse, a gourmet store and cooking school with four Atlanta locations and an online store at cookswarehouse.com.
After working her way through Georgia State University with jobs in Atlanta kitchens and an early career as a chef, an epiphany in a very well-stocked New York City cooking supply store led her, at age 25, to open her first store in Midtown Atlanta in 1995. Since then, the business has flourished.
A second store opened in 2001 in a Brookhaven location shared with Sherlock’s Wine Merchant. In 2005, in partnership with the owner and general manager of Sherlock’s, she opened a third retail location. In spring 2006, Ms. Moore relaunched cookswarehouse.com and relocated the company offices. In the fall of 2009, she moved her flagship store into a new, larger location. A fourth location, a collaboration with Whole Foods, is located in East Cobb County.
"The foundation that Woodward provided benefits me every day. The exceptional teachers who developed potential in me that I didn’t see in myself, along with many opportunities to broaden my horizons, fostered the confidence that is a cornerstone of my success.”
Before starting Cook’s Warehouse, Moore managed the kitchens and cooked at award-winning Atlanta restaurants Partners Morningside Café and Indigo Coastal Grill. She served as the director of research and development at Harry’s Farmers Market, which at the time was the city’s largest gourmet and fresh food supplier.
Over the years, she has shared her talents on television, appearing on food segments for Atlanta affiliates of NBC and Fox as well as on PBS and on “Southern Living Presents” on Turner South. She has been a radio guest and a writer for Atlanta’s Finest Dining magazine and Atlanta Woman magazine.
Ms. Moore was invited with other chefs to the White House to help kick off Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” campaign, part of the First Lady’s efforts to end childhood obesity. Ms. Moore also has run cooking classes for the Decatur school system’s cafeteria workings, encouraging them to incorporate more fresh, healthy food into their menus.