Bring ‘Moore Crunch’ into your life, the Maryland way
10/17/2023| Samantha Foley
Bring ‘Moore Crunch’ into your life, the Maryland way
10/17/2023 | Samantha Foley
Bite into a “Moore Crunch ” pretzel and you’ll quickly realize it’s no ordinary snack food. Each pretzel is seasoned and tested by business owner Marcus Moore. Every bite of these addicting snacks begs the question, just how did he get so much flavor packed into one small pretzel?
For that answer, you’ll have to ask Marcus and his family – who have affectionately become known as “The Crunch Family” – due to the delicious reputation of Marcus’ crunchy snacks. Here’s the thing about Marcus: he loves pretzels. In fact, he loves them so much that he wanted to share his love with the rest of the world.
“I was going through a really tough time because I wanted to be able to take care of myself as an adult but I didn’t make enough money at my grocery job. I was scared and depressed because I didn’t know any other skills to make more money. Then one day I was on my lunch break at work and my parents called to check in on me. They said ‘You like to snack on pretzels so how about starting a pretzel business to make extra money?’” Marcus said he took the suggestion quite seriously and went to work creating a plan to make pretzels, with the ultimate goal of obtaining financial independence.
What most people don’t know about Marcus is that he has Autism, a neurological and developmental disorder that can affect how people interact with others, communicate and learn. For him, starting a business wasn’t just a casual hobby, it was a way of becoming independent and feeling like a “normal” person.
“I didn't like that my Autism meant that I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself in the future,” explained Marcus. “My parents have always taught me to do my best and to learn to be independent and to live on my own. I wanted to learn how I fit in life...like figuring out my own piece of the puzzle.”
Those puzzle pieces would end up being the foundation that Marcus built his business on. With a solid framework in mind, he began whipping up the trademark pillar of Moore Crunch: its crunchy flavor. After working through some anxiety, Marcus secured his very first selling opportunity at the Crofton Farmers Market. Despite being a bit nervous about how he and his pretzels would be received, after a few markets it was clear that both Marcus’ big smile and crunchy pretzels were a farmer's market favorite.
Feeling inspired, Marcus quickly began concocting more recipes for the hallmark flavor choices of his pretzels. His careful selection resulted in an addictive snack with five delicious tastes to choose from: Garlic Ranch, Buffalo, Smokehouse Ranch, Cinnamon Sugar, and, of course, Maryland Crab….a local favorite. Each pretzel is hand coated in the special seasoning blend that’s had Moore Crunch’s customers begging for more!
With some help from Mama and Papa Crunch, Marcus began pitching his product at other local farmers markets and the tasty snacks became a hit, and along with it business started booming. Marcus was taking orders left and right, packaging, making labels, shipping, handling funds, designing logos, all while still making pretzels! But Marcus is only one man, and although his parents supported his business and pitched in where possible, Mama and Papa Crunch couldn’t be his only system of support. So, the family began interviewing potential employees. Marcus ended up with a motivated team of people that all had something in common: his new teammates all have Autism and were also looking to gain some independence.
With a competent team behind him, and Mama and Papa Crunch not too far away, the Moore Crunch team set to work on expanding the business. Pretty soon, farmers market stands turned into a thing of the past, and wholesale distribution and business partnerships took over, with big names like Camden Yards and Jimmy’s Seafood lining up to get a bite. Along with forging partnerships with several other Maryland restaurants, companies and sellers, Marcus found himself left with an influx of demand for his crunchy snacks.
That’s when the Moore Crunch team decided to make its latest move to a commercial kitchen space. Although the business originally faced some difficulties obtaining approval for the space, the Moore Crunch team is in the process of successfully transitioning to a shared commercial kitchen space in Anne Arundel County. The team hopes that with this under its belt, a solo kitchen space won’t be far off.
As for Mama and Papa Crunch, don’t worry, Marcus didn’t leave them too far behind. They’re just happy Marcus was able to figure out his piece of the puzzle.
“Everyone on the Autistic Spectrum has their own puzzle piece, their own way they communicate and share who they are with the world. Marcus’ puzzle piece just happened to be pretzels and his love of sharing his snacks! We’re all unique in that way, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses,” said Walter, also known as Papa Crunch. “We’re so proud of Marcus for chasing his dream and figuring out his puzzle piece for himself.”
With dreams of an independent kitchen and distribution facility ahead of them, and customers lined up for ‘Moore,’ Marcus and the Moore Crunch team are excited to see the business continue to grow. Marcus takes great pride in his pretzels, he likes to say that he puts a smile and a hug in every bag to make people happy. As he says everyday, “The world needs…Moore Crunch.”
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