A local veteran has done the unfathomable. Erick Moody, 38, has created a catering company that serves gourmet food, and allows other veterans to gain employment.
Chef Moody is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Kosovo war, attended Keiser University and received the licenses to become a Culinary Trained Chef. Moody is a fun-loving and funny man who is in love with cooking. He enjoys joking with the customers, the employees and anyone he meets.
Hard work and dedication are the values that he wishes to instill in the employees that come on board. Renee Miller, the Director of City Walk and Urban Mission, said, “He is probably one of the hardest working people I know. He has a hard work-ethic and is very passionate. He is very giving and sometimes maybe to his own detriment.”
Mae’s Southern Delights is the brand that he created. Chef Moody has worked hard to attain the success that he has.
“The mission is to put more vets, those that are homeless or trying to get back on their feet, back to work. To create jobs in the community while we are serving great food,” Moody said.
Mae’s Southern Delights comes in three forms. It is available in a food truck, a catering business or through personal chef services.
Moody prides himself on serving fresh food. Mae’s Southern Delights does not cut corners and he believes in keeping quality of food and service as the top priorities.
“Oh man they are delicious. They have been doing all of our catering since 2016, so just over a year and I love it. I personally love their personal chef service, we have special dietary restrictions and they cook to that,” said Miller.
FAMU business professor LaTanya White is impressed with Moody’s approach. She is coordinator of the Florida Veteran Entrepreneurship Program.
“We still stay in touch and it’s been over a year. He is just full of life, he doesn’t let anything keep him down for too long. Because you know being in business for yourself isn’t as sexy as it looks, but he doesn’t let challenges and set backs really hold him back,” While said. “He takes everything as a learning experience; if you check his Facebook page he’s always like,
‘Good morning everybody,’ and it brightens everyone’s day.”
Moody did not stop learning after becoming a chef. He sought out more knowledge through the Florida Veteran Entrepreneur Program where he met and worked with White and FAMU’s interim Vice President for University Advancement, Shawnta Friday- Stroud.
“we turned a five-page business plan into a 50-page business plan,” Moody said.