Chef-Owner Ricky Moore of Durham's Saltbox Seafood Joint

A Sweet Award For A Salty Joint

In Eat, July/August 2020, Web Exclusive by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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WEB EXCLUSIVE James Beard semifinalist chef Ricky Moore’s famous seafood is loved by many around the Triangle. Within his two nondescript Durham Saltbox Seafood Joint locations, Moore whips up some of the best fried fish, hushpuppies and seafood rolls—favorites include the shrimp roll, fried oyster roll and spicy mahi roll—away from the coast. 

On August 26, Moore received a $25,000 award from credit card company Discover as part of its #EatItForward social media campaign, which began in July in an effort to celebrate Black-owned businesses and provide them with financial relief following the COVID-19 shutdown. Rather than having restaurants apply for the funds themselves, patrons nominate them through Discover’s social media platforms.

“We are incredibly grateful to Discover for recognizing Black-owned restaurants like ours during this challenging time,” says Moore. “Our community has always supported us passionately, and these last few months, we’ve especially felt the love, but there is no denying the uncertainty that still lies ahead during this pandemic and the impact this financial infusion will have on our short and long-term success.”

Photo by Briana Brough

Moore says it was always a dream of his to own his own business. As a chef, he worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world, including at Equinox in Washington D.C., Daniel in New York City and Apicius in Paris. Moore opened the original Saltbox Seafood Joint in Old Five Points in 2012, with the second location opening in 2017 in Rockwood. Now, Moore plans to invest the $25,000 award directly into his two prized restaurants, which have been open throughout the pandemic for take out, and now, dine in.

“I knew from a young age that owning my own business was the real path to success, and to be rewarded for that now further reaffirms all that hard work; it’s incredibly empowering,” Moore says. “It’s important that we continue this incredible momentum that Discover has begun, spreading the love and support to black-owned restaurateurs everywhere.”

As part of its #EatItForward campaign, Discover’s goal is to award a total of $5 million to 200 Black-owned restaurants across the country over the course of 17 weeks. Visit Discover’s Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to nominate the next winner.

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