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Paris restaurant will leave you feeling Moore-ish

BusinessParis restaurant will leave you feeling Moore-ish

Nearly 30 people stood outside for the official ribbon cutting and grand opening for Moore-ish Caribbean Cookhouse on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Friends and family gathered around Andrea Levy-Moore and her husband and business partner, Lindin, as they cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside David Bailey, Mayor for the County of Brant and Councillor Jennifer Kyle.

“On behalf of our elected council, I’d like to welcome you to the County of Brant,” said Bailey. “This is a very special moment in time for Paris and it’s very welcomed. I am just so happy that you’re here and I wish you nothing but the best.”

Levy-Moore’s supporters were quick to dance and sing along to CeCe Peniston’s song “Finally,” as the ribbon was cut and fell to the ground.

Surrounded by loved-ones, Andrea Levy-Moore, her husband and business partner, Lindin, and David Bailey, Mayor for the County of Brant happily cut the ceremonial ribbon during the grand opening of Moore-ish Caribbean Cookhouse on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Paris’ newest restaurant, located at 1 Hartley Ave., is now officially open and offering a culturally authentic Caribbean food experience with organic herbs, spices and in-season Caribbean ingredients.

The name of the restaurant “Moore-ish” is not only a tribute to the owners last name, but a play on the word “moreish,” a compliment meaning that the meal is so good, you can’t help but want more.

Levy-Moore, founder and head-chef at Moore-ish Caribbean Cookhouse, said that the restaurant was a long-time coming and reminisced about her cooking journey.

“I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and my mother had left for Canada when I was young and so I grew up with my grandmother. She was really our sole provider at that time, and she used to sell food in glass cases on the roadside or in the local school yard,” said Levy-Moore. “I ended up always being in the kitchen with her and so I learned to cook alongside her at the age of seven and that’s where the love of cooking came from. It really kind of runs in my family, we all love to cook and my brother is also a certified chef as well.”

Friends and family help pass out chicken soup during the grand opening of Moore-ish Caribbean Cookhouse on Monday, February 19, 2024.

At 12 years-old, Levy-Moore migrated to Canada and continued to carry her passion for food with her.

Despite pursuing a career in Journalism and later working in Communications, Levy-Moore admitted that her love of cooking and the desire to do more, was always tugging at her heart.

“I went to Seneca-York for Journalism and graduated with honours and really started down that path, but cooking was always calling out to me,” she said. “It’s something I can really do with my eyes closed and it just comes to me naturally.”

Levy-Moore eventually started doing private catering as a side hustle and later owned and managed a Caribbean franchise restaurant in Mississauga, but found that the rules of owning a franchise left her unfulfilled.

“It wasn’t a model that worked for me because I wasn’t able to show my skills or my creativity,” she said.

Andrea Levy-Moore chats with a customer during the grand opening of Moore-ish Caribbean Cookhouse on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Nearly a decade later, Levy-Moore and her family eventually moved to Paris in November of 2021, and she immediately saw an opportunity for a new adventure.

“For over ten years I had been waiting on that perfect moment and when we moved out here, I saw a real-estate opportunity coming up before this plaza was even built,” she said. “It was just up the road from my house and I thought it would be perfect. I reached out to the realtor and put together a business plan and a proposal for the landlord and they were excited about the idea and wanted us as a tenant.”

Despite a few hiccups along the way, and her opening date being pushed back by five months, Levy-Moore is thrilled to finally be able to share her food with local residents.

“It’s been a really strenuous journey with the delay, but I think that delay actually created a sense of anticipation from my neighbours and other locals because everybody had been talking about it, so it kind of created a type of excitement around it,” she said. “I feel really honoured to do this here because Paris is such a historic little town and to be the first person to open a Caribbean restaurant here gives me great pride. We’re just so grateful for the opportunity and the support that we have. During the ribbon cutting, we had strangers and neighbours come out and ask how they could assist us and it was just really overwhelming and there were so many emotions.”

Surrounded by loved-ones, Andrea Levy-Moore, her husband and business partner, Lindin, and David Bailey, Mayor for the County of Brant prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon during the grand opening of Moore-ish Caribbean Cookhouse on Monday, February 19, 2024.

The owner said that the moment didn’t truly hit her until her mom began crying after the ribbon cutting.

“She knows the process and the challenges that we’ve been through and she knows how long I’ve wanted this, so she started crying and then of course, I started crying,” laughed Levy-Moore.

Throughout the day, the support kept pouring in and Levy-Moore said that she easily served over 100 meals to not only the residents of Paris, but to customers who traveled up to three hours to support her and her family.

Looking ahead, Levy-Moore is looking forward to establishing a legacy for her and her family.

“Our children can eventually carry this on, and who knows, maybe we will even open another Moore-ish that can be run by other family members,” she laughed. “My son is already helping me out in the kitchen with prepping and so to have the support from him and my husband, my other kids and siblings, it’s been really important to me.”

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