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Food Entrepreneurs: Michael Moran’s CurrySimple

Posted on Saturday, Nov 28th 2009

By Guest Author Erika Valdez

CurrySimple was founded by Michael Moran, who at a very early age discovered his passion for food and whose entrepreneurial spirit led him to the establishment of a successful business opportunity. While working at a Thai restaurant in Atlanta, Moran became inspired to create a product not readily available to the consumer. He discovered that the American people found it difficult to cook Thai food at home, in part because they were not able to recreate the tastes of the sauces. It was from this that the idea for CurrySimple —an online company that sells curry and other products made in Thailand from scratch with fresh ingredients—was born. The packaging technology preserves the curry so that it tastes just like on the day it was made.

Moran worked obsessively before launching the company. He needed to save money, so he decided to handle almost every aspect of the business himself. He developed the company’s logo and e-commerce website along everything else needed to get started. “When the company first launched, I worked full time at a friend’s mortgage company, bartended six nights a week at the Thai restaurant, and somehow found time in between to launch and run CurrySimple. I did not have any cash flow when launching so I had to create my own with other jobs,” Moran said. The business was launched with no more than $30,000, and in the first year sales were under $100,000. Quickly sales picked up and CurrySimple landed its firs big retailer—Whole Foods.
Moran has always been extremely involved in the company’s PR and marketing. He is constantly finding ways to market CurrySimple and was even on the front of the Washington Post’s Food section, which helped establish the credibility of the product. He is marketing online to retail consumers, restaurants, and gourmet food stores looking for new products. He goes to local farmer markets, and just recently made a big push on Facebook in order to attract more of the online market.

Moran takes great pride in his marketing skills, and feels that he has done well in reaching a niche market in the industry. His business model is in constant development since he believes in the importance of business evolvement, offering a top quality product, and satisfying the customer. “Understanding the needs of the consumer has made the product a success. I knew from working in a Thai restaurant that consumers want to cook Thai food exactly like what they are served when dining out,” he said.

With over $1 million in revenue so far, Moran plans to pick up more distributors for CurrySimple in the next year and get the product in more retail stores. He’s already launched an online gourmet food store called Snazzy Gourmet with offers over 500 unique food items, and he is also working on a couple other business to open very soon. Moran also plans to open his first restaurant on Asian fusion-style cooking in the next two years.

Moran ended the interview by describing his experience as an entrepreneur as “ the most amazing experience! I have had the best and worst times in my life. It is amazing to create something that creates a following.”

This segment is a part in the series : Food Entrepreneurs

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Erika, thank you for sharing this story. If it seems that a unique and a simple idea makes him successful, the truth is that success for entrepreneur like Michael is a neverending battle. And your post is right on Target.

Thanks
Fibol

Fibol Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 3:19 AM PT

What is the packaging technology that Moran uses?

Sramana Mitra Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 11:33 AM PT

Nice series of stories …

One good thing about the food business is that it’s relatively recession-proof.

– Vasudev

Vasudev Ram Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM PT

@Sramana – The packaging is called a retort pouch. It is lightweight, flexible and paper thin when the contents are emptied. This advanced type of package is becoming more popular in the retail food market. It has been used by the Army (called MRE – Meals Ready to Eat) for some time now.

@Vasudev – It is true that the food business could maybe be considered recession proof. One challenge we have faced is the recession + government spending has weakened the US dollar considerably. This hurts food companies that solely import from foreign countries (Thailand in our case).

Michael Moran Monday, November 30, 2009 at 6:57 PM PT

I agree Fibol. It is important for entrepreneurs to remain on target and to evolve in order to remain successful–it is indeed a never ending battle. I find it fascinating to see new and creative ideas that these food entrepreneurs constantly bring to the industry.

Erika Valdez Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 7:30 PM PT