Meet Michele Moore… a true Sedona Entrepreneur! Operating Retail locations, A Restaurant and Our Favorite Coffee Shop!
Q: Please tell us what you do here in Sedona.
A: Currently, I have a blend of businesses – Soundbites Grill, Starbites Coffee Cafe, and three retail clothing stores. I don’t work at the restaurant as much since I have good management. Over the past three years, we developed three clothing brands blending entertainment, fashion, food, music into a lifestyle experience. My clothing stores are all in The Shops at Hyatt Pinon Pointe. I’m involved in the buying and some of the designs of the clothing.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Sedona?
A: I moved to Sedona in 1994 and opened a coffee shop in the Village of Oak Creek in the Oak Creek Factory Outlets shopping plaza. In 1997, I sold the coffee business and opened the Marketplace Café in the same Mall. The Marketplace Café started as a deli and coffee shop, and it grew over the years. In 2004 we expanded the restaurant to include a bar and live music. In July of 2009, I hired a hospitality expert and restaurant consultant to assist me. That person became my husband, Stephen Sullins. We have been working together ever since and opened Sound Bites Grill on June 1, 2012. The restaurant has gone on to win multiple People’s Choice Awards for the Best Live Music venue in Northern AZ, providing world-class music.
Q: What motivates you or what keeps you going?
A: Coffee, ha-ha.
Q: What would you say contributes to your success?
A: I have a lot of energy! I usually give 110% to my work, and my mind is going all the time. I watch the women who work for me develop their skills and create their own companies. They are always coming to me for advice, and that is very rewarding. I am involved in the community. I was elected board member of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for six years, organized and chaired the Sedona Area Restaurant Association. I was also a member of the Sedona Village Business Association.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Sedona?
A: Terri Frankel because she’s fun and very motivating! Also, Jennifer Wesselhoff, the previous CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. She was very instrumental in getting me out of my shell. She motivated and inspired me.
Q: What advice would you give to people?
A: Running a business or being in business is not as easy as it looks. There are so many factors to having your own business, including your staff and customer satisfaction. Honesty and having a good heart are what works for me.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: To rent an RV and tour America. I love small towns, so that would be fun.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Sedona?
A: My favorite restaurant aside from Sound Bites is Merkin Vineyards in Cottonwood. The food there is farm to table – very organic, fresh, and healthy. I love the atmosphere, the music, and the overall experience.
Q: What is your favorite music or three bands that you would like to hear?
A: David Bowie! Since I was a child, I’ve always loved him. I used to do hair and make-up in the film and TV business, and I had the opportunity to meet him. That was exciting. I love Jazz and piano – it’s my favorite instrument. It’s soothing and makes me relax. I enjoy Rock and Roll – especially Led Zeppelin.
Q: If you could choose anyone, whom would you love to have lunch with?
A: Ernest Hemingway. I love his books, and he’s one of my favorite authors. I love his novel, “For Whom the Bell Tolls because it is so romantic and wild.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Sedona?
A: I love the skies! I grew up in LA, and when I first moved here, I thought Sedona was “slowdona.” I love the Red Rocks, the creeks, and Oak Creek Canyon is my favorite place to go. My husband and I used to do a staycation at the Junipine.
Q: When someone comes to visit you, where do you take them?
A: We usually take them to play golf. But we go hiking at Sedona Airport and see the views and the Vortex. We also visit Tlaquepaque and then dine at Sound Bites.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A: My husband and I would love to be in Colorado and perhaps retire there. Our dream is not to be involved in the day-to-day operations running the businesses.
Q: What words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: My grandma and the beach. I grew up near the beach, and when I think of home, I think of family time.
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I used to do hair and make-up for the film and TV industry. It was fun and different. My first film was also Brad Pitt’s first film. Many people don’t know that I have three clothing stores – my favorite is called “One World Collection,” which has fashion clothing from around the world. The other two stores are “MIC” (Music Inspired Collection), it’s very rock and roll and edgy and the other is called “Always on Vacay,” which is a resort-inspired lifestyle, and it’s for both men and women. And, there’s more! Stay tuned for another venture coming soon!!!
From the interview with Jonelle Klein