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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Be The Affordable Hang Out

The owner of Mo's doesn't mind that her restaurants are referred to as "dives." She accepts it as a badge of honor.

Key Question:


Be a place people enjoy hanging around.

Cindy has made Mo’s an attractive, fun place to be and has worked hard to promote tourism in Newport. Mo's Chowder is the anchor of modern tourism in Newport, Oregon. And tourism is new to Newport which is hard to believe now. It is an old fishing town. It is still a working port with all the sights and smells you can imagine that come with hauling in fish from the sea. As the fishing industry has changed, there is less processing going on in Newport. At the same time, the city fathers (and that includes Cindy) have been working on making the waterfront attractive so tourist will come and watch the fishermen and spend some money in the town.

How does Cindy make Newport special? Artwork. She recruited artists to paint murals. Some of the world's most famous have painted large surfaces on Newport's waterfront buildings. Cindy has commissioned an artist to do a bronze statue of Mo and other business owners who are doing their part to make their storefronts attractive but at the same time keep the spirit of the working port.

Cindy recognized that "we eat where our children want to eat," and she made her eateries children-friendly. In some businesses, the user of the product or service is not the same person as the buyer of the product or service. This situation requires dual marketing strategies influencing both the buyer and the user. Chuck E. Cheese combined pizza with indoor playgrounds, two of children's favorites. This is a classic example of a business marketing to the user who in turn pressures the buyer, resulting in revenues and profits to the seller.

Think about it

Who is your buyer and who is your user, and are they the same? How do you make your business uniquely attractive to your customers?

Clip from: Mos Chowder

Newport, Oregon: Cindy McEntee came to our attention because she was the state of Oregon's Small Business Person of the Year. Then, when we looked further, we found many more awards and citations. To be selected as the study for a show, a business must come up on everyone's list as being " ... loved by their community and respected within their industry."

In this episode of the show, we continue our walk down the Main Streets of America to see how one person with a vision has transformed the town where she was born and where she has chosen to stay. Life here is so rich with the intangibles that even her children have returned to this little seaport town and are helping to build the business and family legacy.

From a little joint on a narrow little street to the big White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, we discover how a fisherman's hangout becomes a national treasure.

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Mo's Chowder

Mo's Chowder, A family

622 SW Bay Blvd.
Newport, OR 97365

Visit our web site:

Office: 541-265-2979

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1951

Be The Affordable Hang Out

HATTIE: (In the Studio) Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. This is a fish story that doesn't stop growing. We start on the Main Street of a little seaport village in Oregon and before you know it, we'll be at the White House. We're going to discover how a fisherman's hangout has become the foundation for modern tourism in Newport, Oregon.
CINDY MCENTEE: Mo's has kind of become its own little entity where I just feel like I am the caretaker of a legacy.

HATTIE (Voiceover): Cindy McEntee is owner of Mo's Restaurants -- the place famous for serving hot clam chowder since 1951. She has three locations on the Oregon coast and a chowder-base factory. With the home office in Newport, the operation employees up to 200 during high season and generates $3.5 million in annual sales. With a group of partners she owns an additional three locations. We met Cindy in the White House in June of 2001 when she was named Oregon's Small Business Person of the Year and first runner up for the National Small Business Person of the Year award.

CINDY: Mo's is just a plain and simple restaurant with simple seafood dishes that aren't complex – it's for the everyday person.

HATTIE: I read where a Seattle food critic called this a dive – is that okay with you?

CINDY: I'm laughing all the way to the bank, I guess. Our big push this last few years has been to really focus on families. And we try to make it as special as we can for the children. You know, you eat where your children want you to eat.

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