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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Start Your Children at the Bottom

The owner's daughter, Gabrielle, started at Mo's as a dishwasher when she was 12 years old.

Key Question:


Cindy’s children, Gabrielle and Dylan may be part of management now, but they started their careers at Mo’s as dishwashers and potato peelers.

  What are the advantages of bringing your children into your business on the bottom rung of the ladder and having them work their way up?

There are several. First, they REALLY learn the business. There’s no way you can do that if you start "at the top." Secondly, by doing every job in the business, they are better and more compassionate managers, fully aware of the challenges faced by each employee. Thirdly, they will find ways of improving the business at each level of operations as they fully participate in it. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all the other employees will know that the next generation is qualified to lead, that they have survived the internship and are well positioned to be caretakers of the organization.

Think about it

Are your children involved in your business? At what level? Are you preparing them adequately for their future roles?

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

Start Your Children at the Bottom

HATTIE: This is the famous Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport's pride. Oregon's 400 miles of beaches attracts thousands of tourists to the coast every year, but for Cindy and her husband Bruce, this is home. Married since 19xx the two walk the beach everyday. Bruce has his own construction company and their two children work for Cindy. We went to a stunning spot to meet their daughter, Gabrielle, who run's the sweetest Mo's at Otter Rock which opened in 1972.

GABRIELLE: When I was 12 years old, I first started working at Mo's as a dishwasher.

HATTIE: What were you doing?

GABRIELLE: I was a dishwasher. That was the time before we had an electric dishwasher, we had three sinks. Soapy water, clear water and sanitizing water. And I stood there all day long washing dishes – one, two three.

I went to college at the University of Oregon. I have a degree in Sociology and a minor in Women's Studies. Many people are surprised when they learn that I do not have a business degree. The lessons in business are all on job around here.

This is my family business and I feel strongly about participating in that.

As a waitress, I feel like I am really connected to our customers. And I can hear straight away from them how they are feeling about the environment that they are eating in, what food that they're eating. It's just the best connection in my point of view to keep connected to the public, which is the only way we can keep on top of our game as a restaurant.

Customer: That's where it is. Okay, thanks a bunch.

GABRIELLE (to the customer): "Have a nice day!"

(To the camera) And, I got to tell you, the tips are great.

CINDY: We have Sunday, all of us. And do we talk about business? We never talk about business at Sunday dinner. That is like the "no Mo's zone." And then Monday morning, we all show up at the office and it is head on. I think counseling, family business counseling is probably imperative. It is. And make sure you seek it out because it is not going to come to you. You find it and do it. There are so many sad stories, you know.

HATTIE: Cindy's son, Dylan, runs the Chowder Base Factory. But he didn't start at the top.

DYLAN: I peeled potatoes for the Chowder factory when it was on the second floor of the original Mo's. I think I still have scars on my hands to prove it. We had to hand peel large 100 pound bags of potatoes. My second job was picking blackberries. But my first real job where I actually earned a paycheck was washing dishes at Mo's West when my grandmother ran that.

I have two bachelors degrees and now I am just trying to figure out how to use them. When I graduated from the University of Utah. I had the degree in Hospitality Management and a minor in Business – I thought -- "This will be great." I now have the tools to go home and work with my mom's company. But I thought, I'm not ready to do that yet. I had two little kids and I had been married for a few years. So I went back to school and went to Westminster College and got a degree in Finance with a minor in Economics.

I then wanted to get a job with a big company.

So I went to the biggest company – I went to General Electric. I got a job at GE. I worked with their corporate card services. And I did that for about a year and I realized – there is a lot of corporate bureaucracy. Even though GE is really one of those companies where you can move around and really give your ideas. I thought, it is not quite what I grew up with. I am a small town guy and this is a big company.

So I said, "No, I want to move back."

I called my Mom and said, "We are going to move back to Newport; I don't know what I want to do, but I am going to figure it out. I'm pretty resourceful." And she called me about a month later and said, "I have a manager leaving. Are you interested in a job working at Chowder Factory?"

I said, "Sold, you've got a new manager."

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