It’s been 10 years now, but it seems like just last Tuesday. I was skateboarding to my job as a web developer at a tech startup in San Jose, near where I grew up in California. Every morning I’d stop by a little bodega on the corner. It was the only place in town that carried MoonPie.
I’d stopped at this tiny local store for coffee and a donut a couple times, but this, my friends – this day was different. The owner of the shop, Manuel, a gentle, friendly old man who had engaged me in conversation a couple times before, asked me if I’d ever tried a MoonPie.
I had to admit I had not. His eyes widened with disbelief. “I’ve loved these things since I was kid growing up in the South. You’ve got to try one. It’s on the house,” he said with a wink. Well, I wasn’t about to turn down Manuel, and he was right. This MoonPie thing was the real deal. One bite and I was hooked. Goodbye forever, donuts; you’ll never compete with the layers of deliciousness that make the MoonPie unique and delicious!
For probably the next five years, I stopped by Manuel’s for a MoonPie several times a week. Eventually I swapped the skateboard for a bike, the bike for a motorcycle and the motorcycle for a Prius, but I never lost my love for MoonPies and my fondness for Manuel and his shop. Eventually the startup downsized, and I lost my job. I’m still in the tech sector, and by an unpredictable twist of fate, now I live and work in Chattanooga, Tenn., home of the MoonPie! I can’t say I planned on this, but it was certainly a pleasant surprise to discover that I’d be sharing a new hometown with my favorite hometown treat!
I wrote Manuel to tell him where I ended up, making sure to enclose a fresh MoonPie directly from the source, to pay him back for that one he gave me a decade ago. Congrats on 100 years, MoonPie! I hope you’ll be around at least 100 more.