Why They Give
Damien “Dame” Moore ’95 and Randy Wadsworth ’95
Damien “Dame” Moore ‘95 and Randy Wadsworth ‘95 are making it happen, “it” being their growing business, Dame’s (Almost! World Famous) Chicken & Waffles. In 2010 the pair opened their first restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, followed by a Greensboro location in 2012. Today they also serve diners in Cary and on the campus of Duke University. Rave reviews draw visitors from all over the country, eager to satisfy their craving for this classic comfort food.
Moore and Wadsworth got their start as eventual business partners from the friendship they developed as roommates, fraternity brothers, and business students at UNCG’s Bryan School. Both graduated with management and marketing degrees, but corporate jobs took them in different directions.
After graduation, Moore, a self-taught cook, conducted a small catering business while also working for an international telecommunications company. After company layoffs in 2004, Moore set up shop in Durham as Blue Mountain Catering. Among other offerings, the chicken and waffles he catered were a huge hit, and Moore realized he was onto something.
Moore and Wadsworth reconnected in 2010 to begin a partnership in the restaurant industry, combining Moore’s love of cooking and Wadsworth’s business acumen. The rest is lip-smacking, “Almost! World Famous” history.
In 2016, Moore and Wadsworth created a new kind of partnership: The Moore-Wadsworth Endowed Scholarship Fund for undergraduate students at UNCG’s Bryan School of Business & Economics. The scholarship honors the educational foundation developed in the Bryan School, where they formed the basis of their friendship and successful business partnership, by “paying it forward” to help students with financial need. Recalling the financial struggles they faced while in college, the partners want to help “lessen the stress” for today’s students.
“Things have changed quite a bit since those days of ours. But one thing that has remained constant is the ongoing need for some students to receive financial assistance to continue their education. We would like to give back to the school in an effort to assist a select group of students,” wrote Moore.
They also aim to set an example for their children about the importance of education and helping others.
Now, more about those (Almost! World Famous) Chicken & Waffles. Pairing chicken and waffles dates back to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s-40s, when Harlem, New York, became a mecca for music, particularly jazz. Concerts and parties lasted into the wee hours, and local restaurants began offering a late night/early morning menu that served savory fried chicken with sweet, crispy waffles and became a roaring success. Moore and Wadsworth didn’t invent Chicken & Waffles, but Dame’s is all about the love of the food and the music that inspired it.
As quoted in the Fayetteville Observer, Wadsworth said, “We had this dream. I think that for anybody, it shows that if you put your heart and hard work into anything, you can make it.”
Dame Moore and Randy Wadsworth—a roaring success, just like…well, you know…
Edited by Chris Garton, Donor Relations
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