One of the highest-rated Cache Valley restaurants has a new location. Maymoes, which until recently had been located in a North Logan gas station, moved to its own building at 981 S. Main in Logan.
With just $12,000, Louisiana native Jason Davis opened the Southern Cajun restaurant in April 2016. Since then, he has fed thousands of customers while watching Cache Valley “Yankees” be converted to the flavors he grew up on.
Named for the way his young daughter tried to say “tomatoes,” MayMoes restaurant is hitting two major milestones this month. It is moving out of the gas station into its own location and will reach $1 million in gross sales since opening.
Davis and his wife started the restaurant two months after he got married. He said he had zero market knowledge and “was too stupid to know anything else.”
But he did know how to cook.
“I was always under the belief that if you made good food and good customer service they are going to come,” he said.
According to Davis, he doesn’t try to cut corners, anywhere. Everything is as fresh as he can get and made from scratch. He said he could save money, for example, by ordering the 30-cent frozen oysters, but instead pays .80 cents for oysters that were just shucked and delivered a day earlier.
“We have our bread shipped in from New Orleans,” he said. “We order tens of thousands of dollars of seafood from Louisiana every year. We make our own batters, our own seasonings, our own sausage and the seasoning that goes into the sausage. We make everything. It’s just how we want to do it.”
The most popular menu item, he said, is the shrimp po’ boy, but pulled pork po’ boys and jambalaya are big sellers as well. So are the daily specials.
“They can be anything from alligator to crawfish to beef shanks,” he said. “We’ve done rabbit.”
In addition to Cajun food, Davis has brought Southern hospitality to Utah. MayMoes has often, sometimes without any publicity, raised money for causes around the valley. When sudden warm weather hit Northern Utah in February 2017, the mountain snow melted almost at once, sending water downhill and flooding homes. Davis’ home was one of them.
“My wife and I, we had flooded,” Davis recalled, “and she said, ‘Hey, MayMoes should help people.’”
Davis got on social media that night and told anyone affected by the flooding they could come in the next day for a free meal. He then logged off and spent the rest of the night cleaning up damage in his own home, not realizing his Facebook post was going viral. The next morning he got a call from an employee telling him to get to the restaurant.
The small gas station eatery was packed. Some were there to take Davis up on his offer of free food. Others were there to help, paying in advance for anyone whose home had flooded. Davis began taking a tally of meals paid for by others.
“I had more people pay for others’ meals than what I could donate,” he said. “We kind of got it on a roll, but Cache Valley came in and did it all. I couldn’t keep up with it.
“We even had people come in two weeks later and say, ‘Hey, we still haven’t recovered. Do you care?’ And I said, ‘No, let’s feed you.”
Davis is looking forward to the continued success of MayMoes and the potential of the new building, which has more than double the seating of his former gas station location. He said despite the cost and extra work, he’s going to keep making the food from scratch and with fresh ingredients.
“I’m not going to water down the soup,” he said. “I just want to make really good food. Whenever I get down, I just read the reviews.”