BY TERI R. WILLIAMS | PHOTOS BY DAPHNE WALKER
Hometown Living At Its Best 35
Courage & Coffee
The sign read S'moore, and my first thought was
chocolate marshmallow campfire treats. But S’Moore
is all about coffee. Great coffee. It’s a smooth blend
of the owner’s name: Samantha Moore, the young
woman who took a little bit of money and stretched
it out to start her own business as only a single mom could
do. And the coffee? A cup is well worth a run to downtown
Vidalia. Wait. That’s a great idea. And as you head out, take
this magazine with you because you’re going to want to
know more about the owner when you taste the best coffee
and espresso in town (along with a piece of homemade
cheesecake or quiche fresh from Samantha's oven).
I should say at the start that this is not a story for
the faint of heart. Samantha served as a Marine, after all.
You might guess as much from her various tattoos. She
joined the Marine Corps fully intending on a
military career. She was in for the long haul. And
Samantha would still be serving our country if it
had not been for the injury.
Why the Marines? That was the question her
dad asked but not for the same reason as her
mom. What his question meant was, “Why not the
Navy?” since it was the branch in which he had
served. Her mom’s question was just that: every
mother’s concern. But neither one questioned
that their daughter would do well. While there
were plenty of air-conditioned options for summer
jobs, Samantha chose to work alongside her
stepdad, Ivey Oliver, finishing houses on St.
Simons Island. She enjoyed the challenge and
always gave her best to whatever she did.
When Samantha turned sixteen, she moved
from Brantley County, Georgia, to Temecula, California, to
live with her father and stepmother. She managed to excel
at school and run track while working a job at night. She
started off at Taco Bell and then took a job at Starbucks.
Her work was so proficient that as soon as she turned
eighteen, she was promoted to shift supervisor by her
manager, Matt Mincey.
But with high school graduation approaching,
Samantha grew restless. She wanted more. She wanted
to see the world and expand her knowledge. There wasn’t
money for college, and she had enough common sense to
know she did not want a future bound to student loan debt.
“I take a logical approach to things,” said Samantha. “I
could join the Marines, and my school would be paid for.”
To answer the question “Why the Marines?” we have
HER MARINE TRAINING TAUGHT HER
ABOUT RESILIENCE, HAVING CHILDREN
TAUGHT HER ABOUT LOVE AND OWNING
A COFFEE SHOP IN DOWNTOWN VIDALIA
TAUGHT HER HOW TO FULFILL A DREAM.