The evolution of how Moochie’s got its start begins with owners Joanna Rendi and Don MacDonald.
A well-respected Master Potter, Don was creating beautiful art work from childhood. He started his pottery career in a small garage in Magna, then became affiliated with “Stone Age Pottery” and taught and managed their pottery classes for them. He opened the Circle Pottery and Gift shop at 232 East 800 South in Salt Lake City in 1987, where he made and sold his unique handmade pottery and received numerous awards in local and national competitions. Don’s pottery work is collected all over the world.
In October 2000, Don & Joanna purchased a warehouse and turned it into the Circle Pottery School of Clay Arts and moved Don’s clay production studio there. The Gift Shop continued to operate as a retail business.
Joanna, who is originally from Philadelphia, had a long standing dream of owning a little sandwich shop like the ones she grew up with in Philadelphia. Specifically, she really wanted to introduce AUTHENTIC Philly Cheesesteaks into the Salt Lake area, as there was just nothing like it at the time.
When the Winter Olympics came to Salt Lake City in 2002, they took the opportunity to close the gift shop for some remodeling and decided to put in a little kitchen in the back. In the meantime, Don and Joanna sold Joanna’s handmade meatballs to the students coming to classes at the pottery school to see if people liked them. They knew they had a winner when one of the students, a confirmed vegetarian, would break his diet once a week to eat one of those meatball sandwiches.