Student profile | Lifestyles | faquier.com
When Frank Maresca decided to open a Moe’s Southwest Grill in Warrenton, not far from his Aldie house, he wanted his new franchise to have a local feel. While renovating the old Pizza Hut on Broadview Avenue late last year, he came up with the idea: a Warrenton-themed mural designed by a local.
On June 3, Maresca unveiled the Moe’s Warrenton mural, the culmination of a month-long design competition with students at Fauquier High School. The vibrant mural depicts Moe’s Restaurant surrounded by notable Warrenton landmarks, including the city’s iconic courthouse and other historic buildings along Main Street.
“[We wanted] a mural that reflects the town of Warrenton and the Moe’s brand, âsaid Maresca, who also owns four other Moe’s franchises across Virginia. âWarrenton is a very welcoming town, and we want to [reflect] that at Moe.
The idea came to Maresca after removing large outdoor refrigerators, leaving a large white wall along the rear exterior of the building. Maresca not only wanted drive-thru customers to have something fun to watch, she also wanted to create a sense of community. So, rather than hiring a professional artist, Maresca contacted the nearby Fauquier High School with a proposal: If the school had a competition to design the mural, they would choose one of the students’ drawings. As an added incentive, the contest winner would receive a prize of $ 1,000 and free burritos for one year.
Beginning in February, students submitted sketches of their designs on cardboard to be judged by a panel including Maresca, Moe’s corporate marketing team, the mayor of Warrenton, Carter Nevill, and Dawn Brown, the teacher. school art.
The winning design was submitted by Ebony Wells, junior at Fauquier. “[Ebonyâs] the submission immediately caught my eye, “said Maresca,” It was really bright and colorful. “To create the final 7ft by 12ft mural, Moe’s marketing team scanned Wells’ submission and then l ‘printed on the restaurant wall a few days before the June 3 ceremony.
âWhen I found out I won, I was so happy,â said Wells, whose design was chosen from 15 student submissions.
Wells, who grew up drawing with his grandmother, is an active member of his school’s National Art Honors Society and aspires to open his own fashion business. âI’m a fashionista,â she said, âand I plan to design designs and make clothes to put in my shop.â
âI’m glad he went to Ebony,â said Brown, Wells art teacher. “I know it means a lot to herâ¦ and I hope it inspires her to continue with art.”
At the unveiling ceremony, Wells, surrounded by school faculty members, received her cash prize from Maresca and Nevill. âTo see a business open up during the pandemic and not only be successful economically but also open to students and the community is truly remarkable,â said Nevill.
For Maresca, who was initially concerned about opening a new franchise during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reception in Warrenton was a pleasant surprise. “It’s great to see the support from the school and the city,” he said, “[and] to see all the creativity behind the submissionsâ¦ I would love to find a way to do something like this in the future.