Palmyra man makes, sells his potato cutter in the U.S., internationally
Inventor Terry Moon poses for a picture with one of his MoonSpuds peelers used to make ribbon potatoes Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in his workshop in Palmyra, Mo. Business is taking off for Moon, who hopes to soon be selling his peelers on Amazon. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
By Ashley Szatala Herald-Whig
PALMYRA, Mo. — Terry Moon didn’t train as a chef, but he’s helping those in the food industry.
The Palmyra resident is the maker and seller of a ribbon potato cutter sold both in the U.S. and abroad. Since he made his first potato cutter nearly 10 years ago, he’s achieved several personal successes, including “no complaints” and endorsements by chefs, Moon said proudly.
It’s a side business of his that steadily keeps growing.
Moon’s son, Kevin “Zach” Moon, married in 2009, and for his bachelor party, he borrowed a ribbon potato cutter to make some curly fries.
“It was crude, but it got the job done,” Moon explained. “I told my son I thought I could make a better version of it.”
So Moon set out to try.
He was a pattern maker at industries, including Gardner Denver, for 40 years before retiring, so he is skilled at machinery and crafting things. Using stainless steel construction and a utility knife blade, he created the “Cadillac,” as Moon calls it, of drill-powered ribbon potato cutters: the Moon Spud Cutter.
“Other cutters are a light material, hand operated and not meant for making ribbon potatoes long-term,” Moon said. “Mine are built to last a lifetime. They’re heavy duty and operated with a drill. They’re easy to clean and maintain, plus the blade is replaceable.”
After making one for his son, Moon made a few more for those close to him.
“I got a lot of compliments on it, so I figured I’d make a few to sell for extra money,” he said. “I thought I’d only sell about 10 in a year.”
Moon quickly sold more than 10 those first several months.
Soon, Moon began looking for ways to mass produce the Moon Spud Cutter.
He now contracts with Consolidated Machine & Welding in Hannibal to do the stainless steel work, and he also uses Quincy Foundry Pattern for some castings. Moon does the rest of the machinery himself.
“I try to have only local companies help make it,” Moon said. “I’m a big believer in that.”
People in the food industry are his primary customers.
“I sell to a lot of barbecue places and a lot of restaurants in Texas,” Moon said. “But overall, I sell the Moon Spud Cutter coast-to-coast and internationally. I’ve sold to Canada and several countries in South America, among others.”
Although Moon sells several potato cutters each month, he still works on his side business part time. But that might change in 2018.
“After the first of the year, I hope to sell on Amazon to make shipping, especially internationally, a little easier on me,” Moon said. “But if my product becomes any more popular, I might have to start looking into finding some help in making them.”
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