CRESTVIEW — Cash Moore, owner of 16 Cash’s Liquors stores and seven sports bars across Northwest Florida, regularly gives back to the community he calls home. 

Moore grew up in Crestview, where his father owned a liquor store, and he graduated from Crestview High School. After high school, he attended Auburn University and joined the U.S. Army. 

His first bar, Cash’s Faux Pas, opened in Fort Walton Beach in 1965. Since then, his business has become the largest liquor chain in Northwest Florida. 

Billboard backlash 

Moore recently received criticism for his billboard on State Road 4. It states, "Cash's: Getting America laid and happy since 1965." Okaloosa County Commissioner Nathan Boyles, who found the signs to be “distasteful and offensive,” told Moore in a letter that he would “respectfully suggest that your choice of advertising material may be severely damaging your standing in our community." 

Moore said he has two billboards in the Crestview area and two on Okaloosa Island; he has never had any problems with them before this. 

“The issue they had really was with the (local churches),” Moore said. “I told the county commissioner or whoever was interviewing me at the time… the kids sitting in the car listening to their iPads or their iPhones or watching TV at night, ‘laid’ means nothing (compared) to what they’ve already heard.” 

“When it first happened, I said, ‘I’ve had billboards up worse than that, at the same location.’” 

Moore said he believes the judgment he has received is a double standard because of the type of business he is in. 

“I’ve had all this slack about my daughter being on my billboards since she was basically born, but... if I sold carpet or I was a used car salesman, it would be fine,” Moore said. “I’m in the sin business. I sell liquor, I sell cigarettes, I have cocktail lounges, I have night clubs… the bottom line is, nobody endorses it, but everybody calls to get a contribution.

“What people don’t realize... we’re the highest taxed industry in the state of Florida,” he said. “And all that tax money funnels right into the schools and stuff. Just like the lottery – the lottery is gambling… but no one gripes about that lottery money.” 

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Giving back

What many don’t realize is that Moore has been giving back to schools in the community for many years. 

“Several years ago, I closed a gym and I called Coach Jim Anderson over at Freeport because I’ve had a store there for over 20 years,” Moore said. “Coach Anderson came over on a Friday, looked at the stuff, and showed back up on Saturday morning with about 12 or 15 trucks from the Freeport community. So I gave that whole gym to Freeport high School… to have a weight room for his football team several years ago.”

Two years ago, Moore contributed to the Freeport High School women’s basketball team when they won the state championship for the first time in the school’s history.

 “I went ahead and talked to the coach and [the principal] and I bought the team and everybody involved… all the championship rings that year,” Moore said. 

The most recent donation was on May 12 when the Baker High School football team ended their season with 14 wins and no losses. 

“I called Coach Brunson and asked him what he wanted to do,” Moore said. “He told me they were going to try and do some car washes and bake sales to try and raise some money. I [asked] coach Brunson what it will run to buy the football team and the cheerleaders. 

“He called me back the next day and told me it would be $10,200 and asked me how much I wanted to chip in, and I just told him I’d pay for all of it.” 

Moore attended the Baker Gators' scrimmage with his daughter, Cashen, and presented the team with a check for the entire amount it would cost to get the championship rings. 

Moore said he regularly gives smaller amounts to schools, in the $500 or $1,000 range, but these three major contributions are what he really prides himself on. 

“People that actually know me really know I’ve never had a drink or smoked a cigarette in my life,” Moore said. “But 90 percent of the people think I’m a drunk or an alcoholic. The people in Crestview that knew me and grew up with me will tell you the same thing because they know me.”