by Whitley Adkins
Over the last decade, I’ve done the majority of my package mailing at The UPS Store on Selwyn Avenue. On a recent visit, it dawned on me that the rest of Charlotte needs to know more about this franchise-store owner. When a package for which I had paid expedited shipping via the UPS website did not arrive on time, I went directly to the owner, Khamla “Moo Moo” Sphabmixay — the nickname was given to him as a child. Moo went above and beyond in handling the situation.
Born in Laos, Moo and his family relocated to Charlotte’s Grier Heights neighborhood in 1977, sponsored by a local Catholic family. Moo’s family later moved to a neighborhood on Hovis Road in west Charlotte. Moo graduated from West Charlotte High School, where he was a top-ranked tennis player, and co-owned several small businesses prior to owning UPS Stores in Piper Glen and on Prosperity Church Road. He’s owned the Selwyn Avenue store for the last nine years. Moo lives with his son, 18, who attends Hopewell High School.
Comments have been edited for length and clarity.
The customers: I love helping people, talking with people, and helping them through good times and bad times. That’s the great thing about the business I have now — we get to interact with people from all walks of life. When you can identify someone as down-to-earth, regardless of their “status,” and they can identify me as being equal, regardless of my status, that’s what it’s about. It’s not about money; it’s about who you are and how you present yourself.
Favorite foods: One of my favorite meals comes from a Lao food truck, JP Food To Go, parked off Little Rock Road. Also, Le’s [banh mi sandwiches at Asian Corner Mall] off Sugar Creek Road, and Thai House with several locations around Charlotte. My biggest opinion on food is it’s not where you eat, how much it costs or how great the restaurant’s ratings are — it’s not good unless you have it with someone.
Neighborhoods: My favorite neighborhoods are Pawtucket and Coulwood. I love Myers Park because I grew up spending time there, and Belmont because my Dad took us there when I was a child. There are great people in every neighborhood.
Pastime: I grew up spending time with my family at various fishing holes. There is one fishing hole down Highway 16 as you cross the Mountain Island Bridge. Walk maybe 1,000 yards, and you’ll find it. Also, there is a great fishing hole in Belmont not far from the dam. It is the place where my Dad always took our family, and my uncle brought his family.
Outdoor activities: The U.S. National Whitewater Center is great. I like to play tennis at Tuckaseegee Park and Hornets Nest Park — I’d love to start playing more again. I also really enjoy going to Blackstone Shooting Sports off Interstate 77 and Wilkinson Boulevard. It gives you an elegant feel in a shooting-range environment. SP