North Brunswick Magazine - Fall 2019 Edition

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Fall 2019










At NHRMC and NHRMC Physician Group, we’re leading our community to outstanding health by looking deeper and working harder to find innovative ways to deliver great care. We’re bringing health screenings to area neighborhoods, offering free exercise and nutrition programs, and volunteering with community partners throughout our region. And we’re just getting started. Join us at Together, we can make healthier happen.

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EnjoyThe Good Life.

Brunswick Forest has been nationally recognized for its exceptional land plan, outstanding selection of lovely homes across a range of styles and price points, and abundance of luxurious amenities. Residents enjoy an enviable coastal by nature lifestyle, surrounded by scenic marshes, winding creeks and stunning ocean beaches.

Come tour our latest releases in the Cape Fear National, The Lakes, and Egret Cove neighborhoods.




WATER, NATURE, & GOLF VIEWS | PREMIER HOMESITES FROM THE $80s | ELEGANT HOMES FROM THE $300s - $800s Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of these properties. The features and amenities described and depicted herein are based upon current development plans, which are subject to change without notice. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation of offers to buy real estate in any jurisdiction where registration or advance qualification is required but not completed. © Brunswick Forest Realty, LLC Licensed NC Real Estate Brokerage Firm


North Brunswick Magazine

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Fall 2019






74 SERVING UP VENTI-SIZED LAUGHS Matthew Coghlan enjoys a double life crafting coffee and comedy. By Lauren Krouse


Opera House Theatre Company’s Justin Smith talks about the resurgence in local theater and his hopes for expansion into Brunswick County. By Shannon Rae Gentry


Sailing the Caribbean in a tall ship with Star Clippers Cruises is the ultimate way to escape the winter doldrums. By Jason Frye


The PubScout checks out The Beer Den at Lowes Foods in Leland. By Kurt Epps

113 BUILDING THE LABOR FORCE With the help of state funding, Brunswick Community College’s construction workforce program offers free training in traditional construction trades. By Teresa A. McLamb


North Brunswick Magazine





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By Justin Williams

Meet the contributors to North Brunswick Magazine


Upcoming events you won’t want to miss


Keeping up with the local business scene


Extras you’ll only find online


Coastal Integrative Health; Infinity Custom Cabinets; Bianchi Brickyard Supply; Jon Tait, Signature Wealth Strategies; LUXE Home Interiors; Clean Eats Express. By Sandi Grigg, Michelle Macken, Melissa Slaven Warren, Lensey Wilson


North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce’s Ladies Night Out/ Purse Bash; 2019 North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, Town of Leland Volunteer Recognition Reception


North Brunswick Magazine

What’s been going on around town

Our directory of advertisers


A contest for NBM readers. Photo by Pete Strawbridge


What you’ll find in the Fall 2019 edition of our sister publication, South Brunswick Magazine.


Donald Lee Grigg and the WorldFamous Bloody Mar by Sandi Grigg


Devilishly Good Crabs By Sandi Grigg


Artist Gaeten Lowrie’s murals perfectly depict the positive vibes in Leland’s new Eternal Sunshine Café and LunaBelle Gift Shop and Gallery. By Heather Lowery


Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary in Pink Hill is a peaceful refuge and retirement home for nearly 300 parrots. By Annesophia Richards


By helping make Leland Municipal Park Disc Golf Course a reality and bringing newcomers to the sport, Leland Disc Golf Club signals the rise of disc golf in Leland. By Melissa Slaven Warren


Jim Varno of Varno Musical Instrument Repair is back in the business of helping the music makers of southeastern North Carolina. By Heather Lowery


For Brunswick County Early College High School student Xuan Chen, volunteering and service are a part of life. By Jo Ann Mathews


Happenings on the local scene





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Coming Soon


Fall 2019





North Brunswick Magazine – Fall 2019 Volume 14, Issue 1

Merchants to shop from




RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY AT 12:00 NOON • Bubbly Bar & Light Refreshments

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: George Jacob Brian Wilner



Located in the new Harrington Square on Village Road


CONTRIBUTING GRAPHICS: Paula Knorr Teresa Kramer Elizabeth Dale Niemann




CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Megan Deitz Kurt Epps Laura Glantz Matt McGraw Bill Ritenour Mike Spencer James Stefiuk

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Kurt Epps Jason Frye Shannon Rae Gentry Sandi Grigg Lauren Krouse Heather Lowery Jo Ann Mathews Teresa A McLamb Annesophia Richards Melissa Slaven Warren Lensey Wilson PUBLISHED BY: CAROLINA MARKETING COMPANY, INC. PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 (910) 207-0156 • Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine is prohibited.

© 2019 Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. strives to bring correct, accurate information that is published in the magazine. However, Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from errors or absences. Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. also cannot be held responsible for the services provided by any and all advertisers in our publications. All material in this magazine is property of Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. and may not be reproduced without authorization from the publisher. North Brunswick Magazine – A Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. publication is published four times per year and is distributed to residents and businesses in North Brunswick County, NC, to subscribers and to select areas of New Hanover County, NC and Horry County, SC.

Taste is even better.

About the cover:

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Located at Magnolia Greens in Leland 1035 Grandiflora Drive 12

North Brunswick Magazine

Fall 2019










Photographer Megan Deitz has a gift for capturing the personalities of her subjects, birds included. She got this cover shot at Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary in Pink Hill, where owner Ces Erdman shelters hundreds of parrots from all over the country who are in need of a forever home. Read Annesophia Richards’ story about this unique place starting on page 56.


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Fall 2019



NBM M A G A Z I N E Reader/Advertising Services Subscriptions Want to subscribe to NBM? Subscriptions are $15.99 per year and include 4 issues of NBM. Subscribe safely online using PayPal, credit or debit card at Call our office at (910) 207-0156 or email us at to request a subscription.

Back Issues When available, back issues of NBM can be purchased for $5. Call or email us for information.

Letters We welcome your letters and comments about NBM. Send your letters to PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 or email them to When sending your letters, keep in mind they may or may not be published in a future issue of NBM. The publisher reserves the right to make the final decision.

Writing Opportunities We are always willing to consider freelance writers and article ideas. Please send suggestions or inquiries to North Brunswick Magazine, Attn: Editor, PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451. Or email us at

Change of Address If you move, please submit your new and old address to North Brunswick Magazine at

Advertising Interested in advertising in NBM? Please contact us to set up a meeting with an Account Executive. Our main office number is (910) 207-0156, or you can email us at

Marketing Services Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. provides a wide range of marketing services. This includes advertising design services, custom publications, mailing services and more. Contact our office for additional information or to set up a meeting with a Marketing Consultant. Visit us online at the above website. With any additional questions, call us at (910) 207-0156. 14 14

North Brunswick Brunswick Magazine Magazine North

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Fall 2019



Coming Together


It’s hard to believe that summer passed us by so quickly! It seems like Fourth of July was only a couple of weeks ago, but here we are, well past Labor Day and staring down Halloween. I am actually looking forward to the cooler weather of fall, because to me it signals a time for the locals to come together. This is the time when we say goodbye to all the summer visitors and enjoy the camaraderie of community events. One can’t think of the strength of the Brunswick County community without thinking of all the coming together we did during Hurricane Florence. It’s been more than a year since Hurricane Florence wrecked many areas of southeastern North Carolina and, unfortunately, many people have yet to recover from that storm. Many people and organizations are still trying to help, but it’s been a long road to full recovery. Please keep everyone who was affected by Hurricane Florence and other hurricanes in your thoughts during the remainder of this storm season and help with donations in any way you can. We have some cool stories about Northern Brunswick County and beyond to share with you in this issue. As you saw on our cover, we take you to Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary in Pink Hill,


North Brunswick Magazine

where Ces Erdman is sheltering nearly 300 parrots who would otherwise be homeless. We meet a variety of other locals, too, from high school student Xuan Chen to musical repairman Jim Varno to barista/comedian Matthew Coghlan. We learn about the way Brunswick Community College is helping ease the labor workforce shortage in Brunswick County, and learn why Opera House Theatre Company wants to expand its reach into Leland. PubScout Kurt Epps reports on the antics inside The Beer Den at Lowes Food in Leland, while Jason Frye reports from way farther afield, telling about his experience of cruising the Caribbean in a tall ship. Thanks for reading, as always. Enjoy your fall, and feel free to give us your feedback about this magazine. We always appreciate hearing from our readers.

! Justin Williams CEO/Publisher




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Fall 2019




I turned my love of photography into a full-time career in 2003 when I began traveling up and down the East Coast as a sports photographer. Today, I specialize in portrait and commercial photography but can be found fueling my true passion for landscape and wildlife photography through my travels around the world. My work can be viewed at and @megandeitz_photography on Instagram.


Growing up in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, I always felt drawn to the ocean. Family vacations to the Outer Banks with beachcombing, boogie-boarding and Frogmore stew helped to solidify my ideal life plan: move to the coast, adopt some dogs and write. After receiving my degree in English and creative writing from College of Charleston and teaching English in Poland for a year, I relocated to Wilmington to earn my MFA in creative nonfiction. Nearly four years later, I’m building a life here with my partner, Ren, and two rescue pups, a black lab named Forrest Gump and a Benji look-alike named Abi. I’m thankful to have a growing writing career with wonderful support from the Carolina Marketing Team.


Although I’m a native Marylander, through vacationing on the Outer Banks as a kid and attending Belmont Abbey College, I had always considered North Carolina my second home. My family and I moved to Brunswick County in 2007 and couldn’t be happier! My husband, three kids, two dogs and one cat keep me on my toes, as do my classroom full of sparkly eyed elementary students. I love pursuing my creative side through writing for North Brunswick Magazine and teaching. My future goals include spending more time at the beach with my family, reading the entire Agatha Christie collection and learning how to paint a masterpiece (well, maybe not a masterpiece... but certainly something other than paint-by-numbers).


North Brunswick Magazine

Fall 2019



North Brunswick Magazine

Fall 2019



Feast of the Pirates Festival

The Main Event Band in Concert

September 20 Leland Cultural Arts Center presents The Main Event Band in concert at 7 pm. The Main Event Band is the ultimate party band performing R&B, soul, beach, country and funk from the ’80s, ’90s and today. Featuring top-notch vocals, a tight rhythm section and one of the best horn sections around, the band is not to be missed. Information: (910) 385- 9891;

Feast of the Pirates Festival

September 28 Feast of the Pirates Festival will be held at Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville with live performances, history, food trucks, mermaids, merchants, kids’ activities and more. Information: (910) 777-2888;

2019 Services Coordinating Council Community Expo

September 28 Would you like to know how and where you can volunteer to help make your community a better place for everyone? Come out on September 28 from 10 am to 2 pm as many service groups will come together and display their services and volunteer opportunities. Information: 22

North Brunswick Magazine

Artist Joanne Geisel at the Art League of Leland

October 10 The Art League of Leland (ALL) invites artists and art enthusiasts to its Thursday, October 10 meeting with awardwinning artist Joanne Geisel as its featured guest speaker. A self-described American Impressionist oil painter, Geisel will discuss painting from nature as well as her abstracts. The meeting is free and open to the public. It will take place from 4 to 6 pm at Leland Cultural Arts Center. Information:

Catherine Porter Brown and Pam Milat Artist Reception

October 10 Leland Cultural Arts Center will hold an opening artist reception celebrating the art of Catherine Porter Brown and Pam Milat. The reception run from 6 to 8 pm. Information: (910) 385-9891;

UpScale ReSale & Design Challenge

October 11 & 12 The UpScale ReSale& Design Challenge is Wilmington’s most creative interior design competition. This two-day fundraising event, now in its fifth year, brings together local design firms who are challenged to utilize Habitat for Humanity ReStore resources to upcycle, recycle and


UpScale ReSale Design Challenge

Paul Whitehead 1107 New Pointe Blvd., Ste. 8 Leland

910-338-5686 Call today

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repurpose donated items into beautiful vignettes. All items are then made available for sale to benefit Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. The main event is held at the Coastline Conference Center on October 12 from 9 am to 2 pm. A VIP preview party and sale are held on Friday, October 11. Tickets are required. Information: (910) 762-4744;

Jonathan Tait, CFP®

Senior Wealth Advisor, RJFS

Brock Hall, AAMS®

Wealth Advisor, RJFS

Airlie Gardens Oyster Roast

October 18 The Oyster Roast is a tradition rooted in Airlie’s history. Beginning in 1905, extravagant oyster roasts were hosted on the property. Revived in 2000, this annual tradition has become the most important fundraising event for the Airlie Gardens Foundation. Proceeds support Airlie’s Environmental Education

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Fall 2019



Programs, which provide hands-on environmental education for thousands of school children and garden guests each year. Tickets are required. The event runs from 6 to 10 pm. Information: (910) 798-7700

Owl Howl

October 19 Join Cape Fear Raptor Center for the fifth annual Owl Howl. Enjoy raptors, raffles, local vendors, food, entertainment and kids’ crafts. Pets are not allowed, and admission is free. Owl Howl is held at the Riverwalk at Belville from 10 am until 4 pm. Proceeds support Cape Fear Raptor Center. Information:

NC Oyster Festival

October 19 & 20 The 39th Annual NC Oyster Festival, presented by Novant Health and the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, will be held in Ocean Isle Beach again this year. A long-time tradition, NC Oyster Festival brings together toe-tapping music, culinary delights, unique shopping and the regionally celebrated oyster to thousands of tourists and locals. Hours are 9 am to 6 pm on October 19 and 10 am to 5 pm on October 20. Information: (910) 754-6644;

NC Oyster Festival


North Brunswick Magazine

Listen Up Brunswick County: Vance Gilbert & Susan Werner

October 19 Come out to the Odell Williamson Special Events Center on October 19 at 7 pm to see Vance Gilbert & Susan Werner live. Listen Up Brunswick County is a non-profit group formed to provide noteworthy live musical experiences. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Information:

LCAC Presents: The Boo Ball

October 25 Don your best costume and boogie to your favorite tunes as Dutch Hawk entertains at this spooktacular Halloween party. Costume contests, prizes and more will be part of the fun. The Leland Cultural Arts Center doors open at 6:30 pm, and the event runs from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets cost $10. Information: (910) 385-9891

Magnolia Greens Annual Arts and Craft Fair

October 26 The Magnolia Greens Social Committee Annual Arts & Crafts Fair features more than 40 crafters at the Magnolia Greens Clubhouse. From 9:30 am until 2:30 pm, see art on display to include needlework, quilting, f loral arrangements, cards, jewelry, stained glass, holiday items,


Owl Howl

doll and pet clothing and paintings, to name a few. Information: email -

Live in Full Bloom

October 26 Held at Seaglass Salvage Market, Live in Full Bloom is an event focused on discussing how it feels when we are “Blooming in Adversity.” The event is presented by KStarr Coaching, and you won’t want to miss it! Information: (844) 257-8277

The Carousel Center Beer & Wine Festival

Brunswick Civil War Round Table presents Carolyn Evans portraying Harriet Tubman

October 26 Lighthouse Beer & Wine presents the 19th annual Beer & Wine Festival with dozens of craft beers and wines to taste. The event supports The Carousel Center’s mission of helping children who are victims of physical or sexual abuse. The festival has two sessions: Session 1 is from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, and Session 2 is from 5 to 9 pm. A limited number of VIP tickets offer special entry, access to a hospitality tent for food and loads of special and limited beers. Information:

Brunswick County Golf Tournament & Games Day

October 29 Calling all golfers and card players! From 11 am until 5 pm, Good Shepherd Center will host its eighth annual Brunswick County Golf Tournament & Games Day at Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation. Last year’s event was ruined by Hurricane Florence, and hopes are high that this year’s tournament will be a huge success. Information: (910) 763-4424 ext. 113 sgeist@

Brunswick Civil War Round Table

October 1, November 5, December 3 Brunswick Civil War Round Table meetings take place at Hatch Auditorium on Caswell Beach. Everyone is welcome. Registration and refreshments usually begin at 6:15 pm, and programs start at 7 pm. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Tuesday, October 1: Larry Hewitt, Ph.D., is a college professor and prolific author and served as managing editor and book review editor for North & South Magazine and past historic site manager of the Port Hudson. His topic

Fall 2019



will be “Fightin’ Dick Anderson: Lee’s Most Maligned General.” Tuesday, November 5: Carolyn Evans, a New York actress, will perform what is considered a “histodrama,” a one-woman show portraying Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist and political activist and one of the most heroic women in America. Tubman was known most notably for her involvement in the Underground Railroad, rescuing slaves via a network of antislavery activists and safe houses. Tuesday, December 3: Jim McKee, site manager of Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site and one of the original advisors of the Civil War Round Table, will present: “Fort Anderson in the Civil War.” The fort was pivotal in protecting the Cape Fear River inlets and Wilmington for the Confederate army. Information: (910) 278-3545;

Bikes, Boots, & BBQ

November 2 Join the crowd at Belville Riverwalk Park on November 2 for Bikes, Boots & BBQ, hosted by North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce. Sample BBQ, taste beer and enjoy motorcyle games. Information:

Tee It Off Golf Tournament

November 9 Support The Carousel Center by attending their Tee It Off Golf Tournament at Cape Fear National from 9 am until 5 pm. All participation and sponsorships will help Carousel Center further its mission to meet the physical, emotional and psychological needs of children who have suffered physical or sexual abuse and to improve the community through child abuse education and prevention. Information: (910) 367-2162 travis.foster@


North Brunswick Magazine


NBMA Fall Food Truck Rodeo

November 10 North Brunswick Merchant Association’s Fall Food Truck Rodeo will be held at Leland Municipal Park from 12 to 5 pm. Enjoy the variety of more than 10 food trucks, a Direct TV viewing area with all the football games, beer and wine from Leland and Wilmington breweries and wineries and more. Information: (650) 954-5995

Health Hacks

November 11, December 9 Brunswick Wellness Coalition will host 90-minute healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition programs on these two days. The event is free to attend, and all first timers will get a free t-shirt. Information:

Rise Up Race Series

November 16 RISE Up to support three wonderful nonprofits serving our community! This race series is perfect for the entire family and all types of runners and walkers. Each participant will receive race swag, which includes a t-shirt, tank, long sleeve, Series Finisher Medal and more. The race kicks off at 8:30 am and takes place in Brunswick Forest. Information: Facebook - RISE Up 2019 Race Series;

Hope for the Holidays

November 20 Lower Cape Fear Hospice will offer this no-cost grief workshop at Leland Library. The workshop is for those who have lost loved ones and are anticipating their holiday season. Lower Cape Hospice bereavement counselor Melissa Rogers will lead the workshop. Information:

Unity Group of North Brunswick Christmas Parade & Festival

December 14 Unity Group of North Brunswick (UGNB) is a nonprofit, non-political community service organization and has been presenting the Christmas Festival and Parade since 1992. This event has always focused on the Christmas season in the Northern Brunswick County areas. This year UGNB will put on a mini children’s parade and festival at Brunswick County Northwest Park on Highway 74/76. Information: (910) 371-9921;

Fall 2019



North Brunswick Magazine

Fall 2019


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Sellers Appointed to Fulfill Director Term at BEMC

department. Dr. Kraebber is certified by the American Board of Urology and provides both inpatient and outpatient care in Wilmington.

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) is pleased to announce that Perry Sellers of Bolivia has been appointed by the BEMC Board of Directors to represent District #1 in Brunswick County and fulfill the remainder of the term of recently retired director Hubert Brittain. Sellers is a Brunswick County native who started his career in 1976 at Pfizer in Southport, where he worked in Human Resources and continued with the company as safety director and security manager after it was sold to Archer Daniels Midland in the ’90s. He retired last year after 42 years of service. Sellers’ contributions to the community include serving as a member of the Supply Fire Department and Coastline Rescue Squad and as an Emergency Medical Technician Examiner for the state. He currently serves on the Wilmington Area Mid Atlantic Safety Council Board of Directors.

Ribbon Cutting for Seaglass Salvage Market North Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Seaglass Salvage Market on August 17. The market is located at 1987 Andrew Jackson Highway in Leland and is open every third weekend of each month.

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center Expands 3D Mammography Services

Wilmington Health Urologist Dr. David Kraebber was recently honored as visiting professor and lecturer for graduating urologists at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Kraebber was invited to be Named Visiting Professor and annual Millie Berg Memorial Lecturer at the Mayo Clinic Department of Urology on June 14. As a visiting professor, Dr. Kraebber spoke to graduating residents of the

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center has added its second 3D mammography machine, which will be available for mammography appointments Monday through Saturday. In addition, the new machine allows radiologists and general surgeons the chance to perform stereotactic breast biopsies. The American College of Radiology recommends breast screening for women begin at age 40, possibly earlier for those at high risk. 3D mammography is a screening tool that complements standard two-dimensional mammography. It is performed at the same time with the same system and offers better visualization for radiologists, which can result in fewer callbacks and less anxiety for the patient. No additional compression is required, and radiation exposure is minimal. A 3D mammogram is often recommended for women with dense breasts or a family history of breast cancer. Patients should talk to their provider to see if a 3D mammogram is


Mayo Clinic Honors Wilmington Health Urologist Dr. David Kraebber

Fall 2019



right for them. The new mammography machine will also allow the hospital’s radiologists and general surgeons with Novant Health Surgical Associates to perform stereotactic breast biopsies in-house. Stereotactic breast biopsies use mammography to help locate any breast abnormalities and remove a tissue sample for examination. It’s less invasive than surgical biopsy and leaves little to no scarring.

United Neighbors. The goal of the competition is to increase solar awareness and help people choose clean energy to power their homes and businesses. The top three microbreweries are all located in North Carolina. Mad Mole Brewing won first place with 1,630 votes.

Cape Fear Solar Systems Recognized as Top Solar Contractor

Mad Mole Brewing Named America’s Favorite Solar Brewery


North Brunswick Magazine



Shortly after celebrating its one-year anniversary, Mad Mole Brewing in Wilmington has been named America’s favorite solar-powered microbrewery. The owners of Mad Mole Brewing, Martin de Jongh, Ole Pederson, Chris Worden and Thomas Varnum, knew they wanted to incorporate solar so they could brew great-tasting beer without harming the environment. Mad Mole Brewing hired Cape Fear Solar Systems to install 63 SunPower solar panels, which are visible from Mad Mole’s taproom. More the 12,000 people cast their vote for their favorite solar brewery during the annual six-week Brews From The Sun competition hosted by Solar

For the seventh year in a row, Cape Fear Solar Systems is proud to be named one of the top solar contractors in the United States by Solar Power World magazine. Not only was Cape Fear Solar recognized nationally, making the top 100 residential rooftop contractor list, but also it remains number one in Southeastern North Carolina. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. Cape Fear Solar Systems currently employs a team of 23 highly skilled individuals who installed 740 kWs in 2018. Since its founding year in 2007, Cape Fear Solar has installed more


than 4,700 kWs of solar in southeastern North Carolina for more than a 1,000 customers. Cape Fear Solar is the only elite SunPower dealer, Tesla Powerwall certified contractor and Fortress Energy Storage partner in southeastern North Carolina.

gynecological care and offers a wide array of comprehensive services.

Leland Town Center Construction Under Way

Ribbon Cutting for Clean Eatz Express North Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Clean Eatz Express on September 6. They are located at 503 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 107 in Leland.


Megan Childres, nurse practitioner, has joined Novant Health OB/GYN. Childres will primarily practice at Novant Health OB/GYN - Bolivia, but will also practice at the Leland, Southport and Calabash clinics. She joined in May and is accepting new patients. Childres received her Master of Science in Nursing from South University in Savannah, Georgia, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University’s online nursing program. She has worked at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center as a floor nurse and assistant nurse manager in the medical-surgical unit. Novant Health OB/GYN provides quality obstetrical and


Novant Health Welcomes Megan Childres

As you may have noticed while driving along U.S. 17 near Ploof Road, construction is now underway on Leland Town Center, a commercial development that will house an estimated 250,000 square feet of retail and office space. Town of Leland spokeswoman Hilary Snow confirmed that the space currently being built is for a Starbucks, which will anchor Leland Town Center and should be open by the end of the year. Snow also confirmed that construction on an adjacent Chick-Fil-A is expected to begin soon.

BEMC Line Workers Places Third in Statewide Pole Top Rescue Competition Justin Ward, a first class line technician for Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, placed third with a time of 1:45.94 minutes in North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ statewide

Fall 2019



Ribbon Cutting for Darby Home Inspection

Pole Top Rescue Competition on May 30 in Raleigh. The competition pits line workers against the clock and each other as they demonstrate the technical skills, safety knowledge and rescue procedures required to work on electric utility lines. Ward has worked in BEMC’s Whiteville district for seven years, and this is his second time representing Brunswick Electric in the statewide Pole Top Rescue competition in North Carolina. His third place finish out of 22 competitors earned him a $400 prize at the event. During the competition, each line worker must execute a scenario that finds a fellow worker unconscious atop a utility pole. The competitor, dressed in full climbing gear, must radio for help, scale 20 feet up the utility pole, lower a 105-pound mannequin and begin lifesaving procedures. All North Carolina electric cooperative line workers must complete this same scenario in less than five minutes to maintain their certification to work on the 103,000 miles of co-op lines across the state.

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, along with members of the community, met at the chamber office to celebrate the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Darby Home Inspection. Chaney Catering offered light food items and beverages.

Novant Health Now Offers Pediatrics in Brunswick County

H2GO Customers Donate More Than $2,000 to Brunswick Family Assistance



On July 15, H2GO Executive Director Bob Walker presented the second annual Operation Round Up funds to Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA) Board of Director’s Chairman Bill Hadesty in the amount of $2,060.74. BFA helps low-income people in Brunswick County to live a high quality of life. The proceeds, donated by registered H2GO customers rounding up their monthly bills over the last year, will go toward helping to pay water bills of low-income families in the H2GO district. Last year, BFA paid more than $4,600 to H2GO customers who needed assistance with their water bills.


North Brunswick Magazine

On August 21, Novant Health opened its first pediatric clinic in Brunswick County. Novant Health Pediatrics Brunswick is located at 20 Medical Campus Drive NW, Suite 205, in Supply and will be staffed by Dr. Kaylan Edwards and Dr. Lori Tackman. Edwards received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biology from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and completed medical school at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She completed her internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina. Tackman received a Bachelor of Science from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and completed medical school at Michigan State University in East Lansing. She completed her pediatric residency at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. At Novant Health Pediatrics Brunswick, Edwards and Tackman will provide preventive healthcare and comprehensive medical diagnosis and treatment to infants, children and adolescents. Pediatricians specialize in pediatric primary care, following young patients from birth through college age.


NEW TO THE AREA? Get more information and other numbers at

Where is the post office?

How do I get cable, phone or internet access?

Leland Ace Hardware (910) 383-6688 117-B Village Rd., Leland, NC 28451

Atlantic Telephone Membership Corp. (910) 754-4311 (phone, cable or internet)

Leland Post Office (910) 371-9013 1123 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451-8479 Winnabow Post Office (910) 253-5576 6351 Ocean Hwy. E (Hwy. 17 South) Winnabow, NC 28479-5559

Where is the nearest grocery store? Aldi on Ploof Rd (off of Hwys. 74/76) (855) 955-2534 9410 Ploof Rd SE, Leland, NC 28451 Food Lion on Village Road (off of Hwy. 17) (910) 371-1951 309 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451 Food Lion (off of Hwys. 74/76) (910) 383-1467 1735 Reed Road NE, Leland, NC 28451 Harris Teeter (Waterford Commercial Center) (910) 371-3944 2021 Old Regent Way, Leland, NC 28451 Lowes Foods (Villages at Brunswick Forest) (910) 371-5544 1152 E. Cutlar Crossing, Leland, NC 28451 Piggly Wiggly on Village Road (off of Hwy. 17) (910) 371-2696 112 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451 Walmart (910) 383-1769, (910) 383-1872 1114 New Pointe Blvd., Leland, NC 28451

Where are the nearest Hospitals? Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center (910) 721-1000 240 Hospital Drive NE, Bolivia, NC 28422 New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington (910) 343-7000 2131 S. 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401

Where is the library? Leland Library (910) 371-9442 487 Village Road, Leland, NC 28451

AT&T (888) 436-8638 (phone, internet) Spectrum (844) 674-0398 (phone, cable or internet)

Where is the nearest drug store? CVS/pharmacy (Villages at Brunswick Forest) (910) 371-1464 1132 East Cutlar Crossing, Leland, NC 28451 CVS/pharmacy (Village Road) (910) 371-0794 117A Village Road, Leland, NC 28451 Family Pharmacy (Clairmont Shopping Center) (910) 371-3181 112-G Village Road, Leland, NC 28451 Walgreens (in Magnolia Greens) (910) 371-0233 1019 Grandiflora Drive, Leland, NC 28451 Walgreens (Village Road) (910) 371-1806 319 Village Road NE, Leland, NC 28451

Where are the town halls located? Belville Town Hall (910) 371-2456 63 River Road, Belville, NC 28451 Leland Town Hall (910) 371-0148 102 Town Hall Drive, Leland, NC 28451 Navassa Town Hall (910) 371-2432 334 Main Street, Navassa, NC 28451 Northwest Town Hall (910) 655-5080 4889 Vernon Road, Leland, NC 28451 Sandy Creek Town Hall (910) 655-3153 114 Sandy Creek Drive, Leland, NC 28451

How do I get involved in the community or volunteer? (910) 253-2412

Fall 2019


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Fall 2019


Windows 7 Losing Support Written by The Computer Warriors Inc.


he beloved operating system Windows 7, first introduced in 2009, will be losing official support from Microsoft on January 14, 2020. This means the operating system (OS) will not receive any updates or security features. “Changes and upgrades in technology are inevitable,” says Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, in a blog post. “And there’s never been a better time to start putting in motion the things you need to do to shift your organization to a modern desktop with Microsoft 365.” It is estimated that millions of people still use Windows 7. About 42% of PC users have it as their operating system of choice. Do you? At Computer Warriors, we recommend updating to either Windows 8 or Windows 10. Windows 10 is the most ideal option because it is the most current iteration of the Windows OS. This will keep your computer secure and up to date for the longest amount of time. Not doing so will leave your computer vulnerable to unnecessary risks and open your computer to a whole host of complications and problems. Microsoft will offer extended coverage for businesses that do not want to upgrade from Windows 7, but the business will have to pay for that privilege. Updating to Windows 10 can be intimidating, but Computer Warriors can make it a seamless transition. Also, a “Classic Shell” of Windows 10 can be selected by users fearful and hesitant to change. This version of the OS looks and feels like Windows 7. Some older machines may struggle to run Windows 10 effectively, but we can help you determine this before you upgrade. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact any one of our locations. We would be happy to serve you and help assess your device so you can make the best decision before it’s too late.


North Brunswick Magazine




323 Eastwood Road, Ste. G Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 399-3797

2013 Olde Regent Way Ste. 220 Leland, NC 28451 (910) 726-9552

521 Yopp Road, Ste. 216 Jacksonville, NC 28540 (910) 238-2277

FOR MORE TECH TIPS EVERY WEEK, join our Computer Warriors Community on Facebook. We post up-to-date tech news and tips every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Book appointments and read our blogs at




What do school buses do in the summer? Of Brunswick County Schools’ 177 activity, special needs and regular school buses, 40 or more hit the road in the summer, delivering students to and from special programs at schools around the county. It is also a busy time of year for the 25 maintenance employees who thoroughly clean, inspect and maintain the buses. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE



While this is his first business, Wes Hickman has worked in pharmacies for most of his life. After a brief stint slinging barbecue, Hickman got a job as a cashier at CVS in Shallotte at the age of 16. From there, he climbed the ranks to become a pharmacy technician and intern, apprenticing under Joey Galloway of GallowaySands Pharmacy in Supply. In 2005 he graduated with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PHOTO BY TREVOR L JONES




To celebrate National Tell a Joke Day, we decided to get to know local comedian Wills Maxwell a little better. You might know him from WWAY.




“When I was a kid, I felt the best when I was making other people laugh,” he says. “It felt like the best gift I could offer was to put people in a good mood. I’d watch reruns of The Flip Wilson Show and the comics on Showtime at the Apollo and knew that I wanted to do what those guys did.”

Fall 2019







Rochelle Grass believes the relationships she has created and continues to keep have set her apart from others in her field. “Promises are kept, not just made,” she says. As a highly desired interior designer, Grass commits herself to her clients fully and does not take on more work than she can personally attend to with purpose and passion. Although she offers gorgeous furnishings at a deep discount, including quality window coverings, lighting, accessories and more, her personal motto is “Love people, not things and the rest will come together.” |


by Lauren Krouse


What began as a small gathering of artists in a Leland neighborhood has grown into a nonprofit organization with nearly 140 members across the Cape Fear region. You can get to know this organization, Art League of Leland (ALL), and peruse fine art from 60 local artists at their inaugural show — I Heart Art Fine Arts Exhibition & Sale on September 21 and 22 in Brunswick Forest. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE



The opioid epidemic is strong enough in Brunswick County to warrant having a Substance Use and Addiction Commission, formed in 2018 to battle the death-grip of heroin, morphine, codeine, methadone, oxycodone and fentanyl — drugs that bind to receptors in the brain and lessen the body’s sense of pain. Data shows that 3,671,000 opioid pills were dispensed in the county last year, enough for 28 pills per resident. Eighty fatalities were attributed to heroin and fentanyl.


| CONTINUE READING ONLINE North Brunswick Magazine



Many Brunswick County mothers have seen the villain of addiction clamp down on their hometowns and slowly, steadily steal their children. In commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, two of them have chosen to share their experiences.





A year after Hurricane Florence ravaged southeastern North Carolina, it’s difficult to wrap our minds around the fact that there are community members who are still displaced and trying to rebuild and recover from their losses incurred by the storm last September. But they shouldn’t lose hope. That’s the one message Joseph Wescott, pastor of Town Creek Christian Church, wants everyone who is still struggling to hold onto. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE |

by Fritts Causby

With 26 years of experience, extensive education and a strong network of referrals, Michelle Gurrera leads the way in real estate in Brunswick County. Anyone with experience buying, selling or investing in real estate knows that choosing the right agent can make a huge difference. Similar to a proven family recipe, the best real estate professionals bring a variety of key ingredients to the table — in this case, it’s knowledge, experience, training and exceptional customer service. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE |


How did it evolve that a woman in her 50s is making a work week out of making people happy? While stationed at Hill Air Force Base near Salt Lake City, Jim and Belinda Augusta saw the original Snowie Shaved Ice bus and kiosks in town and decided to investigate. “And we thought, why not? So we decided to buy a bus,” Belinda says. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE



| CO N




Fall 2019






North Brunswick Magazine



Future 10 Meet 10 of the talented young professionals who are the future leaders of Brunswick County. By Melissa Slaven Warren, Photos by Megan Deitz

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and they inspire us to challenge, create, innovate and contribute. In this annual feature on the emerging leaders of Brunswick County, we present the Future 10 — all of them younger than 40.

Taking the Cake

Doing His Part

Splurge on the jumbo lump meat for the tastiest crab cakes south of Maryland.

For St. James resident Willie L. Gore, service is life’s key ingredient. Story and photos by Jo Ann Mathews

By Sandi Grigg

Pickleball Promoter How Carol Harpster is nurturing the health and growth of pickleball in Brunswick County. By Ashley Daniels, Photos by Mark Head

Pick up your paddle and stay out of the kitchen. If you play pickleball, that’s the lingo you’ll pick up, faster than this sport is sweeping courts across the states, indoors and out. Here in Brunswick County, Carol Harpster is responsible for amping up the pace of pickleball popularity. As the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) District Ambassador for eastern North Carolina, Harpster helps to promote the sport throughout the district’s 28 North Carolina counties, from Brunswick County in the south to Gates County in the north.

We all know that Maryland is famous when it comes to crab cakes, but North Carolina is close behind in the crab cake competition. Did you know North Carolina offers some of the most flavorful crabs around? Blue crabs have historically been North Carolina’s most valuable commercial fishery. Jumbo lump crab meat makes crab cakes that are plump with chunks of meat, not fillers. The Sriracha Remoulade in this recipe brings a cool but spicy note to the dish. Of all the days in Willie L. Gore’s life, one date is particularly etched into his memory. March 2, 1968. “I went to Vietnam as an infantry company commander,” he says. “There was a big fire fight, a big ambush. Lots of people killed.” He pauses then explains that a hand grenade was thrown into his location and he spent six weeks in the hospital. “I was fortunate I had a flak jacket on, otherwise I would have been killed.” Fall 2019


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North Brunswick Magazine



Donald Lee Grigg and the World-Famous Bloody Mary


Make your guests feel special the way my dad does — with handcrafted Bloody Marys.

Going back home to visit my parents is like a vacation for me. My friends and I call it “D.G. World.” My parents are Donald Lee and Debra Kay Grigg, hence the D.G. in D.G. World. They live in a large house on Lakes James in the foothills of North Carolina, and I enjoy taking friends back there to visit. The view is breathtaking, and the lake is so clean you can see clear to the bottom. There are plenty of bedrooms for guests, Mom cooks amazing meals, and Dad always offers up his famous Bloody Marys. Their hospitality is unmatched, and between the boating, swimming, sunning and fishing, guests are always ready to return. During a recent visit in June, we woke to the smell of bacon and fresh-brewed coffee. There is a massive wraparound deck that overlooks the lake, and we congregated in our pajamas until everyone was awake. “Is your dad going to make his world-famous Bloody Marys,” asked Jordon as he and his wife swung in the hammock. Clearly, Dad’s morning cocktails have become the most anticipated part of the day. Don lines up all the glasses and makes each drink individually, as if he is making each one special for each person. He brings the Bloody Marys


The D.G. Bloody Mary Makes 1 drink INGREDIENTS: 1 cup ice cubes 2 ounces hot and spicy V8 juice 2 ounces tomato Juice 2 ounces of vodka 1 pinch of black pepper 1 pinch of celery seed 1 pinch of salt 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ¼ teaspoon lemon ¼ teaspoon lime 3 dashes Texas Pete

for garnish: Salt 1 celery stalk 1 toothpick 2 olives 1 chilli pepper 1 boiled and peeled shrimp (tail on) Slice of lime

METHOD out to the deck and hands them out to the eager recipients. The garnishes make the presentation that much more desirable. They look like a piece of art; I almost don’t want to drink it — almost. It really is the perfect start to the day.

Wet the rim your 16-ounce glass and dip into salt. Fill the glass with one cup of ice. Combine all the ingredients in the glass and use a stalk of celery to stir and combine. Leave the celery stalk for garnish. Thread the chili pepper, shrimp and olives on a toothpick. Lay the toothpick skewer on top of the glass and place a slice of lime on the glass.

Fall 2019



Devilishly Good Crabs Remember the seafood platters where the best part was the crab shell stuffed with crab meat? You can make those at home, you know.




I can remember as a kid going to a seafood restaurant and ordering the seafood platter. It usually came with flounder, shrimp, scallops and a deviled crab. I always enjoyed the deviled crab the most because it came in an actual crab shell. At the time, I thought that is how all crab came, not knowing that it was a prepared dish. It can seem intimidating, but a deviled crab is actually pretty easy to make. If you don’t want to purchase and cook a pot of blue crabs, seafood markets sell hand-picked crab meat in 1-pound containers. However, by buying the pre-picked meat, you do not have the shells to stuff. Ask your local seafood market for eight cleaned crab shells — most times they are free. Blue crabs have historically been North Carolina’s most valuable commercial fishery. Blue crabs range from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico and occur regularly in waters where peak temperature reach at least 68 degrees. Blue crabs are sweet and considered a delicacy. Crab meat comes in four styles: backfin, claw, lump or jumbo lump. Backfin consists of broken pieces of lump meat mixed with smaller pieces of the white body meat. Claw meat is darker in color and less sweet in flavor when compared to lump or backfin. Lump and jumbo lump, my favorites, are the white meat on the inside of the crab’s body and it’s the sweetest. For your next dinner party or romantic dinner where you want to make your guests feel special, make these easy deviled crabs. It is a great way to bring the beach to your table.


North Brunswick Magazine

Deviled Crabs

Ask your local seafood market for eight cleaned crab shells — most times they are free.

1 pound jumbo lump crab meat 8 crab shells, cleaned 1 egg ½ cup finely chopped scallions ½ cup finely chopped celery ½ cup red pepper, diced 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard ½ cup melted butter ¼ cup heavy cream 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers ½ teaspoon salt 3 dashes of Tabasco ½ cup additional crushed Ritz crackers

METHOD Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the crab meat, scallions, celery, crushed crackers, salt and red pepper. In a separate bowl mix the mustard with the cream, butter, egg and Tabasco and add it to the crab mixture and combine. Pack the mixture evenly into each crab shell and top with the additional crushed crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.


Fall 2019



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than any of our competitors. Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is the local leader in real estate and we help our clients buy and sell more properties in Brunswick County than any of our closest competitors. Selling or buying a home is a big move. Select a real estate agent with demonstrated expertise in your local market.

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North Brunswick Magazine

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A Sunny Match Artist Gaeten Lowrie’s murals perfectly depict the positive vibes in Leland’s new Eternal Sunshine Café and LunaBelle Gift Shop and Gallery. BY HEATHER LOWERY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN DEITZ

Fall 2019



ichael Pellegrino, owner of Eternal Sunshine Cafe in Wilmington, has opened a second location on Village Road in Leland. The new cafe has an attached retail shop, LunaBelle Gift Shop and Gallery, run by Chelsea Pherson. LunaBelle not only shows local artists’ work, but also has items such as paintings, clothing, soaps, jewelry and photographs. To help with the restaurant’s decor, Pellegrino reached out to the local artist community asking for sketches depicting their version of “eternal sunshine.” Artist Gaeten Lowrie’s design for a mural fit the bill for the positive vibe Pellegrino envisions for his cafe, and Pellegrino commissioned Lowrie to paint a mural inside the breakfast restaurant. “Eternal Sunshine Cafe is a place all about good thoughts and looking forward,” Lowrie says. “It will be a place where people can come together and be a community.” The mural was such a hit that Lowrie was also asked to do a moon mural inside LunaBelle, as well as create the shop’s logo. Lowrie’s artistic tendencies started young, and he attributes his artistic talents to a family trait. “My grandmother was artistic and did art on the side,” he says. “My mother also dabbled in it. They both


North Brunswick Magazine




were great supporters of the arts.” Lowrie was born in Tarrytown, New York, a town just north of the famed village of Sleepy Hollow. As a young child, his family moved to Raleigh, and in 2003 he found his way to Wlimington to attend UNC Wilmington. In 2007 he earned a BFA in creative writing. After falling in love with the area and its art scene, he decided to make Wilmington his permanent home. It wasn’t until after graduation that Lowrie actively pursued art as a career. In 2009 he founded Thrive Studios in Wilmington. “It was neat because we had a gallery where artists could rent space,” he says. “They had free rein to create their art. At the time, we usually had nontraditional artists. The artists came in as complete strangers, but we bonded and became close friends.” Even though Thrive Studios has since closed its physical doors, he still works under the umbrella of the name to continue connecting to other artists, supporting them and spreading the news of job opportunities. Lowrie is a man of many talents. He likes photography, writes poetry and in the past had the experience of working in several Wilmington restaurants as an accomplished pastry chef. “Growing up, I spent a lot of time on Sundays in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother baking,” he explains. Lowrie left the restaurant industry because he found that it didn’t leave enough time to pursue his passion for art. Currently, he keeps a busy schedule working not only as a freelance artist, but also as a house painter and cleaning rental properties. “I can conceptualize ideas for my art while house painting,” he says. Inspiration comes from the causes he’s passionate about and through exploring the world during outdoor activities. “I take photographs and then I paint pictures based on my experiences,” he says. Lowrie strives for peace and harmony in his Fall 2019


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life and considers himself an avid environmentalist and a proponent of all causes that better humanity. “My art reflects that,” he says. “I want to make art I’m proud of, but at the same time it has to mean something to the people I’m creating it for. I want them to be happy.” Even with this demanding work schedule, he continues to be active in the community and donates his art to local charities, such as Cape Fear River Watch and Oasis NC, an organization providing services to children with learning differences. Working for Eternal Sunshine Cafe and LunaBelle was a good match, as he is a big proponent of the “support local, shop local” mentality. “It’s important to give back to the community,” he says. “I want to get to the point



of living comfortably, but because of my nature, money is not my focus.” Lowrie is best known for his uniquely vibrant colored pen and alcohol ink art, and many of his pieces resemble stained glass. “Because the ink evaporates quickly, I break it down to where I do a section at a time, layering paper on paper, similar to a collage,” Lowrie says. “I started off as more of an abstract artist with color and composition, but now I do more flora and fauna.” For the mural inside Eternal Sunshine Cafe, he invested more than 100 hours, and it is one of his biggest endeavors thus far in terms of a mural. He digitally scanned his original outline, projected it onto the wall and traced over it while in the dark. He then filled it in

Lowrie is best known for his uniquely vibrant colored pen and alcohol ink art, and many of his pieces resemble stained glass.

Fall 2019



with acrylic paints and other mixed media, such as metallics, glitter and his signature alcohol inks, for the sun and moon. He credits his wife, Ash, who is a make-up artist in the film industry, for helping him with painting. He says he orchestrated the Eternal Sunshine Cafe’s theme, yet at the same time, stayed true to his artistic form. “I didn’t Want to see Gaeten want anything manmade in the Lowrie’s art? painting,” he says. The mural gives a feeling of See the mural at Eternal positive energy through the Sunshine Café and LunaBelle use of all things natural Gift Shop and Gallery, 117-G emanating from the sun: bees, Village Road NE, Leland frogs, flowing water, For more information on butterflies, sunflowers and Gaeten Lowrie’s art, visit his more. There is only one Facebook and Instagram outline of a human, which is a @TheArtOfGaeten nod to his art series he named, “Forgotten.” The man can be seen drifting through the clouds on what appears to be a (919) 696-4345 54

North Brunswick Magazine

tree that suggests a hot air balloon. Lowrie also incorporated what he calls “The World Tree,” which is loosely based on one of his previous works; it has green orbs giving the feeling of weightlessness, like seeds floating through the air. “One of my concepts for the mural is to have a ‘replay’ value,” Lowrie says. “So every time regular customers come in, they will see something new.” Lowrie also wanted his mural to be kid-friendly and interactive; one can play a type of search-and-find game in the painting while enjoying good food and socializing. Along with other artists, Lowrie will be selling his Art of Gaeten originals, including various-sized prints, calendars, postcards and stickers, in LunaBelle Gift Shop and Gallery. “Art should be universal,” he says. “I want my art to be accessible and affordable for everyone.” Lowrie also says he doesn’t want to lose his creative touch by producing the same art over and over. “I don’t want to do it if it doesn’t make me happy,” he says. “The Art of Gaeten isn’t just a physical art but a lifestyle.” 

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Fall 2019



This Place Is for the Birds Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary in Pink Hill is a peaceful refuge and retirement home for nearly 300 parrots. BY ANNESOPHIA RICHARDS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN DEITZ


North Brunswick Magazine


Fall 2019



Ces Erdman founded Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary as a retirement home for parrots, which can live up to 90 years.


Ces Erdman can’t remember a time when his life didn’t revolve around birds. Growing up in a household of avian enthusiasts, he owned his first pet parrot at the age of 3. His parents, both active members of a community bird club, at one point even ran a bird-sitting business from home. With so many childhood years spent surrounded by birds, Erdman’s current role as director and founder of the Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary seems predestined. “I do remember thinking at one point that I’d never have parrots when I grew up, because I hated having them in our house,” he says. “They were so loud, and my dad always 58

North Brunswick Magazine

kept the temperature at 78 degrees so it felt like a rainforest inside.� When Erdman left home for college, he left the birds behind as well. It wasn’t long, however, before he actually missed having them around. After graduating he decided to get a pet parrot once more. He also started the Cape Fear Parrot Club, in which bird owners could gather monthly to socialize and share tips and suggestions. Before he knew it, people started bringing him

Fall 2019


We bring the party TO YOU!

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North Brunswick Magazine


their unwanted parrots in hopes he would either keep them or help find them a new home. “Soon enough I had four birds of my own,” he says. “I loved them, but they were difficult, loud and destructive. I wasn’t going to get rid of them because it seemed like everyone else was getting rid of theirs. So I started wondering why they were so bad, and it turned out they were bored.” Although parrots are currently the fourth-most popular pets in America, keeping them confined inside a home can be challenging. Because parrots have an intellectual aptitude comparable to that of chimpanzees or dolphins, residential living does not provide them with adequate mental stimulation. Realizing this, Erdman took a chance and moved his four parrots outside to his back yard, and the results were instant.

“It solved their behavior issues immediately,” he says. “The outdoor environment was more natural to them, with rain, sun, wind and fresh air. I could tell they were so happy, just being able to live outside and be a bird.” Motivated to create a safe haven for other birds needing a new home, Erdman decided to grow his aviary. In 2013 he moved his birds to a lot of land in Pink Hill, and Cape Fear Parrot Rescue officially became a 501c3 nonprofit. It wasn’t long before birds started coming in from all over the country, most from dedicated owners needing another option for their parrots due to a sudden life change. “Some owners say they’d never rehome their bird, but most people just can’t have a pet for 45 years. Small parrots can live up to 30 years, and the larger ones can live to be 80 or 90 Fall 2019



years old. So the chances of you keeping a bird its whole life are slim to none. We take in birds people can’t keep, and instead of rehoming them, they stay here forever. I call it their retirement home.” Studies estimate the number of parrots living in captivity in the United States to be anywhere from eight to 16 million, not including the millions more currently residing in shelters, zoos, sanctuaries and breeding facilities. The high level of care parrots demand of their owners can prove overwhelming, leading many bird owners to return their birds to pet stores, sanctuaries or other homes. With an average lifespan of more than 60 years, a typical parrot may live with as many as 25 to 30 different owners. “The reason the sanctuary exists is because parrots are still being bred by the millions, and many end up with nowhere to go,” Want to meet the Erdman says. “There are parrots or help support lots of really good people who just cannot take care the sanctuary? of their bird anymore, and For more information or to their options are to either schedule a tour, call rehome them or put them (910) 471-2186 or visit in a sanctuary like ours, where they can live more like a bird again.” Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary currently houses 297 birds from more than 50 species and is constantly operating at full capacity. As the only facility of its kind in North Carolina, and one of only a handful across the country, Erdman says he gets calls from bird owners from all over who need help. “We never say no,” Erdman says. “Even if we’re completely full, owners can always pay to have their own enclosure built. Last year we even had two birds from Maine come to us on a private jet.” The sanctuary has also aided in parrot rescue efforts in several hoarding cases. Two weeks after Hurricane Florence, Erdman and his team agreed to take in an additional 66 birds from a group of 601 surrendered from a 1,000 square-foot house in Ohio. “It was a lot to handle, especially since we had just returned to the sanctuary after evacuating all of our own birds for the hurricane,” Erdman remembers. As for the future, Erdman hopes to continue building large-scale aviaries and increase the sanctuary’s capacity. Using grant money awarded through Bob Barker’s DJ&T Foundation, he plans to purchase a trailer and hire a bird 62

North Brunswick Magazine




There are lots of really good people who just cannot take care of their bird anymore, and their options are to either rehome them or put them in a sanctuary like ours, where they can live more like a bird again.

caretaker to live onsite. Having someone reside at the sanctuary full-time will help not only with daily feeding and upkeep, but also provide a constant presence in the event of an emergency situation, such as last year’s hurricane. “The problem isn’t the wind and rain, it’s the flooding, which means we’re not able to get back to check on the birds,” he says. “With Florence, I brought all 198 birds to my house and had to keep them in travel cages in the garage, the bathrooms, everywhere. Next time it would be better to stay on the property and wait it out, because traveling with the birds and caging them is harder on them than us.”

The organization’s operations rely solely on grants and donations. One of Erdman’s own parrots, Charlie, also helps with the fundraising efforts. An eclectus parrot, 62 year-old Charlie is one of Erdman’s original four pet parrots. A disability prevents Charlie from living in a sanctuary setting, so he remains at home with Erdman. Nicknamed the Picasso of Parrots, Charlie helps raise money for his fellow birds with his one-of-a-kind paintings. Last year he raised more than $10,000 through the sales of his artwork, candles and t-shirts, and he’s even featured in a children’s book. As for Erdman’s other three parrots, they have lived at the Fall 2019



sanctuary for more than seven years and have never appeared happier. “They’re totally different birds now,” Erdman says. “They have boyfriends and girlfriends, and they won’t even let me touch them anymore.” Erdman encourages people wanting to support the Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary to schedule a tour. Visitors will undoubtedly be soothed by the area’s peace and beauty, much like the parrots that are finally able to enjoy the rest of their lives outdoors. “You can see it in their faces,” he says. “It’s like their souls are finally at peace.” 


North Brunswick Magazine


The area’s newest gated community is unlike any other. You want to get out of the hustle and bustle. You want space for your children to roam and explore. You want privacy and freedom to build what you want, how you want. You want wide open spaces and fresh air and sunshine. You want a little piece of heaven that's all yours. N ow there is a rare and wonder ful opportunity to build your dream home on 1 of 10 Estate size lots in the Reser ve at Town Creek; Brunswick County's newest Gated and Equestrian Community. This beautiful neighborhood gives you room to breathe while still

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Church of the Frisbeetyrian By helping make Leland Municipal Park Disc Golf Course a reality and bringing newcomers to the sport, Leland Disc Golf Club signals the rise of disc golf in Leland. BY MELISSA SLAVEN WARREN

Fall 2019




Every Sunday morning, just as the sun is rising, players congregate at Leland Municipal Park Disc Golf Course, also known as The Church of the Frisbeetyrian, to play a round before the day begins. Disc golf is played like traditional ball golf, but with flying discs instead of clubs and balls. Players start from a tee area and aim for a disc golf basket instead of a hole. The object is to play each hole in the fewest number of throws. The player with the lowest total throws over the entire course wins. Thanks to his enthusiasm for the fast-growing sport, Deron Webb, president of the Leland Disc Golf Club, helped make this course a reality.


North Brunswick Magazine

“We used to play old-school disc golf in the park, where you pick targets like a tree or a trash can and throw at it,” he says. “After a while, disc golf holes just started forming,” Webb reached out to the Town of Leland and asked if they’d be interested in creating a disc golf course, and they were. He met with employees of the Parks and Recreation Department and showed them his ideas, and in June of 2018 Leland Parks and Recreation installed a 9-hole disc golf course at Leland Municipal Park. All holes are rated par 3 and range from 150 to 300 yards. Because the footprint of disc golf, the course is smaller than a traditional golf course. It’s

Above, Members of Leland Disc Golf Club gather for their weekly early Sunday morning round at Leland Municipal Disc Golf Course; opposite page, club founder Deron Webb (top) and club member Brandon White on the course.


Fall 2019


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What I really like about disc golf, aside from the fact that it’s laid-back, relaxing and fun, is that you can play by yourself and challenge yourself even if no one else is playing.”

DISC GOLF ETIQUETTE No dress code or country club rules here! Although, there are rules of etiquette you should know: R emain quiet while others are throwing. S tand behind the player who is throwing until the throw is complete.  Remove your disc from the basket after completing it.  Help new players learn the rules.  Allow faster groups to play through when possible.  Have fun!

laid out in feet instead of yards, so these courses are a great option for many parks and greenspaces. Since opening the disc golf course and forming the Leland Disc Golf Club, they have 56 paid members and a governing body with a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and sergeant of arms. Some of the players are members of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) and have played in local PDGA-sanctioned events. In addition to playing the course in Leland, members play other local courses, including Castle Hayne, Arrowhead, the Brunswick County courses and Socastee in Myrtle Beach. “Wherever there’s a disc golf course, we’ll go,” Webb says. Webb, who first played the sport a few years ago after the insistence of some friends, plays at least five to six times a week. “What I really like about disc golf, aside from the fact that it’s laid-back, relaxing and fun, is that you can play

by yourself and challenge yourself even if no one else is playing.” All skill levels are welcomed. Knowing how to throw a Frisbee might be helpful, and a basic knowledge of golf, but neither are required to start having fun. The discs are “smaller and heavier than a regular Frisbee, and they each do different things,” explains Webb. “Not unlike ball golf, you have fairway discs, putting discs, drivers, etc.” He encourages anyone to come try the sport. “We always have someone from the club interested in going out to show somebody how to play. We’re very interested in growing the sport.” How a game is played is similar to golf but, again, having played golf is not necessary. First, players tee off on the first tee; order is usually determined by flipping discs. Each hole starts with a tee-off, followed by successive throws until the disc lands in the basket. Things to learn about the sport include proper foot placement, follow through, avoiding water and Fall 2019



tree hazards and out-of-bounds and in-bound throws. The motions in the two games are also similar. Players use their whole bodies to throw the disc, where players in traditional golf use their whole body to swing the club. The accessibility, low cost and minimal skill-level requirements are perhaps why the sport of disc golf is growing in popularity. Players can get a starter set of discs at some local sporting goods stores for less than $40. And if someone is just learning the sport, “We always have bags of discs we’re loaning out for people to try,” Webb says. The sport is also open to all ages. “We’ve had players from 8 years old to 70 years old,” Webb says. “Anyone who stops by when we’re playing and asks what we’re doing, we always stop the game and put a disc in their hands so they can get the feel of it. Want to play? We have several people who now play with us on a For more information regular basis who just about Leland Disc happened to stop one day.” Golf Club, and where and when they are Webb adds that playing playing, you can find disc golf is a great way to them on facebook at exercise in the backdrop of Leland Disc Golf natural, beautiful scenery. Club. Adding the disc golf club course to the Leland Municipal Park has increased the park’s usage. With a larger presence, people feel safer. Disc golf players have a philosophy that you should leave the course in better condition than when you found it. They are stewards of the community and make it part of their play that they pick up trash and litter, prune trees when necessary and help with minor maintenance of the course, which is a plus for the Department of Parks and Recreation. “It goes right along with the idea of a greenspace — little expense and little upkeep,” Webb says. Approachable, affordable sports like disc golf are helping to get people interested in something new. There is something to match everyone’s competitive spirit and thirst for camaraderie. Webb encourages anyone who is interested in playing to come watch a game. “We have different levels of courses; a pitch-and-putt course to a full-on championship style course.”  72

North Brunswick Magazine

From top, Deron Webb, John Graham and Richard Houser playing the Leland Municipal Park Disc Golf Course.

Fall 2019




s h g u a L

Matthew Coghlan enjoys a double life crafting coffee and comedy. BY LAUREN KROUSE | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN DEITZ


North Brunswick Magazine

Fall 2019


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North Brunswick Magazine

North Brunswick Magazine




You might recognize Matthew Coghlan as the guy who makes your morning frappuccino, but he’s also an up-andcoming comedian serving up laughs in downtown Wilmington. Most people move to Brunswick County for the laidback lifestyle, pristine beaches or short commute to downtown Wilmington. But when his parents moved south, Coghlan came along for one reason: the comedy. His destination? The Dead Crow Comedy Room on Front Street in Wilmington, the only full-time comedy club in eastern North Carolina. “I moved here from a quaint little town —Hamburg, New Jersey — about three years ago,” says the 23-year-old. “First I became a barista, and I started comedy six months later.” Outside of his day job at Starbucks in Harris Teeter in Leland, the comedian of two and a half years has performed as an opener (first for Erik Griffin of Workaholics) and headliner at Dead Crow Comedy. In last year’s Port City’s Top Comic Competition, he snagged third place. He’s also performed in surrounding areas, including Raleigh, Greenville and Greensboro. Comedy wasn’t the plan from the very beginning. As a child, he aspired to become Batman. “Not like him, I wanted to be him,” he says. “Then I got a little more realistic and wanted to be a detective. And then I went right to comedy.” Coghlan found his calling when he noticed that his Uncle Dave had a talent for making everyone laugh at family functions. He wanted to be that person too. “We all have our own effect on people,” Coghlan says. “I never cared about anything as far as responsibility goes, never took life very seriously. Might as well make a joke of it, right?” A bit too young for the open mic scene back then, Coghlan practiced in school. “I was seeking validation through humor all

Comedy wasn’t the plan from the very beginning. As a child, he aspired to become Batman. ‘Not like him, I wanted to be him.’

Fall 2019




Anything can be funny if just look at it differently... there’s a million jokes that can be written.

the time,” he says with a laugh (his jokes are often on the self-deprecating side). “If there was a class presentation, I knew I wasn’t going to do the project.” Case in point: While Coghlan’s classmates explored dark topics like genocide and World War II for their sociology projects, he talked about the movie Airbud (whose lead is a golden retrieverturned-basketball phenomenon). How did the kids who didn’t make the team feel losing their spot to a dog? he posited. He got a B. Today Coghlan takes inspiration from numerous comedians, but Demetri Martin stands out for his comic philosophy: “There’s a parallel world right in front of us that’s revealed with a small shift in perspective,” the stand-up comedian once said. Coghlan agrees: “I think that’s so true of comedy. Anything can be funny if just look at it differently. If you look at it from enough angles, there’s a million jokes that can be written.” Like Martin, Coghlan aims for jokes that aren’t storycentered, but selectively focused on concepts, ideas and the little things. “That’s where I think most of the humor lives, in the little things,” he says. “That’s my favorite way to look 78

North Brunswick Magazine

at the world. Everything can be funny.” As Coghlan moves forward, he’s content to keep serving coffee at the Harris Teeter Starbucks, as long as he can keep working on his comedy career. “Plan A is to become a professional comedian very quickly, and Plan B is to take a little longer. Plan Z is farming somewhere.” Don’t ask your barista to tell you a joke, though — Coghlan prefers a large crowd, the bigger the better. Head over the bridge to see him on stage at Dead Crow Comedy’s weekly improv show for $3 every Wednesday and at the open mic on Thursday for free. He’s also recently linked up with local comedians Mat Millner and Drew Harrison as a member of the Regretful Villains. The comedy group regularly produces shows at venues like Bombers Bev Co. and Lucky Joe Coffee in Wilmington (you can follow them on Facebook). On the weekend of August 30 through September 1, Coghlan returned to the stage for the 2019 Port City’s Top Comic Competition at Dead Crow Comedy. He didn’t win this time — but he’s not giving up. 





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North Brunswick Magazine

Stage Presence Opera House Theatre Company’s Justin Smith talks about the resurgence in local theater and his hopes for expansion into Brunswick County. BY SHANNON RAE GENTRY



Maybe it’s the history behind the centuries-old theater Opera House Theatre Company house of Thalian Hall, or maybe it’s the stage, the warm performed 42nd embrace of dim lighting and the velvety red seats that make Street at Thalian me understand the romance and allure of live theater. Hall in downtown Especially as I settle into an aisle seat next to Justin Smith. Wilmington in June The actor and artistic director describes the instant love 2019. he felt for theater after he saw his first play, Peter Pan, at 6 or 7 years old. He was instantly hooked. “I wrote a Christmas play when I was in kindergarten,” he recalls. “I’ll never forget. I played Santa Claus … but theater was always something I strived to do. And you know, sports kind of took over my life for a little while, but I kept my hand in theater always, I was lucky to have unbelievable programs.” “Probably never played basketball, right?” I quip about his stature. Smith is 6 feet, 7 inches tall. “Probably not,” he jests. “No, I played a little basketball and went to college on a scholarship. And I chose the college because they allowed me to major in theater.” Early in his career, because he is a large guy, Smith came upon more villain-type roles in film and on stage. But fortunately, he says, one of the great things about the Fall 2019


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Wilmington theater scene is how deep the well is for actors. “I had so many opportunities to play roles I’d never get to play anywhere else,” he says. “Lots of leading man roles and lots of things that many people would never give me an opportunity to do because of my size.” Smith’s last part was in Opera House Theatre Company’s (OHTC) City of Angels in 2016. He played the apt role of TV producer Irvin S. Irving. Smith was artistic director at City Stage (now Level 5 at City Stage) and Carolina Theatre Group for 17 years and has been OHTC’s artistic director since August 2018. But unlike the demanding micromanager he played as Irving, Smith says that in reality less is more behind the scenes. “I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in the 20-plus years I’ve been doing this type of job is knowing when not to speak,” he muses. “Knowing what part of the process you’re in; knowing when the five-alarm fire is going off — that’s probably when you speak the most.” For the theater layman (like myself), each production has a director, choreographer, creative team, etc., and the artistic director may carry varied responsibilities and wear many hats. “For me, it is literally overseeing all aspects,” Smith says. “Right now I oversee marketing, and I oversee naming the creative team. … I’ll be watching the director’s vision, and I will try to help fulfill that vision.” Additionally, a small army of choreographers, set designers, actors and volunteers help make each season happen. Smith describes it as a cauldron of talent. When he became the executive and artistic director, he took over for Alice Sherwood, who is the daughter of founders Lou and Mary James Criscuolo and now is company manager. Rounding out Smith’s core team is youth theater coordinator Jason Aycock, director Ray Kennedy and producer Tina Leak, who came aboard shortly after Smith. “She’s been a driving force for fundraising and helping in that aspect, which is really important,” Smith says. “Ticket sales are amazing, and they’ve been great this whole summer, but you just can’t sustain a whole company that way.” For 35 years Opera House Theatre Company has been one of the Cape Fear’s longest-running companies. Smith recalls somewhat of a resurgence of theater companies in the ’80s and early ’90s, and again in the mid-’90s to mid-2000s, of which he attributes at least some to the thriving and growing area in general. However, the real influx of artists and actors in particular came with the

In 2019 Thalian Hall welcomed Opera House Theatre Company productions Five Guys Named Moe, 42nd Street and Always... Patsy Cline.

Fall 2019


Opera House Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot: The Musical at Thalian Hall.


film industry boom in the ‘90s. While Hollywood East’s film industry isn’t what it once was and the Cape Fear region is seeing a natural attrition of companies and venues, the theater community is still thriving. There are usually two or three shows every weekend. In fact, as Smith and I sit in the almost empty theater, the lights dim and brighten as they are tested for an early August production of Billy Elliot: The Musical. Directed by Cathy Street, the story is about a young boxer with a passion for dance set to a score by Elton John. It’s one of many shows from OHTC’s 2019 season that Smith is particularly proud of. There’s more to come before the end of the year. Smith is planning to bring Opera House into Brunswick County, and with it attention to Opera House and Thalian Hall and everything they haer to offer audiences. “In October we’re looking to do a haunted little forest out in Leland,” Smith says. “We’re hoping to do it as a fundraiser for Opera House and nice thing for the city. Last year we did a preview at the Leland Arts Center, which was great. And we’ve done a lot down in St. James this year. One of our big 84

North Brunswick Magazine

goals is trying to find those inroads to Brunswick County.” Looking ahead, Smith wants to keep with a true community theater-type model while also offering quality productions closer to what folks might see at the Wilson Center these days. “In other theaters, this would be on the low end of a regional theater but on the high end of community theater,” Smith clarifies. “We’re trying to establish a new lane that leans a little more on the regional side of community theater,” he continues. “We will still involve the community, having auditions for the community, but this year, we’ve been fortunate enough to bring in people to fulfill needs and who have specific skill sets.” 

Want to see a show? Folks can keep an eye out for Opera House Theatre Company productions, as well as auditions, on their website at


The upcoming election is an important one for Leland. Over the last several years our Town has benefited from tremendous growth in residential housing and corresponding business development to serve our growing citizen population. All of this growth and development has required careful planning and the balancing of the needs of the people with that of our environment and competing interests. It is not an easy task but one that must be done professionally if Leland is to continue to control its destiny. The phenomenal growth Leland has seen will continue and much, much more work is ahead of us to keep our beautiful Town of Leland a wonderful place to work, live, raise a family and play. We cannot stand still and fail in our duty to live up to the challenges ahead of us. I have been proud to serve as your Mayor for almost 8 years and I ask for your vote to be given the opportunity to energetically continue to be your Mayor.

Brenda Bozeman Mayor, Leland, North Carolina Fall 2019







to Tarheel Tourist, a new quarterly feature for North and South

Brunswick Magazines in which longtime contributor Jason Frye will inspire readers to explore North Carolina and beyond. Jason is the author of more than a dozen travel guides to North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and throughout his travels he’s met fellow North Carolinians on every continent he’s visited. He’s sailed with Tarheels in Asia, Europe and South America, and he’s found that no matter where he goes, he’s not far from home. To celebrate the inaugural column, Jason is giving a pair of readers signed copies of his most recent travel guides. To enter, follow him on Instagram (he’s @beardedwriter) and follow North Brunswick Magazine (@northbrunswickmagazine) or South Brunswick Magazine (@southbrunswickmagazine), then keep your eyes peeled for posts related to this story, drop us a like or two, and comment telling us where you’d like to travel. Then cross your fingers because you might be the lucky one. The Royal Clipper, moored in St. Lucia, is the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. 86

North Brunswick Magazine

Happyto Sails You Sailing the Caribbean in a tall ship with Star Clippers Cruises is the ultimate way to escape the winter doldrums. BY JASON FRYE

Fall 2019





The Royal Clipper, welcomes its 227 guests to climb the mast, look for dolphins in the bow net, take a dip in one of its three pools, or just relax on the deck with a cocktail. The eastern Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia (left) offers breathtaking views around every corner.



There’s this moment onboard the Royal Clipper when everything changes. All around, sailors in their crisp whites haul lines, and it seems an acre of cloth rises along the masts and spars to blot out the sun. And then the cloth snaps to life. An audible pop that transforms the wind into a tangible thing. The sails fill, bellow, seem to be ready to burst but instead of ripping they pull 88

North Brunswick Magazine

against lines made fast, and the ship settles in the water, bow slicing through easy Caribbean waves, and you’re sailing. Nothing else feels like sailing. That instant the sails unfurl fills you with a feeling akin to love. Or at least that’s how it feels to me. I feel lighter. I feel something in the center of my chest being pulled toward the horizon. I feel

settled and steady but moved by something invisible, uncontrollable, beyond my understanding. I felt this the first time I saw the sails go up and fill with wind, and after a week of calling on seven of the Windward Isles I felt it just as strongly. Could there be a better way to escape the winter doldrums than to find yourself falling in love surrounded by


blue skies and bluer waters and green islands filling the space between? Even here on the North Carolina coast, where winters are mild, the season has a way of wearing on you, so why not shake it off and get away for a little while? No better place to recharge than the Caribbean. No better way than by ship. You have plenty of options when it

comes to a Caribbean cruise – chartered yachts, mega-ships with 24-hour buffets and go-karts and a mall-like promenade lined with duty-free shops, even smaller ships with party-till-you-drop vibes and DJs that seem to never take a break. But if you’re the one to say “cruises aren’t for me,” then I say you just haven’t found the right one. Let me introduce Star

Clippers and their fleet of three sailing ships inspired by historic vessels. Star Clippers sails the Mediterranean and Caribbean and, for the most adventurous, ocean crossings. Two of the three ships – the Royal Clipper and Star Flyer – sail the Caribbean from November to March, and I joined the Royal Clipper in Barbados to sail the islands the week before Christmas. Fall 2019


We love this town. Thanks, Leland. We love being here to help life go right ™ in a community where people are making a difference every day. Thank you for all you do.

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Franklin Rouse Jr, Agent 1107 New Pointe Blvd Leland, NC 28451 Bus: 910-371-5446

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TOUR Star Clippers is at the other end of the cruising spectrum from the everything-all-the-time mega-ships. Where those floating cities can carry upwards of 6,000 passengers, the Royal Clipper, currently the largest ship in the Star Clippers fleet, sails with only 227 passengers. Sails being the key word. Unlike other ships, the Star Clippers fleet sails. They use wind power to take passengers from port to port, building and altering their sailing itineraries with wind charts and forecasts. On the five-masted Royal Clipper they take sailing to the next level with 54,000 square feet of sail (that’s well over an acre, if you’re keeping score), and they hold a Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest full-rigged passenger sailing ship. All these sails and all these masts give the Royal Clipper and her sister ships a pirate-y look that Tarheels will find particularly intriguing. Seeing how the North Carolina coast

is rife with pirate lore, just seeing this ship puts those stories – and our history – into context, and when you’re underway with the wind and salt spray against your skin, the connection goes deeper. I could picture Wilmington’s waterfront busy with cargo and passengers on the deck of clipper ships and on the docks; I could picture Brunswick Town as General Cornwallis sailed by, the Sons of Liberty taking shots at his crew from hidden nests along the riverbank; I heard the rippling of Blackbeard’s sails as he gave his ship her head in pursuit of riches. But the pirate appeal doesn’t stop with the look of the ships, it comes with the trips ashore as well. Throughout the Caribbean, mega-ships call on the biggest ports at every island, but the Royal Clipper calls on smaller ports, slipping around the back of the islands, approaching coves, bays and marinas silent and under sail, dropping anchor and sending tender boats full of

North Carolina

Pirate Lore

Sailing in tall ships brings to mind North Carolina’s storied past.

Bajan Beach, Barbados


Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, sailed the North Carolina waters. He and one of his captains, Stede Bonnet — The Gentleman Pirate, were known to sail into the mouth of the Cape Fear and hide behind Bald Head Island as they looked for prey passing just offshore. Blackbeard and his pirate fleet frequented Ocracoke Island, and he even owned a home in Beaufort, North Carolina. He was killed off Ocracoke Island, and his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, later sunk in an inlet near Beaufort. After years of searching, the wreck was located and researchers from East Carolina University have recovered many artifacts including cannon, swords and pottery. Pieces of the Queen Anne’s Revenge wreck have been restored and are on display in the state’s Maritime Museums.

Fall 2019



North Brunswick Magazine




TOUR passengers to shore like raiding parties. Instead of fearsome pirates armed with cutlasses and braces of muskets, these raiding parties are pleasure cruisers outfitted with snorkel gear and credit cards. On my December sailing trip, we called on Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antiqua, St. Kitts, Iles des Saintes and Martinique, and every time I felt a thrill when we furled the sails and dropped anchor. On the tender to shore it wasn’t hard to imagine oarsmen pulling us toward the town while our ship’s cannon bombarded whatever fortifications there might be. It didn’t matter that when I set foot on the sand of Iles des Saintes, I bought a watercolor painting and drank a bottle of wine while I ate a lobster on the beach, or that in Martinique I skipped pillaging in exchange for a beach that was empty save a few fellow passengers

and a handful of locals. Leave pirating to the pirates and leave the same-onevery-island ports to the big ships, we found the real heart of the Caribbean when we explored these places with the Royal Clipper. Ports and shore visits are only part of your cruise, and you spend as much time onboard as you do on land. The Royal Clipper didn’t miss a beat with its 19,000 square feet of deck, where you could lounge and laze, go for a dip in a saltwater pool (the bottom of which is glass and looks down on the dining room two decks below), or sip the afternoon away at an open-air bar. Want to climb to the crow’s nest? Step into a safety harness and shimmy on up to your new perch 75 feet above the water. Think a nap in the bowsprit netting sounds appealing? You’re not alone, many passengers like the view of the sea,

the ships, the sails and the scenery from the net. The bridge is open to visitors (and every passenger who owns, has owned or wants to own a boat ends up spending some time there). There are knot-tying demos, a library loaded with maps and charts so you can follow your trip on paper and orient yourself among the islands. Oh, and you can help hoist the sails, standing shoulder to shoulder with the

Snorkeling in the Caribbean sea.

The pink sands of Barbados.


Fall 2019






if you don’t want to go ashore there’s plenty to occupy your time. Throughout, the ship is all mahogany and brass and nautical touches, adding a wistful, nostalgic feel to the space. Nostalgic as it may feel, don’t expect salt beef, hardtack and grog at any meal; instead it’s fine dining fare at dinner and excellent buffet spreads at

breakfast and lunch. Given the international appeal of experiencing the Caribbean by sailing ship, you’ll find international flavors at every meal, and a variety of accents and some stimulating conversation from your fellow passengers, some of whom have sailed three, four, 10 or even 20 times with Star Clippers. That’s the ultimate testament to this trip: return guests. I’m ready to go again, ready to pack my bathing suit and a big bottle of sunscreen and head back to the Caribbean this winter, or maybe eat my way along the coast of Italy next spring. Regardless of where, I’m ready to join that legion of seasoned Star Clippers passengers and feel that heartstring tug when the wind fills our sails and we head into the waves toward our next destination. 


sailors and hauling line to help get the ship underway. While the ship’s at anchor, the stern opens and transforms into a watersports platform: a little deck where you can swim, snorkel, get on a standup paddleboard or kayak, or take out a windsurfing board or dinghies (provided you’re a sailor yourself). All this means

Your adventure awaits! Ready to book your Caribbean adventure with Star Clippers? Head to to book and find all those key details for your specific itinerary. Rates for Caribbean sailings on the Royal Clipper start at $2,300 per person. Trips are available for winter 2019-20 and for 2020-21. Other itineraries — ocean crossings and Mediterranean sailings including Italy, Greece and Turkey — are available as well. Check out the site for specifics or take a peek at their Instagram (it’s tantalizing): @starclipperssailings. 94

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Fall 2019



The Music Man Jim Varno of Varno Musical Instrument Repair is back in the business of helping the music makers of southeastern North Carolina.



Hurricane Florence dealt Jim Varno a disastrous blow to his home and business but it did not dampen his spirit for what he loves to do. The owner of Varno Musical Instrument Repair in Leland, Varno is happy to be back in business in the middle of what he calls his busy “summer blitz.” Before school begins is a bustling season for many, and it’s no exception for Varno. He is an instrument repair technician putting smiles on students’ faces by getting their beloved band instruments in tip-top condition. For the past 11 years, Varno Musical Instrument Repair has focused on doing quality work for musicians, private music teachers and many school systems, including those in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. He repairs woodwind, brass and stringed instruments using up-to-date technology and specialized tools. Throughout the school year Varno can be found in the band rooms meeting with band directors every week, and he even volunteers to set up a mobile shop during band


North Brunswick Magazine


Fall 2019


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Quality work can’t be rushed. Quality is job number one.

Jim Varno repairs instruments for students, private teachers and school systems in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.

competitions. He can prepare 50 to 60 instruments a week to meet play condition. “However, something like a repair on a 1925 Grand Rapids Trombone will take time,” he says. “Quality work can’t be rushed. Quality is job number one.” Varno does most of the repair work himself, but at times he brings in other workers, many of whom are apprentices from local schools and focused on going into music education. “I love people,” Varno says. “Speaking to the guy that is doing the work on your instruments says a lot to the customer and helps build relationships.” Varno has a long successful history in hands-on instrument 98

North Brunswick Magazine

repair and management. He’s repaired instruments for the likes of Smokey Robinson, Yes, Boston, The Miracles, the New York Philharmonic and many other famous entertainers. His name is even listed in the credits on the Aerosmith album Get a Grip. When asked about the most unique instrument brought in for him to repair during his almost 40-year career, he takes time to ponder the question before responding: “I’d have to say it was an original 200-year-old English claghorn. A man brings it in and says, ‘Can you fix it?’ and I say, ‘What is it?” Varno grew up in the Beatles era and by the age of 7 dreamed about becoming a rock star. He learned how to play


guitar from his older brothers and listening to records. “I learned that if you played a 33 rpm record at 16 rpm, it took things down an octave and then I could pick up the notes that way,” he says. As a teen, his early childhood aspirations of becoming a rock star hadn’t changed, but his mother encouraged him to learn a trade instead. He started to take shop classes like metal working. “I liked avocations,” he says. “I liked music and could play guitar so I thought I’d give instrument repair a shot.” In this business it’s a must to be skilled at test playing all the instruments that one repairs. “At the time, I didn’t know a clarinet from a tuba,” he says. But for a musician who played by ear and had relative pitch, he soon learned. “Ears let you cheat,” he adds, “so I had to learn how to read music.” He attended State University of New York at Morrisville

and in 1979 graduated with an AAS degree in Musical Instrument Technology. Out of college, a repairman from Illinois took him under his wing. Making $3.15 an hour, he learned more about the trade and the safety aspects that went with it. From there he spent more than a decade in New Hampshire working for one of the largest repair facilities in the country at that time, Daddy’s Junky Music Store. “I started out doing band repair,” Varno says. “The owner took a liking to me, and I became a manager in service repair.” While he was there, the facility was nominated for Best Repair Facility in the Country by Music and Sound Retailer Magazine. Moving back to New York, he spent five years as the only technician at Music Land USA. After some time, he and his wife, Joan, decided that they wanted to “get out of dodge,” so they planned a trip to Wilmington, North Carolina. During their travels, they stopped in Fayetteville to talk to a family-owned business with 33 music stores called McFadyen Music Company. Fall 2019



work, but Varno says he would never go back to working for someone else. “Once you’re forced into the pool and dive in, the water is warm.” Fast forward to September 2018, and in a bat of an eye, Hurricane Florence made it so that he’d have to build his shop all over again. Looking at his neat and orderly shop now, it’s difficult to imagine the damage. But it’s been a long road. In preparation before the storm, he gave all the instruments that he had back to their respective owners. “I thought the school instruments would be a lot safer behind cinder block.” The Varnos stayed during the storm, and shortly into it the winds severely damaged their home’s roof, bringing in rain for three days. Varno drilled three holes in his “They liked me, and I liked what I saw,” Varno says. shop ceiling and grabbed a plastic tote and continuously They offered him a position but told him the job wasn’t in poured water down the drain. After the storm, their home and Fayetteville. his attached shop had to be gutted down to the studs, and they “They told me the job was in Wilmington, and I said, were forced to live with in-laws for months. He soon noticed ‘Well, that’s where we were going!’” that his highly polished hard-steel instrument tools started to After doing repairs, Varno jumped to managing all 33 of rust from all of the moisture and heat. McFadyen’s facilities. A company called Brooke Mays Varno thanks the tight-knit music community and others eventually bought out McFadyen and after a while started to for coming to his aid during a time of need. Volunteers helped downsize. When that happened, they let Varno go. “It was him steel wool and heavily lubricate the devastating to me,” he says. tools and move them to storage. While Unsure what to do, he started working rebuilding during the winter months, he at Ace Hardware. But his wife suggested used his church’s warehouse, where he he start his own repair business. “It was did some instrument repairs. The daunting, but then I started thinking, ‘I regional director for NAPBIRT know how to do this’. As the saying (National Association of Professional goes, it’s better to fail trying than not Band Instrument Repair Technicians), try at all.” which Varno has been a member of since What was previously planned to be 1980, set up a GoFundMe page for local Varno’s garage man cave was technicians, and Varno received money redesigned as his instrument repair Hitting sour notes? for new benches in his shop. shop. Once McFadyen’s closed, Varno Having reopened fully only since found himself one of the only repair Varno Musical Instrument Repair mid-April, he is excited to be back in shops in the area. He became busy right business and continues to look toward the away. “New Hanover County Schools future. “I love what I do, and I’ll continue came knocking on my door,” he says. “I (910) 383-3116 for as long as I feel that I’m beneficial to was extremely blessed.” By appointment only: 611 Lanvale the community,” he says.  Starting the business took a lot of Hills Circle, Leland 100

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Fall 2019



North Brunswick Magazine

Beer Denizens The PubScout checks out The Beer Den at Lowes Foods in Leland. BY KURT EPPS — THE PUBSCOUT


You’ve got to love a food store that provides your shopping cart with a built-in cupholder for your beer, so you can stroll, sip and shop. I’ve written about this distinctly North Carolinian phenomenon before, but much closer to home. It’s called The Beer Den, it’s a sweet deal for beer drinkers, and you can only find it in Lowes Foods stores in the South. It’s an actual bar in the store with eight beer taps and stools for those who like to bend an elbow, enjoy an exceptional craft beer and chat, not only with the Den Master, but also with

anyone else who comes in. Subsequently, new friends are made on a regular basis, and reunions with old friends are possible. I’m already familiar with The Den in my local Lowes Foods in Ocean Isle Beach, and on Thursdays especially it becomes a mini-pub with a hubbub. I was told that The Beer Den up in Leland right near Brunswick Forest attracts quite the crowd on Thursdays too, when beers are half price, not just for a happy hour, which happens to be illegal in North Carolina, but for an entire day. Fall 2019


When I paid a visit to the Leland Beer Den recently, Susan, an affable gal with her husband, John, in tow, apologized for the absence of her usual coterie of female friends, all of whom attend after getting off work at their restaurant. “We come here all the time,” she said, “and we have a lot of fun.” Certainly part of that fun is the half-price beer ($4 for four 4-ounce flights on Fridays too), and Beer Den Master Greg in the Leland store goes to great lengths to make his taps interesting. The Den area is flanked by two long coolers of great beer, as well as beer for those who haven’t quite moved into the craft beer circle yet. “I try to put beers on my tap that you can’t find along the sides or on the end caps,” he says. As you might expect, Greg knows almost everyone by name. He also seems to know their beer preferences. He has developed a strong following for sour beers among his patrons, although he is not a devotee himself, opting for



I try to put beers on my tap that you can’t find along the sides or on the end caps.

barleywines and good stouts. To that end, he had both a 12.2% KBS (if you have to ask, you’re not into stouts) and a 10.2% Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale Barleywine on tap the day before my visit. Joining them on the dark side was a delicious, albeit comparatively tame at just 5.5%, Holy City Pluff Mud Porter. Being on two wheels, I chose the barleywine and it was excellent — smooth, flavorful and balanced. If “tame” was what you sought, however, Ballast point Citrus Grove Gose rang in at 4.2%, a Noble Orange Jasmine Cider Spritzer came in at 4%, and Holy City’s Madam Basil Saison upped the ante a bit to 6.9%. But for the adventurous (and hardy) Double Barrel’s Wilma’s Wandering EyePA clocked a 13.5% ABV rating, just shy of N.C.’s 14% limit. And since it was National IPA Day, Hall of Fame Realtor Chris Creekmore and his workmate John took full advantage after a


North Brunswick Magazine

long workday. It actually might have been a very long day for Chris, because out in the parking lot, he realized he didn’t have his phone. Beset by that frantic feeling we all get when we can’t find our wallets (and now our phones), Chris rummaged around in the car and went back to The Den, but was unable to locate his device. That is, until he asked someone to call his number, and the phone in our new-found friend Phil’s pocket began to ring. Turned out that Phil, a retired FBI agent who

lives in Brunswick Forest, mistook Chris’s phone for his own — and pocketed it. Whether or not he found his own phone after that, we didn’t learn. While chatting with Chris, who has sold many a home in the Brunswick Forest development, I asked him why this particular Beer Den was such an attraction. “Brunswick Forest’s proximity is surely a factor, but along with that it’s the convenience and the fact that it’s a unique gathering place.” Indeed, many of the BF folks congregate there, and some even set up tables. I saw a table full of seasoned citizen men having a grand old time, and Phil’s lovely bride was at a ladies’ table with other smiling, youthful-looking members of the fairer sex. These Beer Denizens gather faithfully each week to socialize, drink good beer and wine — and maybe get their food shopping done. As Realtor John said, “A place like this might make me volunteer to go shopping. I can have a beer AND get something done.” How much one gets done, especially with some of those high-octane beers on tap, is up for debate. In that regard, it might be best to do your shopping before you grab a seat at The Beer Den and strike up a conversation with the Den Master or other Beer Denizens. This way you’re assured of a pleasant reward for doing an unpleasant chore. And you probably have a better chance of getting the shopping list completely right. Cheers! 

Fall 2019


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Model Student For Brunswick County Early College High School student Xuan Chen, volunteering and service are a part of life.



At the 2019 Brunswick County Intercultural Festival, people lined up in front of the table with a sign that read CHINA. Xuan (pronounced Shin) Chen asked the first person in line for her name. He then dipped a pen point into an ink bottle and with a few flurries wrote Chinese characters on a strip of paper. “Your name,” he said with a smile and handed the paper to the girl. Chen, a student at Brunswick County Early College High School (ECHS) in Bolivia, was not only in charge of the China display, but also the volunteer webmaster for the entire festival. He also recruited about 40 other students to volunteer. “I want more people my age to recognize the importance and benefits of giving back to the community,” he says.

Fall 2019



Festival chair Mari-Lou Wong-Chong was impressed with Chen. “He did a promotional video for the festival and was coordinator of the website,” she says. “He promised me he would do it, and he did it.” Secanda Seifred, counselor at ECHS and the school’s National Honor Society advisor, says she’s impressed with Chen’s involvement with the Intercultural Festival. “He got a lot of students to volunteer, and they were exposed to that [event],” she says. “That expanded their horizons.” Chen, 18, says that students at ECHS are required to do 10 hours of community service each month throughout their tenure at the school. In September he starts his final year in the five-year program and volunteers as often as he can. He assists teachers in their classrooms at Belville Elementary School and belongs to six clubs at ECHS. He was elected president of both Key Club and National Honor Society for the 2019-20 school year and is active in quiz bowl, the art and international clubs, and debate. “Participating in clubs helps gather volunteer hours,” Chen says from the library at Brunswick Community College, the home of ECHS. 108

North Brunswick Magazine

Xuan Chen, a student at Brunswick County Early College High School, is a very involved high school student with a full schedule of volunteerism.


Katherine Weeks, ECHS program coordinator and Key Club advisor, has high regard for Chen. “He is very responsible and mature,” she says. “He runs two major clubs, was speaker at a Kiwanis event and gets things done. He is very reliable.” Cheryll Skaggs, principal of ECHS, says the school emphasizes 5 Rs: respect, responsibility, relationships, rigor and relevance. “Xuan exemplifies all of that,” she says. “He takes personal responsibility and develops relationships across grade levels. He never does less than his personal best and has high expectations. He looks for opportunities to create relevancy to his learning.” Chen’s parents chose to immigrate from Fujian Province, Ningde City in China in 2009 for job and educational opportunities in America. His father accepted a position as a chef at a Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia, and Chen, 7, entered a private Christian school. Through English as a Second Language classes and talking with his classmates, Chen became fluent in English. Though he says the language wasn’t as difficult to master as the food. “The first day at school I had chicken nuggets,” he says. “That was okay, but after that it was an American-style hot dog.” He remembers it as salty, not sweet like in

Fall 2019


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China. “I hardly ate lunch at all at school for almost a month.” After a year, Chen’s father accepted a job at a restaurant in Charlotte. An opportunity to own Yummi Yummi restaurant in Leland brought the family to Brunswick County, and they settled in Belville. Chen’s sister, Hannah, 8, attends Belville Elementary School. Chen says his family members are lawful residents and he hopes to become an American citizen. First, he wants to make sure he understands the questions before he takes the citizenship test. “I consider myself Americanized now, but I still have a vast knowledge about Chinese culture and Chinese history,” he says. “It’s important for me to maintain the knowledge of how to speak in proper Mandarin, especially since I want to be in business.” He says he learned Mandarin and Chinese calligraphy from social media. Keeping his grades up is also important to Chen. His grade point average is 4.36, and he’s one of the top students in his class. He plans to attend North Carolina State University and major in business. He considers Chinese calligraphy, public speaking and writing speeches his hobbies, but he also enjoys dressing in classic men’s suits. “I used to dress up [in a suit] every day,” he says. “He’s very dapper,” Weeks says. “He likes those suits.” “He’s a great ambassador for the school and for young people in general,” Skaggs adds. Chen’s dream job is to work for an international company where he can use Mandarin and English. “I want a traditional job where I can wear a suit every day.” But whichever job he holds, volunteering will always be a part of his life. 

He’s a great ambassador for the school and for young people in general.

Fall 2019


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Building the


With the help of state funding, Brunswick Community College’s construction workforce program offers free training in traditional construction trades. BY TERESA A. MCLAMB

Fall 2019



True story: There’s a problem with the toilet in a newly purchased house. The owner calls a well-known local plumber. “I’d love to help you,” says the plumber, “but I can’t possibly get to it any sooner than six months. I simply don’t have enough help.” Joke: A doctor has a problem with the exam room sink, so he calls a plumber who fixes the problem in short order. Plumber: That will be $350.

Doctor: What? I don’t even make $350 an hour. Plumber: I didn’t either when I was a doctor.


Brunswick County’s rapid pace of growth is stretching local building contractors to the limit, all due to one problem — a lack of skilled labor.

The need is so severe that the N.C. Commerce Department granted Brunswick County $400,000 over a two-year period to educate every willing adult in one or more of the traditional construction trades — welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry and HVAC. Brunswick Community College (BCC) is administering the grant, known as Pathways to Progress, and administrators are working hard to get the word out. The beauty of the grant is that it provides absolutely free schooling to individuals who are at least 18 years old. It pays for tuition, books, transportation, emergency needs, thirdparty testing fees, credentials fees and more. The program will also help students with soft skills such as proper interview attire and interview performance. Another plus is


North Brunswick Magazine

people won’t come. We also continue to see an inf lux of retirees coming here to live. Finding the workers to build their houses has been a problem.” Bland quotes recent N.C. Department of Commerce stats for Brunswick County: 130,000 residents with a median age of 52. Only 50,000 are working. Only 1,900, or 2 percent, know how to build anything. “This is scary,” he says. Bland blames perception for much of the problem, and so do others. “Part of the problem is that students, their families and high school guidance counselors are so focused on attaining a four-year degree that they don’t explore other options, Talbot Gee of Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) trade association told writer Matthew Dembicki for Community College Daily. To reach students and their parents, HARDI has made a documentary that follows the careers of several young people in trade jobs. The group hopes the film will be available on Netflix later this year. If the problem persists, Gee expects that the training is intensive and quick, providing a lot of price increases. Air-conditioning, for example, could move skills in a short period. “from a staple technology to a luxury item,” he says. A recent gift of $200,000 from W.J. and Sibyl McLamb “It’s American for parents to tell their kids they need to do will be used by BCC to purchase tooling and equipment better,” Bland says. “Considering the potential lifetime needed to train at BCC for national certifications as well as a earnings possible in construction, we may be doing our kids a van which can take the equipment to job sites, manufacturers disservice. There is a career ladder, but they don’t see it. You and other places where on-the-job training can occur. don’t just hammer shingles until you die. “We’re getting calls saying ‘We need There are opportunities to grow and employees ASAP,’” says Greg Bland, vice supervise and make a strong living president of continuing education & It provides absolutely wage.” workforce development for BCC. “We don’t free schooling to Betsy Braddock, owner of Braddock lock them in for two years. They need the individuals who are at Built Renovations, agrees. She is always basics and the credentials.” least 18 years old. It looking for employees in her business. The downside of the Pathways to pays for tuition, books, “Years ago, our parents and Progress grant is that the money is only grandparents told us that everyone who transportation, available for two years. Anyone interested wanted to succeed in this country had to must jump into the program before the emergency needs, get a four-year degree at minimum,” she April 2021 expiration. third-party testing says. “We almost frowned upon anybody Working in concert with NCWorks fees, credentials fees in the labor field. So we’ve done this to Local Innovation Fund and Brunswick and more. ourselves. We’ve got to undo it County Homebuilders Association, BCC ourselves.” has identified several employers who will Braddock says she’s on a mission to guarantee job interviews to graduates. make construction sexy again. “I started in this company “The college is very receptive to community-based projects from the bottom,” she says. “I worked on job sites, I picked up that provide instruction outside of the campus,” Bland says. trash. I’ve learned every piece of this business along the way. Anyone who drives around the region has noticed there are That’s the best way, with the hands-on initiative that you’re still blue tarps in place from Hurricane Florence. That storm going to be successful. We can’t be afraid to get dirty and to intensified an already bad situation in the labor force, Bland work hard. We’ve got to take pride in the hard work that it notes. requires to move forward in this county.” “Tourism and hospitality are the backbone of this Braddock is past president of the Brunswick County Home county,” he says. “If we don’t have the infrastructure,



Fall 2019




Pathways to Progress will remove the financial barrier for folks to receive the schooling necessary to help Brunswick County to continue to grow.



North Brunswick Magazine

Builders Association and co-founder of the Woodsong Scholarship for Construction Careers through BCC Foundation. The neighborhood of Woodsong originally created its annual arts event, Woodsong Porch and Art Stroll, in conjunction with Sunset River Marketplace artists to showcase the community, but the event quickly morphed into a fundraising effort. With the close of the fifth event in April 2019, the community had exceeded $40,000 raised for trades education and support. Now potential students need to step up and accept the grant funds. “I’m excited about the grant and Pathways to Progress because it meets an immediate need we have in Brunswick County,” says Dr. Gene Smith, president of BCC. “We are one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, requiring infrastructure and homes and people to provide those places and repair those places in which people reside.” Smith says that since moving here in January, he has heard in every corner of the county the need for skilled

employees in all of the trades of construction technology. “Pathways to Progress will remove the financial barrier for folks to receive the schooling necessary to help Brunswick County to continue to grow,” he says. Smith emphasizes that the program is for anyone who is interested in getting a good job in a reasonably short period of time and to any business whose employees need additional skills training. It is important, he says, for students in middle school and high school to begin thinking of this as a possible career path and for the adult population to understand the opportunities that exist in these various fields. “As people gain the skill sets in these areas, there are great possibilities in entrepreneurship to start their own successful business,” Smith says. 

Want to join the Pathways to Progress? Inquiries about the Pathways to Progress construction workforce program and partnership opportunities at Brunswick Community College can contact: Onya Gardner, dean of continuing education/workforce development, at (910) 755-7490 Greg Bland, vice president of continuing education/workforce development, at (910) 755-7374 For more information about Brunswick Community College go to

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Fall 2019


Coastal Integrative Health

Business Profile BY JO ANN MATHEWS

rian S. Lank, Doctor of Chiropractic, opened Coastal Integrative Health clinic in Leland on June 17, 2019, and offers identical services as his Coastal Integrative Health clinic in Shallotte. Coastal Integrative Health’s specialties are chiropractic care, physical therapy, golf performance and massage, with an emphasis on relieving back pain. Dr. Lank states that 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and it is one of the top three reasons people visit a doctor. Although back pain might be one of the most common conditions treated here, they also rehab post-operative conditions such as knee replacements, rotator cuff tears and more. Dr. Lank was drawn to the chiropractic profession after an injury to his neck as a high school freshman. He went to a chiropractor, who relieved his severe pain within a few treatments. “From that day forward, I knew I wanted to be a chiropractor,” he says. Joining Dr. Lank on staff are fellow chiropractors Dr. James Morosky and Dr. Paul Hrvol III; physical therapists Dr. Patrick McCauley, Devin Sellers and Lydia Smith; and massage therapist Jennifer Jones. She uses myofascial release and various other methods of massage, which helps to relieve a host of ailments. The key focus for the staff is integrative health. “Integrative health is combining different disciplines,” Dr. Lank says. “When patients come to our clinics, we’re going to look at their condition from a couple of ways, from a physical therapy standpoint and from a chiropractic standpoint. We’ll draw up a treatment plan to figure out what’s the best way we can improve their health to get them back to doing the things they love to do.” Coastal Integrative Health (CIH) also employs nutritional counseling. Dr. James Morosky specializes in personalized nutritional supplementation to combat specific health problems and


North Brunswick Magazine



Left to right: Dr. Paul M. Hrvol III, D.C., Dr.James Morosky, D.C., Dr. Brian S. Lank, D.C., C.S.C.S., Dr. Patrick McCauley, D.P.T. and Lydia Smith, P.T.A.

help patients live a healthier lifestyle. “Everything we do is without the use of drugs or surgery,” Dr. Lank says. “Our whole philosophy is to exhaust the conservative approaches first. If it doesn’t get you to where you need to be in an effective and timely manner, we refer our patients to the appropriate medical team, whether that’s the orthopedist, primary care physician or neurosurgeon. It’s all about what’s best for the patient.” “I want people to know we are patient focused,” he adds. “This isn’t a cookie cutter practice. We try to get to the core of what the problem actually is. When you have different professionals from different disciplines working together as a team, you get better outcomes.” Helping golfers improve their game is another service available at CIH. “We see how their swing affects their body and how their body affects their golf swing, then we develop corrective exercise programs to help them improve their performance,” Dr. Lank says. He, Dr. McCauley and Dr. Hrvol are certified through Titlist as medical professionals, and Dr. Lank is Nike-certified as a golf

functional performance expert. The Wellness Center tab on the CIH website includes more than 100 videos that show the proper way to do exercises. It also explains ergonomics, chiropractic, posture and a dozen more topics. Dr. Lank doesn’t hesitate to say why he has developed this comprehensive website: “Patient education. Education is the key to success.” He stresses again that the CIH staff works as a team. “It’s our philosophy to work together as a team to improve patients’ outcome,” he says. “It’s all about the patient.”

Coastal Integrative Health 1175 Turlington Avenue, Suite 103, Leland (910) 408-1778 728 Village Road SW, Shallotte (910) 755-5400

Business Profile BY SANDI GRIGG


Infinity Custom Cabinets


he impossible takes us longer to build,” says Brian Boone, owner of Infinity Custom Cabinets. His sense of humor is readily apparent, but it’s his skill, determination and knowledge that have made him a success in the woodworking business. As a fourth-generation craftsman, Boone began his career in 1999 by building and finishing plantation shutters. Through this initial woodworking, he learned the art of fine finishing and transitioned from shutters to custom closets to custom built-ins to custom kitchens. With two decades of experience, Infinity Custom Cabinets brings the art of cabinetry to the coastal Carolinas, providing finishes that are second to none. Homeowners who partner with Boone and his crew are not only paying for new custom-made cabinets of the highest quality, but also helping a small family

owned business. Boone and his company strive to create and maintain a family atmosphere in which employees can grow and achieve their goals, while providing their clients an outstanding product and top-notch customer service. Infinity Custom Cabinets specializes in custom cabinets for kitchens, but they also offer custom solutions for other areas such as offices, closets, built-ins and furniture. “If the laws of physics will allow it, we can build it,” Boone says. In addition to their own custom products, they offer a variety of semi-custom lines of cabinetry. Their goal is 100% satisfaction for everyone involved in the business — employees and customers alike. They are also very involved in the community through contributing, volunteering or joining organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Dixie Youth Baseball, N.C.

Aquarium, Methodist Home for Children, North Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, North Brunswick Merchant Association and Living Word Bible Church. As a true Brunswick County native, Boone says, “My dad grew up here, I grew up here — this is home.” He has seen the area’s growth transform the town into offering pretty much everything you could want or need, but he thinks it still has that small-town charm. With the bonus of the local beaches, he couldn’t imagine a better place to work and live with his wife and watch their children grow. Infinity Custom Cabinets 497 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 103, Leland; (910) 859-8299;

Fall 2019


Bianchi Brickyard Supply

Business Profile BY LENSEY WILSON


he family-oriented team at Bianchi Brickyard Supply is passionate not only about the quality of their work, but also about their customer service. Carrying on a family tradition that began in 1911, David and Julie Bianchi incorporated D.L. Bianchi’s Construction Co. in Buffalo, New York, in 1971. D.L. Bianchi’s Construction Co. focused on general masonry and brick construction and was one of the largest nonunionized masonry construction companies in Buffalo. In 1996 David and Julie moved the company to North Carolina and since then the business continues to see significant growth and opportunities. Now with the help of their son, Mark, Bianchi Brickyard supplies homeowners and contractors with the best masonry and landscaping products and quality service at competitive pricing. “We love what the community has to offer for our entire family and the people who we have built relationships with,” David says. The Bianchis are very involved in the Brunswick community and donate materials to various local charities, such as the vegetable food project in Boiling Spring Lakes, multiple fundraisers in the Southport area and sand to local schools for their sandboxes. Bianchi Brickyard is the local supplier for residential needs as well. They offer steel and block for home foundations as well as brick and stone veneer to beautify the exterior of your home. The Bianchi team is also ready to assist you with landscape supplies for gardens (think mulch, topsoil and now Worm Gold Plus organic soil amendment), decorative stone, pavers and stone supplies for

patio living, sidewalks, driveways, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and firepits. They offer Trex decking and railings as well. Bianchi Brickyard has grown to be one of the most respected and notable businesses in the area and continues to add innovative products for their growing customer base. “Our dedication is to quality and making sure our customers are happy and have a great experience while providing them with beautiful products for their home,” David says. Bianchi Brickyard 7995 River Road SE, Southport (910) 454-4445;

Dear Leland & our surrounding community, My daughter and I would like to thank everyone for their incredible support. Recently I realized that I had not processed and grieved that horrible day on May 26 when we lost our home to a fire. With so many people stepping up to help (including my staff at P.T.’s Grille ), dealing with insurance adjusters every day and trying to decide whether or not to rebuild, I just didn’t have a second to think. I decided it was best for my daughter and me to get off the road named Misery. Mise My fire was the second total loss due to fire on that property. We recently moved into our new home, and now that the dust is starrng to seele, I wanted to try and reach as many of you as possible to say THANK YOU! Without your support we would not be where we are today. In this crazy world we live in, it is incredibly comforrng to know that we live in such a loving and caring community. I can't even tell you a ballpark number of how many donaaons we received, but I can tell you that my daughter and I are using or have already used every single one, including dishes, clothes, toys, gii cards and more. My daughter has more clothes now than she did before the fire. So, from the booom of our hearts, THANK YOU AND WE LOVE Y’ALL!

Aaron & Meadow Hyatt


North Brunswick Magazine

Jon Tait, Signature Wealth Strategies


Jonathan Tait, CFP®, Senior Wealth Advisor, RJFS Brock Hall, AAMS®, Wealth Advisor, RJFS


lanning your retirement and financial future can be stressful, overwhelming and confusing without the proper support and guidance. It’s difficult to be sure you’re going to reach your destination if you don’t have a clear picture of how you’ll get there. This is why having an experienced financial professional in the passenger seat to advise you at each milestone or fork in the road is critical. Locally, an authority on this subject is Jonathan Tait, owner of a Raymond James Financial Services branch in Leland. Tait indicates that in order to provide the highest level of leadership, expertise and specialties, he has enhanced his practice and resources by affiliating with Signature Wealth Strategies, a larger group based in Florence, South Carolina. This powerful partnership has allowed his team of advisors to spend more time providing the hands-on, concierge-level service that their clients have come to expect. “This is a powerful partnership, built on the highly regarded reputation of Raymond James and the comprehensive resources and client-centric culture of Signature Wealth,” Tait says. “It’s really a great fit.” Signature Wealth Strategies is an independent firm aligned with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Signature Wealth was built on the belief that financial advisors should spend their time building lasting relationships with clients. And, with the back-office support and systems they provide, Tait is excited to be able to do just that. For Tait, it’s about going out of the way to make sure his clients achieve their goals. “Our business cards have our cell phone numbers on them, so clients can reach us at any time,” he says. Tait graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a degree in English and a plan to be a high school

English teacher. It wasn’t long before he realized that teaching wasn’t the right path for him. Fueled by an interest in finance, he trained at Raymond James’ home office in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has been with Raymond James since 2001. In 2006 he and his wife moved to Brunswick County from Tampa, Florida, and opened Raymond

that strategy and then managing and monitoring its progress, keeping the client constantly informed and updated. “We believe prudently managed wealth serves as a means to get you where you want to go, and we’re committed to delivering our best advice to help you get there,” Tait says.

James Financial Services branch office in Leland. In addition to the Leland office, Tait has a location in his home town of New Bern, NC. In 2012 Tait became a Certified Financial Planner™, a professional designation issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board. As a Certified Financial Planner, Tait not only advises on investments, but also helps with budgeting, savings and retirement, and education planning by assessing each client’s needs, creating a personalized investment strategy, implementing

What first attracted Tait to a teaching career is what he finds to be the most rewarding part of his job in financial planning services today: “Simplifying the complexities of investing and planning strategies and helping others learn new things about their finances and their lives.” Jon Tait, Signature Wealth Strategies 1022 Grandiflora Dr., Ste. 110, Leland (910) 371-0366

Signature Wealth Strategies is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. CFP Board owns the CFP® and Certified Financial Planner™ marks in the United States. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

Fall 2019


LUXE Home Interiors


e have a good time creating comfortable and beautiful rooms for our clients,” says Lynn Leake, owner of LUXE Home Interiors. She describes her team as being passionate about design and bringing high energy and creativity to the work place, where ideas can flourish. “It’s a family-run business,” Lynn says. Her daughter, Elizabeth, works closely with Lynn to manage the daily functions of the business as well as buying for the store while Sam, Lynn’s husband, handles the accounting and backend of the business. Their clients become their friends, and the fabric of their environment changes constantly with all the unique personalities. LUXE Home Interiors started in 2007 as a Norwalk Furniture franchise in Mayfaire; however, they became an independent design store in 2009. They feature upholstered furniture made in North Carolina and Ohio, plus a wide array of accessories and art. Realizing that many of their customers

were coming from across the bridge after moving from northern areas, Leake decided to open a store in Waterford Shopping Village to be closer to the thriving new communities growing up around the Leland and Southport areas. “Eventually, we decided to put all of our eggs in the Waterford basket and closed the Mayfaire store,” Leake says. She goes on to say it was a great decision and that they have never looked back.

Business Profile BY SANDI GRIGG

Leake and her team are involved with different charitable groups by giving items such as a sofa, artwork or accessories to fundraising auctions. They also have had events in the store to benefit various charities in the community. They believe it is important to give back to the community that has helped them build so much. LUXE Home Interiors offers a complete design service for the living areas of your home. They present the quality and comfort that their clients expect, and their design choices are unlimited. Every effort is made to help their customers make a smooth transition to the Southern coastal home of their dreams. “We get to meet people at such a good time in their lives,” Leake says. “They’ve left the hub-bub behind, and they are ready to start a new, more relaxed life.” LUXE Home Interiors 2013 Olde Regent Way, Suite 270, Leland; (910) 371-0464;

4311 Old Ocean Hwy Bolivia, NC 28422 Lisa Witthar, MSW, LCSW Ann H. Lynch, PA-C


North Brunswick Magazine

Clean Eatz Express



e hear the term “clean eating” all the time these days, but what does it mean? Clean eating is another term for a healthy eating. It means making choices to eat real, whole foods instead of processed, packaged food. It means choosing more plant-based foods and all-natural meats. It means eating for nourishment and health all the time, at meals and for snacks. Eating this way takes time and forethought, but a new restaurant in Leland is making it easier. Clean Eatz Express, now open in the Shoppes at Waterford, specializes in portioncontrolled, nutritionally balanced meals that can help Leland residents eat healthier, even when they’re on the go. One of the nation’s fastest-growing, quick service restaurant franchises, Clean Eatz Express Cafe was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Wilmington. Since it started franchising in 2015, the company has grown to more than 40 locations, with dozens more slated to open over the next year. The new Leland location will serve Brunswick County’s families and retirees on the go. “Leland is a perfect fit for our Clean Eatz Express Model,” says Clean Eatz CoFounder Don Varady. “This community is home to many people who want easy, healthy and affordable meal options. That’s the whole premise behind our brand.” For take-out options, Leland’s Clean Eatz Express offers the franchise’s

widely popular Grab-n-Go freezer meals, weekly meal plans, Clean Eatz take-and-bake cauliflower crust pizzas, fresh-made smoothies, a full snack line that features items like Paleo Fudge, CE energy bars, Clean Crunch and more. The location also sells a full range of 1st Phorm protein supplements. For those who want a quick lunch or dinner on site, Clean Eatz Express provides microwaves and cafe seating, so customers can eat their meals in the restaurant.

“We’re excited to be a part of Leland, and we see so many ways we can grow together,” Varady says. “From the people we’ve met so far, it seems this area’s residents place importance on living a healthy lifestyle so they can enjoy the things they love. We’re here to be a part of that journey, providing the right balance of nutrition, education and encouragement along the way.” The Leland location of Clean Eatz Express is open every day except Sunday. Hours are Monday and Tuesday from 9 am to 7 pm, Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 7 pm and Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm. Leland residents can order freshly made weekly meal plan kits online at The menus change weekly, and they’re available for pick-up every Monday (barring holidays).

Clean Eatz Express 503 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 107 Shoppes at Waterford (910) 769-5414;

Fall 2019


open daily! 11am - 2am

1107 new pointe blvd #9, leland, nc 28451 910-769-1289

Local’s Tavern is Leland’s premier watering hole where everyone truly knows your name! mon

50¢ Wings


$2 Tacos & Trivia

weds Music Bingo


Karaoke Night

fri & sat

Live Entertainment

Wilmington Health in Leland Is Here for

the Entire


Wilmington Health in Leland is located closer to home. Visit us for your primary and specialty care needs! Family Medicine • Internal Medicine • Pediatrics

OUR PROVIDERS ARE ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS! Wilmington Health in Leland 9101 Ocean Highway East Leland


Not feeling well? TODAY’S CARE No appointment needed!

Open 8 am-8 pm daily (including weekends)!

If you need specialty care, we have Endocrinology, Foot & Ankle, Gastroenterology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Radiology, Urology, and Vascular Surgery right here.

124 11913_01 North Leland Brunswick Brunswick MagazineMagazine Ad SPRING 7.25x4.812.indd


8/14/19 3:43 PM



16th Annual Leland Under the Lights Car Show Despite rain, the 16th Annual Leland Under the Lights Car Show was held on August 17 at Lowes Foods in Brunswick Forest. The event featured a variety of amazing classic, exotic and modern cars. More than 15 trophies were

awarded, including best in show, most unique and club. Visitors were able to talk with vendors as well as shop and dine at The Villages in Brunswick Forest. As in previous years, admission was free.

Anthony Prince with his ’71 Charger (“Best Mopar” winner) and his ’70 Cadillac Seville.

Clockwise from top: Kristin Brinkley with her “Best Interior” winner a ’79 CS-7 AMC. Bob Tapaszi and his ’70 Chevy Corvette. Kevin Wire, winner of the “Best in Show” award for his ’51 GMC Pickup with wife, Hope, and his son, Sailor. Rick Johnson and his ’56 Studebaker Skylark. Raymond Grant with his ’57 Chevy BelAir awarded “Best Paint”.

Fall 2019



Is there a veteran or service member in your life who you would like to honor in a special way? Take part in the Brunswick Riverwalk Veterans Memorial fundraiser by becoming a brick donor, and you’ll create a lasting memorial to that person for decades to come. For $50 your personalized Memorial Brick will be permanently installed in the Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville Veterans Memorial. For an additional $20 you may also order a personalized replica. These memorial bricks will be installed permanently around the boulder monument’s apron. The 4-inch x 8-inch bricks are laser engraved in black and will have three lines of text and a maximum of 15 spaces with clipart. To cover the expected cost of Belville Veterans Memorial, 200 bricks will need to be sold. Any proceeds in excess of the cost of installing the memorial will be donated to local veterans’ charities. A Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony for the memorial is scheduled to be held on Veterans Day, November 11, from 11 am to 1 pm. Any brick orders that come in after August 15 will not be guaranteed to be installed in time for the Grand Opening. Officially, the fundraiser will run until the end of December, with the original plan being to construct the memorial and have a ceremony on Memorial Day 2020. The organizers thank Jason Gaver, veteran and owner of Mulch and More, for donating the boulder, ground base and pea gravel. They also thank Commissioner Kent Goodman for the commitment of landscaping shrubs. SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE Being a donor or a sponsor for the Brunswick Riverwalk Veterans Memorial is an incredible opportunity to touch the lives of many and support an effort that impacts the Belville community. Call the Town of Belville at (910) 371-2456 for more information. Anyone interested in purchasing a brick should go to riverwalkmemorial. 126

North Brunswick Magazine



Buy-a-Brick Campaign for the Belville Veterans Memorial

EmergeOrtho’s Open House in The Villages at Brunswick Forest EmergeOrtho Comprehensive Orthopedic Center held an open-house celebration at its brand-new facility in The Villages at Brunswick Forest on July 18. Visitors perused the three floors, met the surgeons and staff and took part in guided tours. Art of Catering provided refreshments, and L-Shape Lot played music as guests explored the building. There were fun giveaways, and a raffle to benefit New Hope Clinic.


Waterfront Homesites Now Available




WATERFORD OF THE CAROLINAS, a planned community ideally located in

Leland and just minutes from historic downtown Wilmington. Enjoy a beautifully designed Trusst home overlooking your own private dock with easy access to Waterford’s navigable freshwater canals, 17 miles of shoreline and breathtaking Osprey Lake. Additional amenities include a newly renovated and expanded clubhouse and fitness center, outdoor pool, tennis center, beach volleyball court and miles of walking trails. The Village Shoppes are adjacent to the neighborhood, providing a wide array of shops, restaurants, medical offices and services within easy reach. 74




For more information, call 910.782.2801 or stop by the Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage office at 481 Olde Waterford Way in Leland Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm. Magnolia Greens 17

Brunswick Forest


Fall 2019



324 Village Rd Unit C Leland, NC 28451 910.408.1757

Ask about our Holiday Menus & Parties


North Brunswick Magazine


North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce’s Ladies Night Out/Purse Bash

Front - Sonja Nance, Harmony Carpenter, Tammy Dees, Jessie Edwards, Hannah Dees Back- Becky Gore, Ericka King, Beverly Caison, Emily Miller, Judy Carter

April Scott, Danielle Graves winner of a Coach purse & Martha Jackson

Denise Benoit & Jill Schneiderman

Donielle Bacon, Suzanne West & Jennifer Capps

Daphne Yarbrough-Jones & Tori Humphrey

Ashley Graham, Kim Skaggs, Brenda Hewlett & Lynn Gavin

Jenny Rich, Lori Bradley & Paula Ponder

Alice Ashe & Katrena Robbins

Emily Miller & Susan Cruise

Nancy Fisher, Heather Appleton & Valirie Lewis


Fall 2019



2019 North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet

Charles Jackson, Stephanie Bowen, Grace Young, Tyler Wittkofsky

Daniel & Susie Teachey

April Scott, Dr. Gene Smith

Brandon Korman, Andrea Troccia

John Lerch, Kerri Allen

Brenda Bozeman, Stephanie Bowen

Sam Puschaver, Emily Miller, MacKenzie Loveall, Nick Leger, Tyler Wittkofsky



North Brunswick Magazine

Alan & Kris Beasley, Brian & Gretchen Estes

Nick & Allie Leger

Tom Powers, April & Bryan Aldridge, Samantha Durham, Bret Moser


Town of Leland Volunteer Recognition Reception

Nicole & Tyler Whiteside

Tim and Bridget Crabtree

Steve Schrimpf, Pam & Thom Becker

Brenda Bozeman, Warren Hodges

Hilary Snow, David Hollis

Brayton Willis, Chris Stevenson

Bruce Nancinelli, David & Mary Schuette

Sabrina Reinhardt, Missy Rhodes , Carly Hagg

Lynn Vetter, Brad Shirley

Ben Andrea, John Grimes

Robert Corriston, Sabrina Reinhardt, Bob Campbell


Fall 2019




Livingston Creek Farmers Harvest is your source for the choicest local produce, the freshest local seafood, and the best of everything from local farms. Shop local and support your homegrown farmers and fisherman at our community market.

Produce & Seafood Market Farm Animals Event Center Walking Trails & Camping Craft Shop & Outdoor Nursery CLUB PILATES Waterford Shopping Center 910.725.6190 • LELAND


North Brunswick Magazine


Fall 2019



Due to hurricane Florence’s impact on local students and families, the Community Eligibility Provision Program and Brunswick County School Child Nutrition Department were able to provide free breakfast and lunch to any child in need this summer. There was no enrollment or paperwork necessary, and the hope was to help each and every family still recovering from the devastation for the natural disaster. Allison Pilon


The COAST Official Ribbon Cutting

On August 20 Brunswick County Schools, in collaboration with Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Center of Applied Sciences and Technology, known as The COAST. The COAST, formerly Brunswick County Academy, is Brunswick County Schools’ new hub for high school career and technical education courses, with unique classes focused on STEM. Courses range from clean energy and cyber security to carpentry and electrical trades, and students learn job-securing skills that prepare them to enter the global workforce after graduation. The COAST was one of five N.C. schools to be awarded an N.C. Greenpower grant worth up to $10,000 for the installation of a massive educational solar photovoltaic (PV) array on campus. Students in the COAST’s flagship course, clean energy technology, will use the opportunity to develop the skills that help solve tomorrow’s energy issues today. N.C. Greenpower officials say the solar PV system will also have an energy impact by producing enough renewable energy to power the school’s main office. N.C. Greenpower’s grant is matching the COAST’s fundraising efforts for the solar PV up to $10,000. The State Employees Credit Union Foundation is also donating $15,000 to The COAST to increase the size of the solar installation.

Brunswick County Schools Names Teachers of the Year Brunswick County Schools announced the 2019-20 elementary, middle and high school Teachers of the Year. The 2019-20 Teachers of the Year from the individual schools created 10 134

North Brunswick Magazine

Justin Garza

Sarah Osborne

minute promotional videos that included interviews with colleagues and students as well as a self-reflection into why teacher leadership is important. The 2019-20 Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Allison Pilon, a 1st grade teacher at Town Creek Elementary School. The 2019-20 Middle School Teacher of the Year is Justin Garza, Athletic Director and Physical Education and Health teacher at South Brunswick Middle School. The 2019-20 High School Teacher of the Year is Sarah Osborne, an Honors American I and II teacher at Brunswick County Early College High School. These three phenomenal educators moved to the next stage of the 2019-20 BCS Teacher of the Year process with interviews. One will be chosen as the Brunswick County Schools Teacher of the Year to compete in regional competition.

Lower Cape Fear Hospice Offers No-Cost Six-Week Grief Program Lower Cape Fear Hospice offered a six-week, no-cost grief program for those coping with the death of a loved one in Brunswick County starting on August 21. The group meetings were held at SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane SE in Bolivia. Throughout the year, Lower Cape Fear Hospice offers compassionate care, educational and enrichment opportunities that support many types of loss in safe and familiar environments. Thanks to generous donors, these caring, no-cost groups, camps and workshops are available to all. Donations are always appreciated.

Michael Hardy Speaks at Civil War Round Table Meeting On September 3, Michael Hardy, independent scholar of the Civil War, college professor and award-winning author of 20 books was the speaker at the Civil War Round Table. He led a conversation on “General Lee’s Immortals,” considered one of the hardest-fighting units in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. With more than 1,200 members, the round table’s success over the years, as it relates to both growth and popularity, is clearly due to the quality of its guest speakers and their provocative topics. They include renowned historians, authors, battlefield guides, history professors and Civil War re-enactors speaking on a wide range of interesting subjects, including little known facts and events that create an intense


Brunswick County Schools Feeds Kids This Summer


interest for audiences and yet are rarely discussed in many Civil War history presentations or classrooms. These are topics that reach well beyond recounting major battles, battlefield strategies and well-known generals that fill Civil War history books.

Brunswick Sheriff’s Charitable Foundation Holds Fish Fry Brunswick Sheriff ’s Charitable Foundation held a Fish Fry on August 22 to raise funds for its Sunshine Fund. This fund supports Brunswick County Sheriff ’s Office employees who experience hardship. The Fish Fry was at the Bolivia Government Complex on Old Ocean Highway in front of the Emergency Services Building. The meal consisted of flounder, potato salad, coleslaw and bread at $8 per person.

ATMC Awards $35,000 in Community Grants ATMC recently awarded community grant funds totaling $35,000 to 21 local organizations. The funds were part of the cooperative’s grant program, which has awarded $705,000 in community and education grants to 440 programs since its inception in 2006.

The Roger Bacon Academy Celebrates the Career of Barbra Jones More than 100 guests packed into the cafeteria of Douglass Academy on July 18 to celebrate the remarkable career of Barbra Jones. Jones served as coordinator of community relations and new school development at The Roger Bacon Academy from 2012 to 2019. She wrote the charters for Douglass Academy and South Brunswick Charter School, both of which are thriving today. Douglass Academy is the highest ranked elementary school in downtown Wilmington and South Brunswick Charter School is the second highest ranked elementary school in Brunswick County. Jones also served as headmaster of Douglass Academy from 2013 to 2016. In her leadership position within the community, Jones fostered parental involvement and outreach to local organizations. Her internal focus was on implementing field-proven curricula and training her classroom teachers in successful pedagogical methods. Her goal was that every student meets high expectations and becomes a productive member of society. Jones plans to retire to her hometown of Houston, Texas, where she will spend time with her daughter and grandchildren. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


ATMC Presents Scholarships to Local Seniors

Fundraiser on June 12 at Shuckin’ Shack in Leland. Mayor Brenda Bozeman joined the event as a guest bartender, and Shuckin’ Shack gave a significant portion of the proceeds to Kiwanis. This fundraiser helped raise money for local school and community projects.

ATMC presented $2,000 scholarships to four local high school seniors last school year: Jacob Lindbert, Elizabeth Blosser, Jordyn Huffman and Bravin Troy. Applicants were interviewed by representatives from Brunswick Community College. Selection was based on academics, involvement in school and community activities and interview skills. Jacob Lindbert, son of Ashley and Jeana Lindbert of Leland, is a graduate of Brunswick County Early College High School and is attending University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he will study biology. South Columbus High School graduate Elizabeth Blosser is the daughter of John and Sherry Blosser of Nakina and is attending North Carolina State University as a major in agriculture. Jordyn Huffman, a West Brunswick High School graduate, is the daughter of Wayne and Mitzi Huffman of Bolivia and is attending University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she will study biology. Brunswick County Early College High School graduate Bravin Troy, son of Timothy Troy and Theresa Troy of Bolivia, attends Appalachian State University.

Kiwanis Club Holds Pub Night Fundraiser North Brunswick Kiwanis Club held its inaugural Pub Night

Brunswick County Youth Attend 4-H Camp From June 16 to 21 five Brunswick County youth traveled to Camp Millstone for a week of fun. Tucked away in Ellerbe, North Carolina, Camp Millstone offers many natural treasures spread over its 320 acres. The 4-H residential camp has a long tradition of helping kids get outdoors, make friends and learn valuable life skills. During the week the youth had the Fall 2019



by N.C. State College of Ag & Life Sciences and explore ways to make a difference locally and around the world. To participate in the North Carolina Youth Institute, students research a global issue and write a three-page paper under the supervision of a teacher or mentor. In this research paper students are to analyze food security and explore possible solutions. Blair’s research was on Tunisia and the amount of food waste and food storage capacity in their country.

Leland Hosts Open House on Flood Risks


BEMC Line Workers Places Third in Statewide Pole Top Rescue Competition

Charter Day School Unveils New Kindergarten Building When Charter Day School students returned to school on July 18, a brand-new kindergarten building greeted them. The stateof-the-art building houses four classrooms and two intervention rooms for private instruction. The building was built over a period of six months. A new building also greeted first grade students this year. Charter Day School is one of four charter schools managed by The Roger Bacon Academy, Inc., founded in 1999 by education pioneer Baker Mitchell.


North Brunswick Magazine


Brunswick County 4-H Member Becomes Borlaug Scholar Sydney Blair, Brunswick County 4-H member and student at Brunswick Early College High School, is now a Borlaug Scholar. Each year the World Food Prize State Youth Institutes convene high school students, mentors and hunger fighters for a one-day symposium on local, national and global hunger and food insecurity issues; in North Carolina this event is held at N.C. State and led by the N.C. State Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. This event allows high school students to engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, learn about research being done

Staff from the Town of Leland’s Department of Planning and Inspections invited property owners to learn more about flooding risks and flood insurance during an open house on August 13 at Leland Town Hall. Drop-in visitors had the opportunity to meet with knowledgeable staff to discuss their specific potential flooding risks, based upon FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Justin Ward, a first class line technician for Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, placed third with a time of 1:45.94 minutes in North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives’ statewide Pole Top Rescue Competition on May 30 in Raleigh. The competition pits line workers against the clock and each other as they demonstrate the technical skills, safety knowledge and rescue procedures required to work on electric utility lines. Ward has worked in BEMC’s Whiteville district for seven years, and this is his second time representing Brunswick Electric in the statewide Pole Top Rescue competition in North Carolina. His third place finish out of 22 competitors earned him a $400 prize at the event. During the competition, each line worker must execute a scenario that finds a fellow worker unconscious atop a utility pole. The competitor, dressed in full climbing gear, must radio for help, scale 20 feet up the utility pole, lower a 105-pound mannequin and begin lifesaving procedures. All North Carolina electric cooperative line workers must complete this same scenario in less than five minutes to maintain their certification to work on the 103,000 miles of co-op lines across the state.


opportunity to learn about stream ecology, outdoor living and cooking skills and wildlife. They spent a lot of time outside canoeing, kayaking, jumping on the lake trampoline, swimming and at the ropes course. Archery, riflery and horseback riding were included as well. Every summer Brunswick County 4-H makes camp reservations for Brunswick County youth as well as transports them to camp and back. Scholarships are available for youth who qualify.


Phone# Page#


Phone# Page#

4ever24fit..........................................................................................910-399-4760 110

Josh London — State Farm Insurance................................910-383-1303 90

AA Self Storage............................................................................ 910-408-1600 132

Katie’s Art & Frame....................................................................... 910-408-1757 128

Aesthetic Dentistry........................................................................910-371-5965 6

Legacy Homes by Bill Clark.......................................................910-363-1682 26

Art Catering & Events.................................................................910-755-6642 128

Leland Ace Hardware..................................................................910-383-6688 112

ATMC.......................................................................................................844-755-1814 14

Leland Christian Academy.......................................................910-371-0688 128

Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery....................................910-769-1605 55

Leland Veterinary Hospital...................................................... 910-371-3440 117

Bianchi Brickyard Supply...........................................................910-454-4445

73 & 120

Livingston Creek Farms.............................................................910-655-4333 132

Bill Clark Homes.............................................................................. 910-350-1744 27

Local’s Tavern...................................................................................910-769-1289 124

BlueWave Dentistry.......................................................................910-383-2615 BC

Luxe Home Interiors Waterford...........................................910-371-0464

Boys & Girls Homes of NC..........................................................877-211-5322 70

McNeil & Co. Interior Design.................................................. 910-799-7994 IBC

Bozeman for Mayor................................................................................................... 85

McPherson’s Acme General..................................................910-655-4006 124

Britt’s Steel Buildin.........................................................................910-612-5947 66

Mr. Appliance.......................................................................................910-796-1118 76

Brodee Dogs.......................................................................................910-523-5121 117

Mulch & More...................................................................................910-253-7663 30

Brunswick County Dept. of Social Services......................910-253-2112 33

New Hanover Regional Medical Center.......................... 910-342-3400 IFC

Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity.........................910-338-3648 32

NHRMC Physician Group — New Hanover Medical Group.................................................. 910-254-1033

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation.............800-842-5871

44 & 133

65 & 122

66, 79

Brunswick Forest............................................................................910-371-2434 4

Niche. Décor & Gifts.....................................................................910-769-8839 92

Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital...............................910-777-2107 31

Nicole Bray Interiors.......................................................................919-221-3441 76

CAMS.....................................................................................................877-672-2267 52

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce..................... 910-383-0553 101

Capeside Animal Hospital.........................................................910-383-2100 128

North Brunswick Chiropractic ................................................910-371-1200 101

Carolinas Oral and Facial Surgery.........................................910-762-2618 70

Novant Health...................................................................................910-754-5988 17

Charlie Graingers - Leland.......................................................910-399-7722 79

Paul Whitehead - Allstate..........................................................910-338-5686 23

Cherubini Orthodontics............................................................... 910-371-2323 82

PC Solutions.......................................................................................910-371-5999 14

Clean Eatz Express.........................................................................910-769-5414 123

Pinnacle Storage ...........................................................................910-408-1394 11

Club Pilates........................................................................................910-725-6190 132

PODS....................................................................................................910-452-0322 70

Coastal Dance Academy........................................................... 910-833-8308 55

P.T.’s Grille.........................................................................................910-399-6808

Coastal Insurance...........................................................................910-754-4326 52

Purple Onion.....................................................................................910-755-6071 128

Coastal Integrative Health......................................................... 910-408-1778

9 & 118

Rhodes Law Offices, PLLC....................................................... 910-383-3610 117

Coastal Spine Institute............................................................... 910-356-6100 60

RJB Tax Associates, LLC...........................................................910-338-3001 101

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage................................. 910-371-1181 48

Robert G. Merz, CPA, P.C...........................................................910-383-6644 66

CommWell Health..........................................................................877-935-5255 122

Sandalwood Shoppes.................................................................910-408-1800 12

Complete Dental Leland..............................................................910-663-1223


Sandpiper Pediatrics...................................................................910-207-0777 73

Computer Warriors.......................................................................910-216-9399 38

Sean Skutnik, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage....910-279-1016 110

Cucalorus Festival.......................................................................................................


Seidokan Karate..............................................................................910-616-7470 79

Curley Implants & General Dentistry.................................910-463-2267

20 & 21

Select Bank & Trust........................................................................910-371-3041 64

Dead Crow Comedy......................................................................910-399-1492 82

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar.........................................................910-221-5522 120

Dwelling Place Interiors...............................................................910-859-1165 95

Signature Wealth Strategies................................................... 910-371-0366

Elevate...................................................................................................910-434-6815 95

Smithfield’s Chicken N Bar-B-Q............................................ 910-371-6900 15


36 & 37

Swell Vision Center......................................................................... 910-408-1116 90

Farm Bureau Insurance.................................................................. 910-371-2111 94

Sweyer Property Management.............................................910-256-3031 95

First Bank............................................................................................910-383-3955 42

Thalian Association Community Theatre..........................910-251-1788 90

Four Seasons Dry Cleaners......................................................910-859-8394 106

The Bluffs..........................................................................................866-383-2820 19

Franklin Rouse - State Farm Insurance..............................910-371-5446 90

The Reserve at Town Creek...................................................910-874-2630 65

Ganey Byrd Dunn Insurance Group.......................................910-371-1988 110

Tina Lee Massage Therapist & Health Coach.................910-233-5615 76

Go Store It............................................................................................ 910-371-2331 106

Town Creek Trading Post....................................................... 678-502-9898 55

Harrington Village Apartments.............................................910-408-1644 5

Tropical Smoothie Café...............................................................910-765-1144 92

Healing Hands by Charlie......................................................... 845-649-5570 117

Troy Williamson - On Q Financial..........................................910-262-2613 73

Holmes Security Systems..........................................................910-793-4181 112

Trusst Builder Group..................................................................910-371-0304 127

Home Again Wilmington..........................................................910-679-4302 82

Turf Medic...........................................................................................910-769-2818 106

Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries........................................910-371-2707 112

UPS Store............................................................................................ 910-383-1401 60

Infinity Custom Cabinets.......................................................... 910-859-8299

7 & 119

Wilmington Health.........................................................................910-371-0404 124

Intracoastal Realty Corporation............................................910-201-2200 13

Wine & Design.................................................................................910-399-7874 60

J & K Home Furnishings............................................................ 843-249-1882

12 & 120

23 & 121

28 & 29

Fall 2019




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North Brunswick Magazine

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910.799.7994 | 925 Rabbit Run Wilmington NC 28409

 

Fall 2019


Life is better with a healthy

Life-changing. Patient-centered. Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry. David Vurnakes, DMD Chad Biggerstaff, DDS, PharmD

1300 S. Dickinson Drive In the Villages at Brunswick Forest Call and schedule your appointment today


“BlueWave Dentistry has been my greatest dental experience ever. Chad Biggerstaff and the whole crew are passionate about patient care and I highly recommend for anyone looking for a great dental experience!� - Dan Potenta Actual BlueWave Dentistry Patient

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