North Brunswick Magazine Fall 2021 Edition

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Fall 2021 Fall 2021


SPIRIT SPIRIT Derek Brunson not only competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but also teaches the tools of success to the next generation.







The Doctor Will See You Now. Same-day appointments, because your health can’t wait

Novant Health and New Hanover Regional Medical Center are making access to care safer and easier than ever before. Get an appointment within 24 hours for urgent primary care needs and urgent ob-gyn services. Plus get virtual care for virtually anything. And the peace of mind that comes with our proud commitment to bringing you the safest care possible.

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North Brunswick Magazine

Fall 2021







Professional mixed martial artist Derek Brunson not only competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but also teaches the tools of success to the next generation at Brunson’s MMA & Fitness in Wilmington. By Brian Wilner


AJ and Wade Stanaland welcome people to Northwest Land & Cattle with a farm store called The Pack House and private onsite dining events. By Emory Rakestraw


North Brunswick Magazine




Shelton M. Perkins, one of Leland’s own, makes it to the Minor Leagues. By Sheree K. Nielsen



Dr. Jonathan S. Ludwig, DMD, FAGD Dr. Melissa Owen, DDS

Your trusted Leland Dentist for over a decade. Come check us out in Magnolia Greens today and see why!

Beautiful Dentistry with a Gentle Touch


910.371.5965 Fall 2021








What’s been going on around town.


Finds in the Fall 2021 edition of South Brunswick Magazine


Extras you’ll only find online


North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner; Leland Under the Lights Car Show; Groundbreaking for Town of Belville’s Brunswick Riverwalk Park Expansion; Pioneer Strategies’ 20th Anniversary Celebration


Angie Wilkie, Keller Williams Realty


North Brunswick Business Expo



North Brunswick Magazine

Blackberry Sage Gin and Tonic By Sandi Grigg


Sheet Pan Salmon By Sandi Grigg


While a student at South Brunswick High School, Bolivia native Shaneequa Vereen never imagined she’d one day be a live mission commentator on space launches. By Teresa A. McLamb


Coastal Carolina Curling Club hopes to open its own 11,000-square-foot facility in Brunswick Forest by next fall. By Heather Lowery


How Adam Lewis of Backyard Barns and Beyond turned a side hustle into a thriving full-time career. By Doc Liberty


Unwined at the Square blends yoga, wine and beer for the ultimate adult time out. By Melissa Slaven Warren


Despite opening during a pandemic in 2020, morale is high at the new Town Creek Middle School in Winnabow. By Denice Patterson


Dogs have it great in Leland, thanks to an abundance of dogfriendly businesses and services. By Annesophia Richards


Brunswick Surgery Center in Leland is the first dedicated orthopedic and spine outpatient center in the region. By Heather Lowery









Your Dream

Come discover your dream at Compass Pointe. Along the southeastern coast of North Carolina, Brunswick County has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the country. Compass Pointe embraces the beauty of our coastal area and offers resort-style amenities and neighbors that you can call friends. We’re excited to announce the grand opening of our brand new state-of-the-art Clubhouse this fall. This magnificent facility overlooks our signature golf hole and will feature club member amenities such as a fitness center, golf simulator, exclusive dining area, and an adjacent pool and outdoor bar.

Call 888.717.6468 today or stop by to tour our amenities and new builder showcase homes. Agents on duty Monday- Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 1-5.

Leland, NC Call Today

888.717.6468 Find Us Online

Homesites priced from the $100s | Homes priced from the high $400s

Fall 2021


North Brunswick Magazine – Fall 2021 Volume 16, Issue 1 CEO/PUBLISHER: Justin Williams DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Sandi Grigg COPY EDITOR: Molly Harrison CONTRIBUTING GRAPHICS: Paula Knorr Teresa Kramer Elizabeth Dale Niemann

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: George Jacob Brian Wilner

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Laura Glantz Bill Ritenour Mark Steelman James Stefiuk Nancy Jo Photography Table Top Media

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Sandi Grigg Doc Liberty Heather Lowery Teresa A. McLamb Sheree K. Nielson Denice Patterson Emory Rakestraw Annesophia Richards Melissa Slaven Warren Brian Wilner

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CAROLINA MARKETING COMPANY, INC. PO Box 1361, Leland, NC 28451 (910) 207-0156 • Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine is prohibited.

© 2021 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.

Fall 2021


SPIRIT SPIRIT Derek Brunson not only competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but also teaches the tools of success to the next generation.




North Brunswick Magazine





About the cover: Photographer Laura Glantz captured our cover image of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sensation Derek Brunson at his fitness studio, Brunson’s MMA & Fitness, in Wilmington. See Brian Wilner’s story about Brunson starting on page 53.

Fall 2021



Your best friend.

Our best care.


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Sign up for Pet Portal today on our website and manage your pet’s health online. Dr. David Beauchamp Dr. David Brazik Dr. Jaime Collier Dr. Alexia Nogueira

 910.371.3440  Emergency: 910.791.7387  508 Village Rd. Leland 


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

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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

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EVER WONDER HOMES SOLD WE’RE ADDINGWHAT TO OUR TEAM FOR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? Intracoastal Realty’s HomeSpotter App NOW shows SOLD properties for the past 12 months!

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Serving you with offices in Brunswick, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties.





It’s hard to believe the fall season is already here. The older I get the faster the months go by, and this summer certainly was no exception. Lately I have been splitting my time between North Carolina and Florida to help out with my mother, who has been ill. This has been a challenging time for my family, but it’s times like these that give you a minute to step back and appreciate what you have. I am so appreciative of my daughter, Ava, for being the wonderful person she is, and I am so grateful for my staff for stepping up in my absence and keeping our magazines rolling. Without their support and hard work, I don’t know if you’d be holding this magazine in your hands today. I hope you enjoy the stories we have lined up for you in this fall issue of North Brunswick Magazine. This issue is full of stories of fascinating people, like Minor League Baseball player Shelton Perkins, professional Mixed Martial Artist Derek Brunson and NASA live commentator Shaneequa Vereen. We also introduce you to some of the people behind our local businesses, like AJ Stanaland of Northwest Land & Cattle, Amy and Brian Burkhardt of Unwined at the Square and Adam Lewis of Backyard Barns and Beyond. We show you the dog-friendliest spots in Leland, and, as always, Sandi Grigg offers excellent recipes for cocktails and dinner. Enjoy the fall season in North Brunswick County. This is such a beautiful time of year, and I hope you can all find some time to really enjoy it. Take some time to savor the beauty around you and be sure to tell those you love how much you appreciate them. As always, we appreciate your support!

Justin Williams Owner/Publisher


North Brunswick Magazine

Expanding orthopedic care right here in Brunswick Ted Parcel, DO, and Benjamin Browning, MD are accepting new patients Joint, bone and muscle pain can interrupt your life. Are you ready to get back to doing what you love? Like walking, tennis or golf? Then it’s time to meet our experts at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Supply. Board-certified surgeon Ted Parcel, DO, is fellowship-trained in adult joint replacements. Benjamin Browning, MD, is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and arthroscopy. Both are experienced in providing high-level care for sports injuries and orthopedic conditions.

Ted Parcel, DO, FAAOS

Services include: • Hip and knee joint replacements

• Total hip and knee revisions

• Fracture repairs • Tendon repairs

• Knee arthroscopy • Shoulder surgery

Our experts provide the specialty care you need, closer to home, so you can concentrate on what counts most — getting better and staying healthy. Benjamin Browning, MD

We are taking extra steps in our clinics to keep you healthy, including masking, social distancing, screenings and increased disinfecting of surfaces.

Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine - Brunswick 6 Doctors Circle, Suite 5, Supply, NC 28462

Call 910-721-4370 or visit to make a same-day or next-day appointment.

© Novant Health, Inc. 2020 9/20 • ECA-627232

Fall 2021




I am author/photographer of 2015 Da Vinci Eye Award Winner and Eric Hoffer Art Finalist Folly Beach Dances (a healing coffee-table book inspired by the sea and my lymphoma journey), 2019 Chanticleer-nominated Ocean Rhythms Kindred Spirits (which features many essays from the Carolinas) and 2019 Montaigne Medal Finalist Midnight – The One-Eyed Cat (a picture book about learning to be the best you already are). My fourth book, Mondays in October (published in July 2019 by Shanti Arts), includes many photos and poems about Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Other publications I have written for include Southern Writers Magazine, Long Weekends, Carolina Go!, AAA Southern Traveler, AAA Midwest Traveler, Missouri Life, South Brunswick Magazine and North Brunswick Magazine, as well as anthologies, newspapers and websites across the nation. When not writing, I can be found discovering new beaches and coffeehouses in the South, with my patient husband and goofy canine kids.


Growing up in North Carolina, I’ve always found the state and its many landscapes fascinatingly beautiful. Mixing my love for writing and photography, I love to share experiences, scenery and history found throughout the state, especially on the coast, which I now call home. In my nine years as a journalist, I’ve covered many sectors including politics, business, features and travel. Yet my love for writing will always exist in being a storyteller, sharing the unique journey of others, the history and lore of the places we visit or reside and what connects us all.


I am a full-time, professional photographer and work hard to ensure anyone or anything looks its absolute best. A while back I was at the Convention Center and took a photo of a group of women. One woman was particularly stressed about having her photo made and pleaded, “You be sure to Photoshop me.” I replied, “Lady, I don’t mess with perfection!” Her face beamed and she gave me a kiss right there in the middle of the grand ballroom. I love my job! See for yourself at: or


North Brunswick Magazine


EVER WONDER WHAT HOMES SOLD FOR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? Our HomeSpotter App shows SOLD properties for the past 12 months! To view SOLD listings, simply touch the Filter button on the top right, and select “SOLD” under Status. SOLD properties will show as red pins! Download our FREE App at or search “Intracoastal Realty” in your App store. North Brunswick’s #1 Choice for Real Estate 910-201-2200 |


North Brunswick Magazine


Margaret Kerry Signs Books at Sandalwood Shoppes On June 24 Margaret Kerry signed copies of her autobiography, Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life, and met fans at Sandalwood Shoppes. Kerry is an American actress, motivational speaker, radio host and author. The memoir recounts her lengthy Hollywood career, her faith and her relationships throughout her life. She is now 92 years old and still full of spunk.

Leland VFW Holds Korean War Veterans Breakfast Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12196 Leland recently hosted a Korean War Veterans Breakfast to honor all Korean War veterans living in Leland and the surrounding areas. This event was held at the Town of Leland Cultural Arts Center. Those who served in “The Forgotten War” were specially recognized and honored. This event was open to any Korean War veteran and a guest and featured breakfast, speakers and the opportunity to meet other veterans from the area. A coffee social started at 8 am, followed by the program and speakers. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12196 would like to specially thank the Town of Leland, North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce and Waste Partners for sponsoring this important event.

D.R. Horton Holds Grand Opening for lbis Landing In conjunction with North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, D.R. Horton held a grand-opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at Ibis Landing on July 20. Located at 1108 Clapboard Lane, Ibis Landing is a collection of twostory, low-maintenance townhomes in Leland with quick access to U.S. Highway 17 and downtown Wilmington.

Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association Hires New Director of Business Development

CIS Thrift Store Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

A few dozen community members joined CIS Thrift Store for their five-year anniversary ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 20 at the Leland store, 117 Village Road. CIS Thrift Stores in Brunswick County help fund Communities in Schools Brunswick County and their mission of helping kids succeed in school and prepare for a successful life.

Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders Association (WCFHBA) has hired Jessica Di Biaggio as the new director of business development. In her new position, Di Biaggio will serve as the team leader in developing and implementing innovative member recruitment as well as engagement and retention strategies for the association. She will also serve as the main point of contact for managing the association’s nondues revenue and affinity agreement partnerships, including the development of yearly sponsorship agreements. Di Biaggio brings with her nearly seven years of sales experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. She holds a bachelor’s degree in tourism management from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Prior to her position at the association, she worked in the event industry managing sales and marketing and most recently was the sales manager for the Wilmington Convention Center. She started her new role with the association in June. Fall 2021



Leland Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Holds Open House

On August 28 Leland Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources held an open house event at Leland Cultural Arts Center. This event gave attendees a chance to get to know the department’s instructors, and there were kids’ crafts and class discounts.

Betsy O’Hara is 2021 Brunswick County Schools Teacher of the Year Brunswick County Schools’ 2021-22 BCS Teacher of the Year is Betsy O’Hara of Cedar Grove Middle School (CGMS). Superintendent Dr. Jerry L. Oates and Assistant Superintendent Molly White surprised O’Hara with the news during the CGMS staff retreat. O’Hara will lead the Teacher’s Advisory Council that is made up of the 20 individual school Teachers of the Year and will be the Teacher’s Voice at each monthly Board of Education meeting. O’Hara also holds the titles of 2021 CGMS Teacher of the Year, 2021 BCS Remote Learning Teacher of the Year and 2021 BCS Middle School Teacher of the Year. She began teaching in Florida in 2003 and has been a CGMS Educator since 2015.

Brunswick County Schools Holds Ribbon Cutting and Dedications

Leland Veterans of Foreign Wars Donates Wheelchairs Leland Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12196 recently donated two electric wheelchairs to Brunswick Cove Assisted Living Center in Leland to support veterans in need. The post was contacted by a community member who wanted to donate an electric wheelchair they no longer needed but specifically requested that it go to a veteran. Upon seeing a social media post about the first donation, a second Leland resident contacted the VFW Post 12196 that they, too, had a chair they wanted to donate.

Leland Veterans of Foreign Wars Hosts Coffee with the Commander Leland Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12196 recently held its first Coffee with the Commander at Port City Java in Brunswick Forest. The goal of Coffee with The Commander is to not only bring VFW Post members together, but also to bring nonveteran members of the community together with VFW members. The post intends to hold this event at the Brunswick Forest Port City Java every Tuesday morning at 8 am. 22

North Brunswick Magazine

Local residents, parents and students attended various ribbon cuttings and dedications for the 2016 School Bond Phase 2 project additions that will be part of the 2021-22 school year. The ribbon-cutting ceremonies included:  New K-2 building at Waccamaw School on August 16


 1 2 Classroom Addition, Cafeteria Expansion, JROTC Rifle

Range and Athletics Field House at West Brunswick High School on August 16  12 Classroom Addition, Cafeteria Expansion and JROTC

Rifle Range at North Brunswick High School on August 18  JROTC Rifle Range at South Brunswick High School on

September 2

N.C. Counties Swear in Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams as NCACC President

Brunswick County Board of Commissioners and served as chair for four years, including during Hurricanes Florence, Dorian and Isaias. He also serves as chair of the Cape Fear Rural Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee and on the board of the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO). He previously served on the board of Brunswick Business & Industry Development (Brunswick BID). Williams was elected NCACC 2nd vice president in August 2018 and has served as 1st vice president, president elect and chair of the NCACC General Government Steering Committee. He has also served on the National Association of Counties (NaCo) International Economic Development Task Force, Broadband Task Force and Rural Action Caucus Steering Committee.

Town of Belville Provides Scholarships for BCC Students

At its annual conference on August 14, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) swore in its new president, Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams. Commissioners also elected Washington County Commissioner Tracey Johnson as president-Elect; Chair of the Burke County Commissioners Johnnie Carswell as first vice president; and Warren County Board of Commissioner Tare “T” Davis as chair of the as the association’s next Second Vice President. Martin County Commissioner Ronnie Smith will serve as past president. North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge and Brunswick County native Fred Gore administered the oath of office. Upon taking office, President Williams announced that he will lead a new, year-long initiative called 100 Counties Prepared. The initiative will focus on helping equip county commissioners to lead more effectively when emergency situations arise. The 100 Counties Prepared initiative will focus on developing a training and education program and compiling emergency readiness resources for county commissioners. It also aims to help county commissioners engage with key emergency management partners to foster strategic relationships. Williams is in his third term as a member of the

Brunswick Community College Foundation is excited to announce that the Town of Belville has once again provided scholarship support to deserving Brunswick Community College students enrolled in the Continuing Education and Workforce Development tracks. The college has designed career pathways for students who are seeking programs that accelerate the development of employability skills and lead to national credentials. Courses are affordable and conveniently located throughout Brunswick County and include Culinary Arts, Nurse Aide, Pharmacy Tech, Esthetician, Computer courses and more. To learn more about Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs, go to brunswickcc. edu/programs/continuing-education. Fall 2021



North Brunswick Magazine



Pick up SBM at grocery stores in Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Calabash, Shallotte, Holden Beach, Oak Island or Southport. Or view stories online at | E 

Keeping the Flame Alive runswickMagaz Fall 2021 | SouthB

Anna Katherine Faulk’s Rekindled business gives old fire gear new life and benefits firefighters and victims of fires. By Ashley Daniels

The storyline of Rekindled is a love story, really. Guided by


It was first sparked in the 1980s, when Anna Katherine and Greg Faulk first met while working as volunteer firefighters together in southeastern North Carolina.

RV Life at the Beach COMPLIMEN







The Brunswick County beaches are a prime location in the RV travel craze.


Guided by Love

Story & photos by Ed Beckley

Artist Missy Tripp Ronquillo keeps the good vibes alive through art at Pescado Y Amor studio in Oak Island.

Recreational vehicles are hot in 2021. In the form of travel-trailers, motor homes and fifth-wheels, Americans are rolling their way to campgrounds in the comfort of their personal roaming motels as never before. Motorized camping has become one of the most fun, flexible and affordable ways for families to vacation all over the United States, especially at our beautiful South Brunswick beaches.

By Beth A. Klahre

Missy Tripp Ronquillo always dreamed of having an art studio at the beach. So, she and her husband, Ron, also an artist, opened a studio in Sayulita, Mexico, in May 2009. The couple lived in Mexico for almost a year, painting, making designer t-shirts and teaching art classes on the beach. Then they moved to Oak Island, North Carolina, where they sold their artwork at local markets, eventually opening Pescado Y Amor on East Oak Island Drive.

A Woman of Many Hats A recipient of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, Ann Hollingsworth serves the South Brunswick community in her signature style. By Annesophia Richards

When it comes to serving the South Brunswick community, Boiling Spring Lakes resident Ann Hollingsworth wears many hats, both literally and figuratively. Between her roles as Dosher Memorial Hospital’s vice president of volunteers, chairperson of Boiling Spring Lakes’ Community Appearance Commission and booster member of Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce, Hollingsworth has dedicated thousands of hours over the past two decades to serving her community — all while sporting one of her signature hats.

Fall 2021



North Brunswick Magazine




Tag, you’re it! Keep showing us your Brunswick County spirit — share your moments, stories and snapshots by tagging @northbrunswickmagazine and adding #northbrunswickmagazine

@stwwraps  Leland, North Carolina

@910content  Brunswick County, North Carolina

@buttbehindtheseat  Brunswick Nature Park

@theultrarunningguys  Leland, North Carolina

@gfcarolinas  Southport, North Carolina

@nautical.exposure  Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

@reflectionsofmoments  Oak Island, North Carolina

@reflectionsofmoments  Oak Island, North Carolina

@gfcarolinas  Calabash, North Carolina

Fall 2021





by NBM Contributor

Leland Cultural Arts Center is hosting special events and youth programs this fall. Leland Cultural Arts Center has a wealth of special events coming up this fall. Find listings for events and programs like the Boo Ball, Trunk or Treat at Founders Park, youth ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance, and Movies in the Park. Visit or check social media for updates. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


SAVE A VET NOW by Joan Leotta

Anthony Vivaldi supports troubled veterans by creating and selling his art. “Thank you for your service” is an action statement for Anthony Vivaldi. In 2019 Vivaldi, age 78 and a Vietnam vet, decided to put his 28

North Brunswick Magazine

art to work for veterans. At first he decided to organize a one-man art show and donate the proceeds to a veterans group. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE





North Brunswick Newcomers Club helps new residents connect to their new life in Brunswick County.


Congratulations to Dr. Steven Sullivan of North Brunswick High School. Steven Sullivan, principal of North Brunswick High School, has been named Brunswick County Schools 2021-22 Principal of the Year. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


Are you new to the area? If you’re looking for a way to connect with your neighbors, meet new people and learn about events and activities in Brunswick County, North Brunswick Newcomers Club is a great place to start. Any resident of Brunswick County is eligible to join. Membership fee is $25 per household per year, and membership is for three years. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE


GREAT SPORTS! by Jo Ann Mathews

The Leland Ponytail softball state champs earn the coveted Sportsmanship Trophy at World Series. The Leland Ponytail softball team recently defeated six other teams in the double-elimination tournament to win the state title, which sent them to the World Series in Alexandria, Louisiana. Although they came in fifth place out of 12 teams in that tournament, these 11 and 12-year-olds earned the Sportsmanship trophy. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

| Fall 2021



North Brunswick Magazine


Raising the Bar


The traditional gin and tonic gets a sweet upgrade with blackberries and fresh sage. BY SANDI GRIGG

Around the North Brunswick Magazine office, I’m known as the plant lady because I love growing all types of plants, succulents and herbs. A few sprigs of my homegrown sage inspired me to create this variation of the classic gin and tonic. Fresh sage is one of my favorite herbs to use in cocktails and recipes. Earthy and slightly peppery with hints of mint, eucalyptus and lemon, it pairs well with blackberries and holds its own against the bold flavors of gin. For this cocktail, blackberries are muddled with a little bit of lemon juice before adding gin and sage simple syrup. You can use the back of a spoon if you do not have a wooden muddler. The drink is then topped with San Pellegrino. Regular club soda or tonic water would also work, but I prefer San Pellegrino. I am a big fan of garnishes on my cocktails, and I saw this little trick while dining at a local restaurant. You take your garnish, in this case the sage, blackberries and lemon slices, and slide them over a toothpick. Then you rub it over the rim of the glass to release the aromatics and oils so you can savor them with every sip. Enjoy our delightful fall weather with this multi-faceted and thirst-quenching version of the classic gin and tonic.

Blackberry-Sage Gin and Tonic INGREDIENTS 4 to 5 blackberries

1½ oz. gin

2 to 3 leaves of sage

San Pellegrino

½ oz. Sage Simple Syrup (recipe below)

Sage leaves, blackberries and lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Splash of lemon juice

FOR SAGE SIMPLE SYRUP Warm 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water in a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar melts. Turn off the burner and add the sage leaves. Let it steep for 5 minutes before you remove it from the burner, then allow to cool. Store in an air-tight bottle or jar. Simple sugar can last for months in your liquor cabinet.

METHOD In a the bottom of a tumbler glass, muddle blackberries with lemon juice and then top with ice. Fill a shaker with ice. Add 1½ ounces gin and ½ ounce Sage Simple Syrup and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into the tumbler. Top with San Pellegrino and garnish with blackberries, sage leaves and lemon slices. Fall 2021



Fish in a Flash Salmon, bok choy and shiitake mushrooms come together in an easy sheet pan meal.



Do you know about sheet pan dinners? If not, listen up because they’re a quick, easy and efficient way to put a healthy meal on the table — one pan to cook and one pan to clean. For years, I’ve seen recipes for sheet pan meals on cooking shows or on the internet. The meat and vegetables roast together on one pan, and I was drawn to the promises of quick prep and easy cleanup almost as much I was to the layered, caramelized flavors and colors. To get these same results I knew I needed a new sheet pan. I have an extensive collection of various smaller-sized pans that were handed down from my mother and my mother-in-law, most of which are flimsy cookie sheet types that are warped or have something baked into them that I have never been able to scrub off. I finally splurged on a large, heavy-duty, nonstick, restaurant-quality sheet pan. It was a bit of an investment but totally worth it. I had seen a cooking show episode with an Asian-inspired salmon alongside bok choy and shiitake mushrooms and decided to put my new purchase to the test. Bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, carrots and green onions are a delightful combination and roast well together. I whipped up a marinade using white miso, sake, honey, chili flakes, ginger and garlic with sesame oil and soy sauce. If you don’t like spicy flavors, you can omit the chili flakes. I enjoy cooking with miso, which is made from fermented soybeans and often appears in Asian soups, salad dressings and sauces. I would describe it as having a sweet and mild flavor. Incorporating this ingredient in the marinade helps to coat the meat. Many Asian dishes also use sake, just like Americans use wine for cooking. Sake is great for meat and fish marinades because it tenderizes and removes any fishy smell. I toyed with a few other ingredients, but the ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil created the perfect char, and the aroma brought the entire family around the table. If you are looking for an easy one-dish Asian-inspired meal, then you should definitely give this recipe a try. Just be sure to have a good sheet pan — if not, this is your reason to buy a new one. 


North Brunswick Magazine

I was drawn to the promises of quick prep and easy cleanup almost as much I was to the layered, caramelized flavors and colors.


Sheet Pan Salmon Serves 4

INGREDIENTS 2 pounds whole salmon fillet 1 pound baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise 8 ounces whole shiitake mushrooms, halved 1 pound carrots, sliced in half lengthwise 2 Tablespoons white miso 2 Tablespoons sake 2 Tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon chili flakes 1 teaspoon ginger 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 Tablespoons sesame oil 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 2 Tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper 1 bundle of green onions, chopped Sesame seeds — lightly toasted

METHOD In a small bowl, whisk together miso, sake, honey, chili flakes, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. Reserve 2 tablespoons to use later. Place salmon fillet in a large bag and pour the mixture into the bag. Seal and gently shake to coat the fish. Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange bok choy, mushrooms and carrots on a large sheet pan, lining each vegetable next to each other. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and gently toss each vegetable in its row to coat. Pour reserved marinade over the vegetables. Remove salmon from the marinade and place fish skin-side down on the pan next to the vegetables. Roast 10 to 12 minutes. If the vegetables are not chopped small enough, they may need more time, just move the fish to a plate and return the pan back in the oven until vegetables reach desired doneness. Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Fall 2021


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A Voice for NASA While a student at South Brunswick High School, Bolivia native Shaneequa Vereen never imagined she’d one day be a live mission commentator on space launches. BY TERESA A. MCLAMB



When SpaceX22 headed to the International Space Station (ISS) in June, space exploration fans around the world heard NASA’s play-by-play from Brunswick County native Shaneequa Vereen. As a public affairs officer at NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, it’s one of her many roles. Born in Ash and reared in Bolivia from the age

of 6 in a blended family, Vereen is the youngest of six girls and two boys. Her parents, Patricia and David Floyd, also grew up in Brunswick County. Vereen graduated from South Brunswick High School and throughout school she knew she would go to college and planned to go to medical school. Fall 2021




“I knew from probably third or fourth grade I had to go to college,” she says. “I wanted a better life and a good job. My dream was I wanted to be a doctor; always a doctor. I knew that in order to do that I would have to go to college.” The space program wasn’t something that ever entered her mind. “I wasn’t the science girl who thought it was my dream to be an astronaut,” she says. “Now kids have YouTube so they learn a lot more about it than what we heard.” When it was time to go to college, Vereen applied to several schools, was accepted at all and visited most. At N.C. State University, she knew she’d found the right place. “I preferred N.C. State because the people were the friendliest,” she says. “I liked the campus. I knew some kids from my high school who were going as well so I thought it might not be so scary.” As an undergraduate, Vereen realized she didn’t like blood. “I realized I can’t be the surgeon from Gray’s Anatomy or bandage a broken arm. I had to change

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North Brunswick Magazine


My main goal is to give back and show students in Brunswick County and little brown girls everywhere that they have options.


course,” she says. An outgoing person who says she likes and is inquisitive about people, Vereen had taken an AP course in psychology at SBHS, and that sparked her interest. She elected to major in psychology, knowing that it could still lead to a career in the medical field. As she approached graduation, graduate school took a back seat to her desire to get out into the real world and start making money. “I had been that poor broke college student on the ramen noodle diet,” she says. “I put the masters on the back burner and went into industry.” At the urging of her best friend, Portia Keyes, who was moving to Houston for a job with NASA, Vereen also moved. “It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,” she says. “I went to see if I could get a job; I had about two months of rent money saved. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.” She moved to Houston in July 2014. Initially working for a contractor that monitored Exxon Mobile in a Texas oil refinery, Vereen honed her human resources skills as an organizational development specialist for a few months before taking another job in market analysis. She also entered the University of Houston’s MBA program, where she would earn the degree plus certificates in Leadership Development and Global Management. Again, at the urging of Keyes, Vereen applied through for NASA’s Pathways internship program. “I was making good money and was good at my job; I wasn’t sure I wanted to start over, but thought NASA could be great,” Vereen says. Soon after her initial interview, she received a rejection email, but “about two weeks later I got a call from Jonathan at NASA, who said, ‘We have an offer for you.’ I told him about the rejection email. He said, ‘That should

not have happened. We want to offer you a job! You’ll start in January.’” Through Pathways, she did rotations in public affairs and education before being hired full time in the public affairs sector of the external relations office. Vereen’s position covers life sciences, which includes all the programs and personnel in the human

health and performance sector, for example the food lab, exercise programs, pre-flight research, flight surgeons and others. She also writes and distributes news releases and oversees websites and social media. “I’m their public affairs officer,” she says. “They might send me a request to highlight the portable ultrasound


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machine they’re using on the space station. I write it up and send it out. I’m not a digital graphics type of person but writing or hosting Facebook Live or moderating a panel. … I sit in on all the interviews to make sure everything is copacetic, that there are no crazy questions.” When a launch occurs, it is usually posted on the NASA app and for the entire 22- to 23-hour course. NASA employees, including Vereen, provide commentary. In early summer 2021, Vereen was lead commentator on one launch and second shift commentator on the second, both of which sent four people to the space station. Johnson Space Center has an international space center flight control room, but the launches are from Cape Canaveral. For most launches, there are commentators from Johnson and Canaveral working together. If a commercial enterprise, such as Space X, is involved, there would be additional commentators from their headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where they broadcast from Launches may also be found on YouTube. When Space X is involved, the commentators work 12-hour shifts through a pre-launch show, the launch, the voyage of 22 or 23 hours, then docking. SpaceX and Boeing are partners with NASA in the commercial crew program. “They’re the two ways in America that NASA will get to the space station,” Vereen says. During June 2021, several space walks were done at the International Space Station in order to do repairs and to add solar arrays, which were taken up by SpaceX22. Vereen commentated that and also about the maneuvers and the robotics involved in docking. “I never saw myself doing half the things I’m doing now,” Vereen says. “I typically describe myself as an outgoing introvert, so public speaking was never at the top of my list for jobs.

It turns out my mom was right; I do have the gift of gab and people want to see and listen to me communicate for NASA. I will say that I have been very blessed thus far in my career. I do not know what the future holds, but I hope and pray I continue to succeed. My main goal is to give back and show students in Brunswick County and little brown girls everywhere that they have options.” 

Want to listen? To listen to live commentary when a launch occurs, download the NASA app or go to

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See You on the Ice Coastal Carolina Curling Club hopes to open its own 11,000-square-foot facility in Brunswick Forest by next fall. BY HEATHER LOWERY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK STEELMAN


Curling enthusiasts can get excited, because Coastal Carolina Curling Club is coming to Leland! For those of you who don’t know much about curling, or have only caught a glimpse of it on TV, be prepared to get hooked on this increasingly popular sport. “What’s great about curling is that it is a sport anybody

Members of the Coastal Carolina Curling Club, left to right: Barbara Berberich, Krista Myers, Tim Myers and Madge Matteo.

can play,” says Jason Allen, board and building committee member of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Coastal Carolina Curling Club. “It doesn’t matter what skill level you are. You can be anywhere from club level to Olympic level. You don’t need to be athletic, and there are modifications that can be made to help all abilities perform at their best.” Fall 2021




North Brunswick Magazine

For example, Allen knows of a centenarian woman from Vancouver who has made headlines for playing for more than years. What exactly is curling? While there is some discussion as to the origin and date of when people began playing, a form of the game can be evidenced in early paintings, such in a 16th-century painting by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel, in which people are depicted pushing what appear to be stones across a frozen pond. One of its first written mentions was in the form of a recorded game challenge from John McQuhin of Scotland in 1540, and in the 1800s, Scotland was the first to recognize the first curling clubs. Today, it’s an Olympic and Paralympic winter sport and played by men and women all over the world. As for the object of the game, simply put, curling is a sport played on ice in which two teams take turns sliding polished granite stones (weighing approximately 38 to 44 pounds) across the ice toward a target, earning points for proximity. After the stone is pushed into play, players use brooms to warm the ice and thereby help to guide the stone’s trajectory, speed and distance. Not much gear is needed to play. In addition to the club providing curling stones and brooms, a beginner typically wears flat-bottomed sneakers, though rubber slip-on grippers for shoes can be purchased for added traction. More

What’s great about curling is that it is a sport anybody can play. It doesn’t matter what skill level you are. You can be anywhere from club level to Olympic level.


advanced players may choose to use shoes specifically made for curling: right or left-handed shoes with one shoe being a slider (commonly with a Teflon sole) and the other a gripper. Since Coastal Carolina Curling Club’s beginning in 2011, they have enjoyed playing at The Wilmington Ice House, but because of its availability, ice time is limited. When they

heard of a 1.5-acre land deal in Brunswick Forest on Kay Todd Road near The House of Pickleball, they jumped at the possibility of building a facility specifically designated for curling. The club procured funding in July 2020, and while proceedings have been delayed because of COVID setbacks and building supply shortages, they hope to open in the fall of 2022 at the earliest. “We are still fundraising and accepting donations,” Allen says. “We hope to meet our goal very soon.” The new 11,000-square-foot facility will include three sheets of curling, locker rooms, a lounge area and a prep kitchen. With their own building specifically designated to curling, the club will have the capability to offer ice time like they have never been able to previously. Allen sees many exciting opportunities for the future of the club in their new home. Building curling leagues and offering learn-to-curl events is just the beginning. “We will be able to offer day, evening and weekend curling and host corporate events, tournaments and birthday parties,” he says. “We have the possibility to start a juniors program, an after-school program, partner up with schools like UNCW Fall 2021



and be able to work with Wounded Warrior Project like we had in the past.” They may also consider offering prepaid memberships so people will be able to jump right in and start playing. “A goal would be to have up to 90 members,” Allen says. “But our capacity would be about three hundred-ish.” In the club’s new location, the curling season would run from September to May, and in the off season, the mats could be taken up and the facility rented out. “It’s a ‘build it and they will come’ type of project,” Allen says. “It’s one of the fastest-growing sports, and our club is seeing good interest.” The club welcomes newcomers and veterans alike. “I am excited about the diverse demographic and the opportunity to include everyone in the sport of curling. Everyone has a blast once they try it,” Allen says. 

Want to join? For more information about Coastal Carolina Curling Club or how to make a donation, contact Jason Allen at For the latest club happenings, check out their Facebook page @coastalcurling and visit their website at

Club members survey the site of the Coastal Carolina Curling Club’s new location in Brunswick Forest. Above, plans for the new building. 44

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Fall 2021






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A Recipe for Success How Adam Lewis of Backyard Barns and Beyond turned a side hustle into a thriving full-time career. BY DOC LIBERTY



Adam Lewis was a full-time Wilmington police officer in September 2018 when he was approached by the territory manager for Old Hickory Buildings inquiring if he would be interested in becoming an authorized dealer for this area. “I did some research,” Lewis says. “I was very impressed by the quality and craftsmanship built into each wooden building by the Amish and

Mennonite carpenters that construct them and the excellent warranties Old Hickory Buildings provided for their products.” One month later, in October 2018, Lewis had incorporated Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc., obtained a lease on a property in Winnabow, taken delivery of the first buildings and was off and running.

Fall 2021




Much to the delight of Old Hickory Buildings and their territory manager, Jeffrey Shingleton, Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc., achieved membership in the Million Dollar Club their first year in business, all while Lewis was still a full-time Wilmington police officer and he and wife, Angelina, were busy raising two boys and a girl. Native Wilmingtonians, the Lewises relocated to the Winnabow area and settled in. The business was so successful that Lewis resigned as a full-time police officer in October 2020 to focus on expansion (although he is still an auxiliary officer with the Wilmington PD). Lewis credits Angelina’s support for enabling the business success. “Angelina was a special needs teacher at Roger Bacon Academy for seven years,” Lewis says. “She recently stepped away to be a stay-at-home mom, and the Adam Lewis with his office manager and right-hand woman, Dawn Shafer



North Brunswick Magazine


stress that she has relieved from me has allowed me to become even more focused and productive. Everything that I do is for my family.” The two met at church in 2004 and have been married for 11 years. Besides running the business, Lewis has always been an active dad in his children’s lives. He attends dance classes and recitals for his youngest child, daughter Annie Kate, age 3. The boys, Brantley, 11, and Zachary, 8, benefit from their dad’s support and participation in their love of playing baseball and riding dirt bikes. Lewis even found time while a full-time police officer and simultaneously growing the nascent yard barn business to coach Brantley’s baseball team. Why put so much effort into a business when you have an established career as a law enforcement officer? Lewis explains: “The sky is the limit with Backyard Barns and Beyond. I can do so much to secure the future of my family through the affiliations that I have made through the business and in the industry.” Lewis says that Old Hickory Buildings backs their products with some of the best warranties in the business. He admits that the quality of the product and reasonable cost helps sell the buildings. He has sold 1,100 wooden buildings in just three years. The best sellers are the 10’ x 16’ lofted barn and 10’ x 20’ utility shed. But, according to after-market research, Lewis’s customer service is a major factor in customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business. A productsoriented business can only succeed by building these types of consumer relationships.

The sky is the limit with Backyard Barns and Beyond. I can do so much to secure the future of my family.

When customers began asking Lewis to sell metal structures, he again did his homework before affiliating with Steel Buildings and Structures to sell their products in October 2019. “We can provide carports as large as desired, including 20’ tall models that can accommodate




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Class A recreational vehicles, large boats and even 18-wheel tractor-trailer rigs,” Lewis says. “These buildings can also be fully enclosed to create a garage.” Like Old Hickory Buildings, Steel Buildings and Structures provides impressive warranties on their products. Lewis has sold 130 steel structures from Steel Buildings and Structures since October 2019. Lewis admits that he couldn’t keep the business humming and growing without the two women in his life. In addition to Angelina, he relies heavily on his “right hand woman,” Dawn Shafer. Shafer is cherished for “her enthusiasm, attention to detail and customer relations. This is what helps me drive the business. I get constant complements from customers about her,” Lewis says. A neighbor of the Lewises, Shafer was the first employee Lewis hired. Initially intended to handle daily sales and understand the product brochures, she advanced to managing sales, scheduling and acting as the office manager. Lewis has expanded the footprint of Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc. to two additional locations. 

Want to know more? Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc. 6335 Ocean Highway E. Winnabow 3070 Andrew Jackson Highway Leland 6294 Ocean Highway W. Ocean Isle Beach

(910) 240-2276 All three locations are open from 9:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays.

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Fighting Spirit Professional mixed martial artist Derek Brunson not only competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but also teaches the tools of success to the next generation at Brunson’s MMA & Fitness in Wilmington. BY BRIAN WILNER PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ

Fall 2021


f you have found yourself strolling around Independence Mall in Wilmington, you may have noticed Brunson’s MMA & Fitness next to JC Penney. If you walk inside, you will see any number of different martial arts classes on display. That is exactly how owner Derek Brunson wanted his first business to be — easily accessible for the public, especially children. After watching a class, I sat down with Brunson and listened to the story of how he became an MMA sensation and then started his store. Born and raised in Wilmington, Brunson played football, basketball and baseball in his youth. He also loved to watch professional sports. He grew up a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and then the Carolina Panthers. He also watched a lot of professional boxing. “My childhood sports hero was ‘Iron Mike’ Tyson, the


North Brunswick Magazine

youngest boxer to ever win a heavyweight title,” he says. In the seventh grade, Brunson became a cheerleader and continued cheering through his senior year at J.T. Hoggard High School. “Cheerleading helped me to become a better athlete,” he says. “I learned that hard work will pay off. And it gave me the attitude from then on that I always expect to win.” And win he did! Brunson was on a cheerleading team that qualified for the national cheerleading tournament (televised on ESPN) all six years he cheered. They finished in first place every year but one. It wasn’t until his senior year that some friends suggested he should join the school wrestling team. He decided to give it a try. “I lost my first seven matches,” he says. “But every match I learned something new and improved quickly.”

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“ I lost my first seven matches. But every match I learned something new...


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Brunson went on to win 50 matches and placed third in the state! “When I started wrestling, people kept asking me, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I told them all that I just enjoyed the competition,” he says. When he graduated from high school, Brunson was offered a scholarship in cheerleading and in wrestling at the University of North Carolina Pembroke (UNCP). He decided to focus all his energy on wrestling at UNCP. Brunson attributes his success in his younger years to positive reinforcement. “You know, there were always opportunities to get into trouble growing up,” he says. “I remember in the eighth grade there was a volunteer mentoring program. If we had a good week and didn’t get into trouble, then the mentor would bring us lunch and eat with us. The positive reinforcement and extra support made a big difference in getting my act together.” Once in college, Brunson continued to excel at wrestling. He finished with 121 victories, went on to three NCAA regional wrestling titles and made four appearances at the NCAA Division II National Championships. He was named Division II All-American wrestler three times and inducted into the UNCP Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. That’s quite a story for a man who only began wrestling in his senior year of high school. Turns out, this was only the beginning of his story. Three years after graduating from college, in 2010, Brunson made his professional fighting debut in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This combat sport incorporates techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, karate and several other disciplines. He won his first fight in under a minute, and then went on to win his next five matches — all in the first round! This immediate success got him noticed, and he took advantage of it. Two years later, he made his UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) debut in a match

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in which he was a heavy underdog, but won a unanimous decision because of his superior wrestling ability. Since then, Brunson has totaled more than 20 wins and ranked as high as number 7 in the UFC middleweight rankings. He has had matches all over the United States and also in Australia, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand, and the traveling has been fun. “New York City stands out simply because the scenery and energy made it so much fun,” he says. “I also loved Colorado and New Mexico because I love to snowboard.” Nowadays, Brunson leads a busy life. Besides running his own business, he has four children whom he is very active in raising. And he is training as hard as ever for his next match. He says the gym is more than a hobby for him. “After seeing how important it was for me to have a good mentor as a child, I decided as an adult that I wanted to be a

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good role model,” he says. “And I had always wanted to have my own gym. This way I get the opportunity to connect with so many kids and adults. I want them to see that if they are willing to put in the hard work and time into their craft, they can achieve things they never thought they could.” The next time you get by the mall, stop in and say hello to Derek Brunson. Maybe you could watch a class. And wish him luck for his next match. We are looking forward to seeing what the next chapter brings for him! 

Want to go? Brunson’s MMA & Fitness 3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington (910) 782-8212

New Vs. Refurbished Computers Written by The Computer Warriors, Inc. Our clients often ask us if refurbished devices are good or worth buying. We want to dispel the negative association with the term refurbished when it comes to tech. Refurbished devices are more common than you think, and you can often find certified refurbished or open-box deals in stores. This article will explain what these terms mean.

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LOCAL FARMER AJ and Wade Stanaland welcome people to Northwest Land & Cattle with a farm store called The Pack House and private onsite dining events. BY EMORY RAKESTRAW



North Brunswick Magazine



J Stanaland sits in a rocking chair on the front porch of a building dating back to 1898, a previous flagstop into Wilmington. A minivan rolls in, kicking up gravel, and out comes Ms. Faye, here to purchase more sweet corn. It’s a scene reminiscent of a bygone era, yet it’s taking place in 2021. “My grandaddy, he’s 93 and was raised right down the road, then he met my grandma,” AJ says. “He remembers the fish man, the milk man, he sold cattle to an old general store. When I started my business, I wanted it to be like that, where you knew the farmer. I like the old school feel of things.” AJ and her husband, Wade Stanaland, are the owners of Northwest Land & Cattle in northern Brunswick County. They raise cattle and crops on the very land that has been in AJ’s family for five generations. Today there are 130 black Angus cattle grazing, and a new grain bin bar sits center view. The Stanalands have always sold their beef through a subscription service, but when AJ had an idea to add a storefront to Northwest Land & Cattle, she saw potential in an old barn adjacent to her parents’ house. She applied for a grant through the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund, and got it. “Once we received the grant, that got the ball rolling,” she says. “It helped with electricity, heating and air. The old barn was full of old world everything. We found my great grandma’s china in there. We cleaned out the barn and got started.” The Stanalands opened The Pack House in April and welcomed the public with glass-front freezers, fridges and

Top right: AJ Stanaland on the porch at The Pack House, their new farm store at Northwest Land & Cattle.

shelves stocked with provisions. Various cuts of dry-aged, pasture-raised beef like bone-in ribeye, NY strip and filet mignon pack the freezer next to baby back ribs and whole pork belly. For a beef-novice, AJ notes that the old-fashioned process of dry-aging lends a more tender meat — just make sure to let the juices soak after you grill it (and top with steak butter). Most customers came to purchase pre-made hamburger patties, a favorite that goes splendidly well with sweet corn in the summer. Stocked in the shop are a wealth of accompaniments, all of AJ’s favorite things. Her friend Chef Sarah Gore supplies the pimiento cheese and steak butter. A childhood friend who owns Hannah B’s Sweets drops off banana pudding each Fall 2021


Northwest Land & Cattle is partnering with Collective Law to offer styled alfresco picnics on the farm.


North Brunswick Magazine

these people who have been with me for a year buying boxes they’re still my number one?’ So, I planned a customer appreciation party, cooked a whole pig and had a band. I invited the whole subscription list and had about 130 people out here. I told them, ‘If it wasn’t for y’all, I wouldn’t be here.’” But AJ’s farm dreams are just starting. Recent collaborations with Wilmington-based Collective Law, a company offering styled al-fresco dining services and charcuterie boards, has helped her see the farm as something to share.


Friday. Carolina Red BBQ sauce (her husband’s favorite) remains a best-seller alongside Spiceology rubs. Snacks for the road, including Karl Family Farms Jalapeno Pork Sticks, are an easy addition to an overflowing shopping bin. AJ recruited her favorite cocktail subscription, Simple Goodness Sisters, to stock the store with farm-to-glass syrups alongside Campfire Cocktails. Even with the success of The Pack House, AJ continues her box subscriptions, which are currently on a short waitlist. “I wondered, ‘How am I going to tell

“My husband says if you told him two years ago that we’d have people coming out in the cornfield to have a picnic, he wouldn’t have believed you,” she says, laughing. A rustic wood table decorated in a draped linen tablecloth, proper dishware and candles set the mood and made for a swoon-worthy Instagram post, one AJ captioned, “Date night, girls’ night or private meetings! The

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Fall 2021


The Pack House is stocked with Northwest Land and Cattle’s beef, along with other goods like produce, spices, rubs, sauces and cocktail supplies.

Northwest Land & Cattle 5014 Northwest Road, Leland (910) 465-9713 The Pack House farm store is open Fridays 2 to 6 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm. Bring a cooler and stock up on meats and other provisions. Follow Northwest Land & Cattle on Instagram @northwest_land_and_ cattle and Facebook @ northwestlandandcattle to find out about special events on the farm. 64

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deer and wild turkeys won’t tell your secrets.” As travelers and locals seek more authentic opportunities to connect with the land they’re visiting or call home, AJ keeps an eye on the market, shifting her strategy to be more than a farm and store, but an experience. Crafting an ethereal scene others can enjoy and share is at the forefront of her present and future. “Working with Collective Law, you can do picnics here and buy a beef box,” AJ says. “I’m going to set up some spots where you can have a fire and cook your own burgers. It will be burgers and charcuterie boards, picnic style.” Inspired by a honeymoon trip to Montana, AJ also wants to add four or five glamping spots around the farm. While travel trends shift to locally sourced adventures revolving around food, she believes the sustainability of her product hits her target market for millennials, as she is one herself. “A majority of my customers are younger and care about the animals and where their food comes from,” she says. “There are a lot of farmers doing it the correct way. I want my cows to have a great life. My pigs are laying under the sprinklers right now. It’s funny, in the evenings me and the kids walk to see the pigs. They’re so happy, it makes you feel good about what you’re raising to feed other families.” AJ already has visitors inquiring about renting the space for bridal luncheons and special events. New plans are on the horizon, including live music in the fall. “I think for the farm to stay here and us to pass it down, you have to invite the public to come and enjoy it,” AJ says. In her mind, sustainability exists in what will continue to thrive. She hopes one day her children, who might be sixth generation farmers, have something to grow into while discovering their own dreams along the way. 

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Calm, Cool & Collected Unwined at the Square blends yoga, wine and beer for the ultimate adult time out.

Stressful day? Maybe hit a yoga class. Or grab a glass of wine with friends. As it turns out, you can do both! Unwined on the Square brings the perfect pairing to the Gateway District of Leland: vino and yoga. Yogis and oenophiles (wine lovers, of course) alike can satisfy their two favorite passions under one roof, thanks to Amy and Brian Burkhardt, proprietors of the new wine lounge and yoga studio combo in Harrington Square and founders of the original Unwined on White in Wake Forest. Unwined on White just celebrated its third anniversary, and the Burkhardts are excited to bring the concept to the North Brunswick area. “Both wine and yoga provide a sense of relaxation and a sense of community,” Amy Burkhardt says. “And with the amazing growth in Leland, we felt the area



Yogis and oenophiles alike can satisfy their two favorite passions under one roof.


Fall 2021



they missed being able to go to her tournaments. Not to mention, they were tired of the cold winters in Ohio. So, they made the move to North Carolina. Not wanting their daughter to feel as if they completely moved in on her, they chose Wake Forest as their destination. At the time, Jana was finishing her yoga training. “It all just made sense,” Amy says. After some soulsearching and a business plan, the Burkhardts felt the

from local breweries that produce quality beverages while incorporating organic and sustainable practices. The wines that Unwined offers are varied and not limited to any one region. Amy and Brian have traveled to destinations like Italy and France to experience their wine cultures firsthand. Amy completed her Level 1 certification for Master Sommelier. So, what can customers expect at the Harrington Square


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Unwined concept would be a valuable addition to the revitalization efforts of the downtown Wake Forest area, which already had a brewery. Though Amy admits starting a business from scratch “resembles jumping off a cliff,” she says doing it with your family makes it much easier. “You certainly don’t feel like you’re alone in the process,” she says. As a family-owned business, Unwined has a mission of working with other small family businesses. The boutique wines are hand-selected from small family vineyards from across the country, several of which are organic practices. “Being designated organic is a tough process for smaller vineyards to get,” Amy says. “Organic is important to a lot of our customers.” Unwined also sources a large percentage of their beers


would be conducive for long-term success.” Opened in June of 2018, Unwined on White in the downtown historic district of Wake Forest started as a journey to incorporate Amy’s love for wine and wellness, Brian’s fondness for craft beer, their daughter’s passion for yoga and their commitment to each other as a family. For years, Amy and Brian had discussed starting a business together, possibly something wine-related, but had no concrete plans. Until the idea for Unwined was hatched. Unwined on White was an opportunity for a career change. “I practiced law for many years in Ohio and just felt like I didn't want to continue in law,” Amy says. “I was looking for something more relaxing and enjoyable.” Additionally, one of their two daughters, Jana, was playing collegiate golf for Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., and



location in Leland? The environment is very welcoming and relaxing no matter what purpose you’re coming to them for — yoga, wine or both. “Yoga is a great way to start your day, and wine is a great way to end it!” Amy says. As for yoga, classes are offered seven days a week, with a mixture of instruction to fit everybody’s practice needs — from beginnerfriendly to challenging — including power flow, yoga sculpt and gentle yoga and meditation. Jana is the director of yoga for both Unwined locations. She is a RYT-200 certified instructor who began practicing yoga at an early age to help improve her figure skating. In addition, she is also a science and math teacher at Rolesville Middle School. Unwined on the Square will also serve as a venue for a wide range of fun and educational events including wine tastings, wine pairings,

wine classes, yoga workshops and live music. “We love teaching people about different wines as well as local craft beers,” Amy says. “We’ll have complimentary opportunities for people to try different things they may not have tried and hear from the representatives.” The space will play host to live music featuring local performers and private events for weddings, meetings, baby and bridal showers and birthday parties. “Unwinded on White has a successful three-year history of bringing people together through wine and yoga, and we plan to recreate all of those things here in our Leland location as well,” Amy says. “We’re excited to be part of this community of like-minded merchants and customers and to help build on and continue to foster the important part that locally owned businesses play in the community.” 

Want to go? To follow the progress of Unwined on the Square, visit

Fall 2021



We‘re adding 50’ long covered parking spaces & more climate units

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North Brunswick Magazine


A Brand-New Start Despite opening during a pandemic in 2020, morale is high at the new Town Creek Middle School in Winnabow. BY DENICE PATTERSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL RITENOUR

Town Creek Middle School Principal Jonathan DeBerry and Vice Principal Sonya Oats.

Fall 2021




t was a busy and eventful summer for Dr. Jonathan DeBerry and Dr. Sonya Oates at Town Creek Middle School.

hybrid schedule, in which some students were remote while others were in the classroom two days per week, known as Plan B. Middle schools were able to open the doors full-time to students in March, offering the opportunity for remote or full-time face-to-face learning. “Starting the school year in a remote situation, then moving to a hybrid schedule was filled with obstacles, but once the students returned full time, things were amazing,” DeBerry says. During this tumultuous time, DeBerry and his staff had to constantly review and revise their educational model. “We moved from different

Planning for the 2021–22 school year was a refreshing change from the challenges of opening a brand-new middle school during a global pandemic in August 2020. Principal DeBerry reflects on the inaugural year with enthusiasm: “Even though there were so very many challenges, we had a great start.” Assistant Principal Oates acknowledges there were bumps in the road along the journey, but the entire staff managed their way through the pandemic and came out resilient. “We were able to adapt and persevere despite the learning challenges we faced throughout the pandemic,” she says. DeBerry says it’s because the community is very resilient. “We went in knowing there were going to be challenges because of the pandemic, but our outstanding students and parents made it easier for the teachers to provide the education and start to build those relationships,” he says. Oates agrees. “With this resilience we achieved positive educational and behavioral outcomes while continuing to recognize the importance of the social well-being of our students and staff and maintaining a supportive school environment.” The entire district was challenged with opening schools using a new model of remote learning or Plan C. After a few short weeks, the model changed and doors were opened on a

Starting the school year in a remote situation, then moving to a hybrid schedule was filled with obstacles, but once the students returned full time, things were amazing.


North Brunswick Magazine


Fall 2021



schedules to juggling remote and in-person to changing from part-time to full time in school instruction — and our incredible staff was up to the task.” Oates elaborates, “Being able to maintain three different schedules to accommodate our students and families was demanding on everyone; however, the dedication and compassion displayed by our entire district played a role in motivating our students to continue to press forward and stay on track.” In retrospect, Oates feels one of the school’s greatest successes was how well the teachers remotely delivered instruction. “Our district provided top-notch, comprehensive training on virtual instruction to ensure that learning continued and that we could meet the needs of our students,” she says. DeBerry was relieved when the students were able to participate in sports once again. “Of course, the seasons were abbreviated,” he says, “but this allowed time for students and parents to take their minds off what was going on around them.” He says another of the school’s successes was in giving the students opportunities to be with teachers in school with face-to-face instruction and participation and interaction. The new school was home to 345 students in grades six through eight. In June, the graduating eighth graders celebrated their accomplishments with a drive-through ceremony.


North Brunswick Magazine

“We presented certificates and gift bags for our first alumni class of Coyotes,” DeBerry says. DeBerry and Oates are looking forward to being able to build more relationships with the community to offer additional resources for students, including tutoring and non-academic clubs. “Students have many opportunities for athletics and academics, so we want to continue to work with parent groups and local church groups and community affiliated groups to offer more,” DeBerry says. The 2021–22 school year, with close to 400 students, is off to a promising start. DeBerry and Oates are building more relationships with the students, families and surrounding community. “I enjoy hearing students laughing in the hallways and being able to say hello to them as I visit classrooms and have face to face discussions,” Oates says. “We are continuing to ensure academic success for each student in our beautiful, still brand-new school.” When they opened the doors to the new school year on August 23, DeBerry and Oates were front and center with a warm and personal welcome to their new and returning Coyotes. Town Creek Middle School is at 6370 Lake Park Drive in Winnabow. You can visit them at and facebook. com/TCMSCoyotes/. 

Fall 2021



Shelton M. Perkins, one of Leland’s own, makes it to the Minor Leagues. BY SHEREE K. NIELSEN

In Aberdeen, Maryland, on June 27, 2019, Shelton M. Perkins struck out six batters in two perfect innings at Ripken Stadium. The next day Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) Tweeted: “Best start to a pro career ever??? #Orioles prospect Shelton Perkins struck out all six batters he faced in his Minor League debut with @IronBirds.” You can bet the Leland native and North Brunswick High School graduate was excited, as were all the Brunswick County fans following his debut in Minor League Baseball. A current player with Baltimore Orioles’ Minor League affiliate Aberdeen IronBirds, Perkins has been involved in baseball most of his life. At the age of 4, he started on a 76

North Brunswick Magazine

tee-ball team with Dixie Youth Baseball in Leland. His grandfather, Elijah Perkins, a Dixie Youth legend, coached just about everybody in Leland. Elijah and his wife, Jeannette, are legendary for their coaching history and the snow cone truck they owned. Perkins admits that in the early years he was more interested in forging friendships than the baseball aspect of tee-ball. “The coaches just wanted us to have fun and that’s what we did,” Perkins says. Even today, some of the teammates he met as a child are his best friends.



Fall 2021


North Brunswick Magazine


Perkins’ father, Shelton Perkins Sr., worked long shifts as a chemical operator, but still found the time to throw the ball with Perkins and his friends in the backyard, where they had a batting cage. “I think my dad wanted it more than me,” Perkins says of his future in baseball. “He made tough decisions that I didn’t understand back then. He’s my hero.” Perkins’ first baseball memory involved the Dixie Youth League season opening ceremonies. Etched forever in his mind is the carnival-like atmosphere in which the townspeople of Leland congregated behind the old post office. “The smells of the festival were incredible — hot dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, popcorn,” Perkins remembers. “Excitement was in the air. Tents were set up for photos of the teams as well as local businesses. Each town had a queen for its Little League team — a young girl around age 12, usually someone’s little sister dressed up in a princess outfit.” In Dixie Boys, Perkins made the All Star team, which went on to win the World Series when he was 14. While attending North Brunswick High School and playing baseball, along with football and basketball, Perkins was recruited to play baseball by several colleges, including East Carolina University (ECU). He was drawn to

ECU because of a baseball coach named Billy Goodwin. Unfortunately, Coach Goodwin left East Carolina the next year, and Perkins was cut from the team

by another coach who didn’t see what Coach Goodwin had seen in him. Perkins attended one year at Pitt Community College and later

transferred to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he graduated with a major in recreation management and a minor in business. After getting cut from the ECU baseball team, Perkins was distraught and didn’t care to play baseball any longer. But he came to realize, perhaps from his father’s lifelong advice about always turning lemons into lemonade, that there were other options.

Orioles’ Minor League affiliates. The entire process of the draft happened very quickly, Perkins says. The first round of the draft was televised, and Perkins got calls from several teams, but the offers weren’t that great. On the second day of the draft, he wasn’t confident he had any chance of being selected. With still no phone call after the 15th round, Perkins was attending a family gathering when he received a call from the Baltimore

Internalizing his anger, Perkins says he worked his butt off not to prove the ECU staff wrong, but to prove himself right. He thanks ECU for inspiring him to be the player he is today. “Everything in life shapes us into the person we are,” he says. “The experience transformed me into the person I am. I’ve learned from each and every step along the way. I love the relationships baseball builds.” Perkins dreamed of being drafted by a Minor League Baseball team, and luckily, he got that chance in 2019 when he participated in the Minor League draft with the Baltimore

Orioles organization. “They asked me, ‘Is this money good enough?’ and I answered yes immediately,” Perkins says. “I browsed Twitter and within minutes their post read, ‘Shelton M. Perkins, 16th round, Baltimore Orioles, 16th pick.’ It made me wonder if I accepted too quickly!” After being drafted, Perkins flew to Sarasota, Florida, to take his physical, sign paperwork and attend spring training. From there he was sent to the Aberdeen IronBirds in June of 2019. “Everyone was really close in age and looking to making a name for themselves,” Perkins says. “Friendships

happened naturally from sitting in the bullpen and long road trips.” One of Perkins’ close friendships is Jake Lyons. “We’re opposites. I’m 5’10’ and 215 pounds. He’s 6’6 and 300 pounds,” Perkins says. “He’s still my roommate and best friend.” Perkins was assigned to the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Low A Affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles after spring training in May 2021. Then, on April 20, 2021, he was called up to Aberdeen IronBirds, which is now High A. His position with the Aberdeen IronBirds is a right-handed closer — pitching last. The slide is his best pitch at 82 to 83 mph, and his fast throw clocks in at 92 to 94 mph. “A closer has an attitude that they are here to put the game away,” Perkins says. “Once I come in, the game is over. My pitching method — not too high, not too low. I live for the moment. I hope that doesn’t sound too arrogant, but I’m here to get the job done.” Of course, Perkins, now age 24, has dreams of making it to the big leagues and becoming one of the best. But after his career in baseball, he has aspirations of building a sports facility in Leland and training and coaching kids in baseball. “I feel like I have tons of knowledge to give back to the guys coming behind me,” he says. Perkins’ journey through baseball has been inspired by the scripture Luke 12:48: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” “It means to me that if you are blessed with talents, you have expectations to meet,” he says. “Do what’s required to work hard and do the necessary things in order to accomplish your goals. My dad instilled that verse into me at a young age.” Perkins also says his experiences have taught him to be humble. “You need to be able to make fun of yourself, and roll with the punches,” he says.  Fall 2021


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A D g’s Life Dogs have it great in Leland, thanks to an abundance of dog-friendly businesses and services. BY ANNESOPHIA RICHARDS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ


t’s no secret that Americans love their pets, and Leland-area dog owners are certainly no exception. As one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, Brunswick County continues to welcome more residents of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties to its coastal communities. And there’s good news for the area’s many dog lovers: From restaurants to parks to a variety of pup-centric services and offerings, Leland is brimming with dog-friendly places sure to get those tails wagging!

Outdoor Dining

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite, a casual meal or to share a few drinks with friends, Leland has a variety of dining options that welcome dogs on their outdoor patios. One such place is The Joyce, located in the Villages at Brunswick Forest. Known as Leland’s friendly neighborhood Irish Pub, The Joyce offers a wide selection of traditional homemade Irish dishes and a broad range of beer. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the patio, and they are as well at Shuckin Shack Oyster Bar right across the street.

Specializing in fresh steamed and raw seafood, Shuckin Shack serves up an extensive menu of delicious food and cocktails in a casual, furry-friendly atmosphere. The Villages at Brunswick Forest is also home to Pizzettas Pizzeria, a restaurant dedicated to serving traditional and savory Italian dishes to the Leland community since 2012. Dog owners can sit outside on the patio to enjoy Pizzettas’ renowned specialty pizzas and pasta dishes. If you’re in the mood for traditional American cuisine, head

Fall 2021


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over to Local’s Tavern on U.S. Highway 17 within the Cross Creek Commons shopping plaza. Here, pups can tag along while owners enjoy cold beer and tasty food on the outdoor patio. For a taste of regional American seafood and true Southern hospitality, guests with leashed dogs are welcome to sit out on the patio at Cape Fear Seafood Company, located at the Village Shoppes at Waterford. This award-winning restaurant offers everything from shrimp burgers to freshcatch saltimbocca. For coffee-loving dog owners, Leland is also home to two Port City Java locations, one at Waterford and the other within the Villages at Brunswick. Both locations offer locally roasted coffee and baked goods and have patio seating to accommodate man’s best friend.

Dog Parks In addition to its wide array of dog-friendly restaurants, the Leland area also offers residents and their canine companions a variety of recreational areas and green spaces to enjoy together. Located off U.S. Highway 17, Town Creek District Park consists of 35 acres containing ball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds and a dedicated off-leash dog park where pups can socialize and run free. Head over to Founders Park, formerly known as Leland Municipal Park, which is the town’s first park and is located at 113 Town Hall Drive. Here visitors can enjoy nearly 8 acres of green space, picnic tables, benches, a gazebo, playground and a 0.6-mile paved multi-use path perfect for dog walks. Leland is also home to Northwest District Park, located at1937 Andrew Jackson Highway. Dog owners can enjoy a bit of fresh air while exploring this 35-acre park with

their pup, which includes multiple sports fields, tennis courts, four picnic shelters, a playground and 8 acres of green space perfect for a game of fetch or frisbee toss. There’s also Brunswick Nature Park, a 911-acre nature preserve located off River Road in Winnabow. Dogs are welcome to join their owners and explore the many trails perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Visitors can also enjoy the scenic viewing platforms overlooking the wetlands and vistas or explore the waterways using the park’s kayak/canoe launch site. Grab the leash and take your dog on a stroll along the Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville. Located opposite the western banks of Eagles Island on the Brunswick River off N.C. Highway 133, Riverwalk Park encompasses 28 acres and includes a fishing pier, educational pavilion, observation deck, an over-marsh waterfront boardwalk and a picturesque 2/3-mile woodland walking trail.

Fall 2021



Drive-Throughs There’s nothing a dog loves more than to take a drive around town with their owner and spend the day side by side. That’s what makes the dog-friendly drive-throughs around town so wonderful. Most banks have dog biscuits ready and waiting to hand out to Leland’s four-legged passengers at the drive-up window. If your pup has a sweet tooth, take a trip over to Starbucks and ask for a “puppuccino” to be added to your order. This delicious, dog-friendly treat is actually just a small cup of whipped cream. Not to be outdone, Leland’s Dunkin Donuts also offers free small cups of whipped cream for canine companions — just ask for one the next time you visit their drive-through with your pooch in tow.

service grooming. Dog owners will feel confident that their pups are in good hands with amenities such as live webcams, daily progress reports, a bone booth available for a call from mom and dad, and even movie nights every Saturday featuring animal stars and treats for the furry moviegoers. On Ploof Road just off U.S. Highway 17, Leland Pet Resort provides convenient pet care with a focus on fun and safety. Dog owners can drop their pups off for a day of play in the resort’s climate-controlled indoor play yards or shaded outdoor yards with artificial turf and splash pools. Overnight accommodations include tempered glass suites and elevated beds to make sure your pup feels comfortable while you’re away. The resort also offers a full range of grooming services to satisfy even the stinkiest of pooches.

Doggie Daycares and Boarding Whether it’s for a few hours, several days or even a few weeks, leaving your pooch in the care of others can be stressful. That’s why Leland’s dog-loving residents will be happy to know there are two great options when it comes to pet boarding and daycare facilities. Magnolia’s Bed and Biscuit on Village Road is a luxury pet resort and daycare that offers overnight boarding and full-

Training Beth Sheperd, owner of Salty Dogs Training, offers private lessons in Brunswick County and group classes at Leland Pet Resort. Her training is designed to meet the needs of each individual dog, from puppy basics to agility to competition obedience or just learning how to be a great family member. Classes are focused on building positive relationships between owners and their pups.

Healthy Pets, Happy People. }   


Mon - Fri 8am - 6pm

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Veterinarians From routine wellness checks to more pressing medical needs, Leland’s animal hospitals provide top-notch veterinary care to man’s best friend. Since 1991, Leland Veterinary Hospital at 508 Village Road has served northern Brunswick County as a state-of-the-art medical facility offering preventative care, surgical and dental services, pain management, grooming and more. Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital on Brunswick Village Road welcomes dogs, cats and even exotics and offers preventative care, digital radiology and in-house lab work, behavior

modification and boarding. Capeside Animal Hospital at 58 Waterford Business Center Way is a full-service facility providing wellness and prevention services, dentistry, surgery, diagnostics, boarding and grooming.

Pet Adoption Agencies Not a dog owner yet but looking for a furry companion to add to your family? These Brunswick County animal adoption agencies can help you find your new best friend: Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services at 429 Green Swamp Road in Supply, Paws Place Dog Rescue at 242 George II Highway in Winnabow and Southport - Oak Island Animal Rescue (SOAR) at 3376 St. Charles Place in Southport.

Grooming Leland’s canine residents are always looking good and smelling fresh, thanks to these local grooming facilities. Peachy Kleen Grooming at 112 Village Road NE in Leland, Splish Splash Dog Wash at 2013 Olde Regent Way Suite 180 in Leland, Sit. Stay. Spa. At 110 Old Fayetteville Road NE in Leland and Petsense Leland at 1215 West Gate Drive in Leland. 

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A New Option in Healthcare PHOTO BY BILL RITENOUR

Brunswick Surgery Center in Leland is the first dedicated orthopedic and spine outpatient center in the region.


While COVID forced closures and brought many businesses to a standstill, some businesses unassumingly and successfully opened their doors for the first time amid the uncertainty. One such place is Brunswick Surgery Center, LLC in Leland. Located in The Villages at Brunswick Forest on the first floor of the EmergeOrtho building, it is the first orthopedic and spine outpatient surgical center in the region. In 2016 the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services conducted a study and identified a need for another ambulatory operating room in the area. As a result, in 2017 a team of 15 EmergeOrtho orthopedic surgeons and pain management physicians took on the task and received permission to begin the center. Brunswick Surgery Center (BSC) opened in the summer of 2020 as another option for patients considering orthopedic surgery. Although BSC is its own entity, all the physicians are within the EmergeOrtho practice. In conjunction with EnergeOrtho’s orthopedic offices,

Fall 2021



physical therapy, occupational therapy and pain management services on the remaining floors, the building houses a comprehensive orthopedic center. Brunswick Surgery Center accepts most major insurance plans and specializes in procedures for joint replacements, spine, shoulder, elbow, arm, hand, wrist, hip, knee, foot, ankle, sports medicine, cartilage restoration and orthopedic trauma injuries. “We fully comply with all the state guidelines and hold the AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care) and provide care for patients not just in Brunswick, but from all over the surrounding counties,” says Anna Weaver, MSN, RN,CNOR and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Administrator. “We have about 17,000 square feet with 15 beds for pre-op and PACU (Post-Anesthesia

Care Unit) with one operating room and two procedure rooms. All three rooms are identical as far as the equipment and technology. The center has brand-new state-of-the-art radiology equipment and instrumentations.” Brunswick Surgery Center shows its dedication to its patients through extensive before, during and after surgery care to include planning, educating and guiding individuals and their families through each step. “In working with EmergeOrtho, and once a case is scheduled, we immediately are in contact with the patient,” Weaver says. “We ask presurgery questions and make sure they are an appropriate candidate for an outpatient surgery center.” Weaver adds that there is a lot of communication prior to surgery. “For

example, with joint replacement patients, the nurses ask all kinds of questions, such as how many steps are in your house, are you upstairs, downstairs…? They continue to do follow-up calls to patients at home after surgery. We are quality focused. We make sure the patient’s questions are fully answered.” Brunswick Surgery Center offers numerous other benefits to the community, including same-day surgery. “The differences here are the smaller environment, the very focused, qualified staff, and our patient- and family-oriented practices,” Weaver says. The 17,000-square-foot Brunswick Surgery Center offers 15 beds for preand post-op, one operating room and two procedure rooms, all with new, state-of-the-art equipment.



North Brunswick Magazine



Scott Q. Hannum, MD (Adult Joint Reconstruction) BSC, Anna Weaver (MSN, RN, ASC Administrator) and Jessica Steele (BSN, RN, ASC Clinical Director)

Brunswick Surgery Center Medical Director Dr. Scott Hannum says that today most orthopedic surgery can be performed safely as an outpatient surgery. “The surgical techniques are less invasive,” he says. “Combined with advances in safer anesthesia and new technologies, we can return patients home the same day after surgery.” For patients who worry about risks, Hannum puts their minds at ease: “Many studies and our own experience has shown a decrease in complications and readmissions to the hospital with outpatient surgery. As a result, there has been a tremendous need in the region for an outpatient option for patients to get their orthopedic care. With most health plans, the cost of the surgery is always less at the surgery center; combine that with a reduction in infection risk and complications and it equals the best value for patients.”

When it comes to their staff, BSC has a team of highly qualified dedicated professionals. “We have assembled a team of fellowship trained surgeons, the region's top anesthesia group, and a hand-picked group of nurses and surgical technicians from all the area's hospitals for our team at BSC,” Hannum says. “We have the region's top fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons. In total joint replacement, our surgeons (myself included) performed the 10th most Medicare joint replacements in the county in 2019. That experience carries over to the outpatient center, allowing us to use our experience to provide exceptional care and outcomes for same day joint replacement. We are now taking that same experience in spine, sports medicine and hand and shoulder surgery to the outpatient center. Over the next five years, outpatient orthopedic surgery will be the standard of care for 50 percent of all the surgeries we perform.” BSC will keep a pulse on the future and constantly strive to continue

optimal orthopedic care for the community. The team is committed to employing cutting-edge technology for the benefit of their patients; for example, they recently added two robotic systems (the Zimmer ROSA robot and the Stryker MAKO robot) to their outpatient joint replacement program. “We are always evaluating and looking to add the latest advanced technology,” Weaver says. “Simply put,” Hannum concludes, “I expect Brunswick Surgery Center to be the number one outpatient orthopedic center in the Southeast in the coming years. We will expect top performance and outcomes in every area of orthopedic surgery to provide the best care for the region's patients.” 

Want to check it out? Brunswick Surgery Center The Villages at Brunswick Forest, 1168 East Cutlar Crossing, Suite 101, Leland (910) 660-4600 Fall 2021


Your Dream Home is in Our Showroom Lighting | Appliances | Kitchen & Bath Browse online or visit one of our storefronts today and discover all the amazing deals at Shallotte Electric.

4900 Main St Shallotte 4871 Southport-Supply Road SE Southport   (910) 754-6000


North Brunswick Magazine


North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce 2021 Annual Awards Dinner  North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Awards held its annual awards dinner at WWAY Event Center in Leland on July 28. Middle of the Island Restaurant catered the awards dinner, which is held each year to honor outstanding businesses and people in North Brunswick County. The chamber represents the economic interests of Brunswick County, Wilmington and the surrounding communities, encouraging growth and economic progress and helping out with the Excellence in Education scholarship program for Brunswick County students.

New Chamber Member of the Year Leland Smoke House’s Jordan Hummel

Business of the Year College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving’s Jeff and Camile Moss

Brenda Bozeman and Non-Profit Organization of the Year Brunswick Family Assistance’s Stephanie Bowen

Adam Clark and Entrepreneur of the Year Katie Samsel

Rising Star Youth Award winner Rogan Little and Dana Fisher PHOTOS BY BILL RITENOUR

Suzanne West and Young Professional of the Year Ryan Huffman

Milestone award winners Scott and Connie Reeves with Emily Miller

Martha Jackson and Woman of the Year Suzanne West

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce also voted in new officers for its upcoming year: Rocco Campagna, Kevin Briggs, Marcus Woodburn, Karen Coyle, Jeff Moss, Adam Clark, Emily Miller, Rita Tatum, April Scott, Nick Leger, Jason Gaver, Zach Drennan, Susan Cruse, Mackenzie Loveall and Sam Puschaver. Fall 2021




Leland Under The Lights Car Show  North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce held its 17th Annual Leland Under the Lights Car Show on August 21 in the Lowes Foods parking lot in Brunswick Forest. This event benefits the chamber and its education/scholarship funds. In addition to cars and trucks, the show featured vendors, food and entertainment.

Groundbreaking for Town of Belville’s Brunswick Riverwalk Park Expansion



North Brunswick Magazine

 The Town of Belville held a groundbreaking ceremony at the NCDOT Bridge Maintenance Facility on July 16. The event celebrated the town’s cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which enables Belville to extend the park’s boardwalk more than a half-mile to the north to connect with future development and a new downtown Belville off of Old River Road. The project is the first to be conducted as part of Belville’s Vision 2030 Plan. The first piece of the Vision 2030 Plan is the extension of Brunswick Riverwalk Park. NCDOT’s investment provides the opportunity to lengthen the Riverwalk trail to the north toward US 74/76 and integrate it with other recreational components and a riverfront, mixed-use development to create a new and vibrant downtown Belville. For additional information, see


Pioneer Strategies’ 20th Anniversary Celebration  Pioneer Strategies, a public relations and


marketing communication firm based in Brunswick County, recently held a ribboncutting ceremony celebrating 20 years in business. Held at Pioneer Strategies’ office in Leland, the event was co-hosted by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce, Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. Brunswick County native Frank Williams founded the firm in August 2001 while living in Raleigh and incorporated it on September 11, 2001. A 1988 graduate of North Brunswick High School and 1993 graduate of N.C. State University, Williams moved Pioneer Strategies to Brunswick County at

the end of 2008. “It’s hard to believe we’ve been in business 20 years,” Williams says. “I’m grateful to our clients, referring partners and strategic partners for helping us reach this milestone, and I’m excited about the foundation we have in place to kick off another successful 20 years.”

Fall 2021


Yes! We accept that insurance. Unlike most practices, Carolinas Oral & Facial Surgery Center is in network for an extensive number of insurance plans. Find your insurer on our website,, and call 910.762.2618 for an appointment with one of our specialty-trained surgeons.



Ameritas BCBS • Federal Employee Plan • State Employee Plan • Cigna Dental • Delta Dental • Military Retiree Plan • Guardian

P L A N S :




TriCare (active duty)

United Concordia Participating Dental Networks:


Connection Dental

Mark E. Bufalini, DMD, MD Michael S. Booth, DDS



Wilmington, Jacksonville & Whiteville


North Brunswick Magazine

218153 cofsc insurance ad-nbm/sbm.indd 1

6/5/18 4:51 PM

Angie Wilkie

Business Profile

Keller Williams Realty



ave you been thinking about buying a dream home on the southeastern North Carolina coast? Are you looking for the perfect place to start a business in the fastest-growing area in the state? Angie Wilkie with Keller Williams Realty in Wilmington has just what you need to make your dreams come true. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, and a graduate of Appalachian State University, Wilkie started her real estate career in the Triad in 2001. Recently she has expanded her business to include serving Brunswick, Pender and New Hanover counties. The proud mother of two (and soon to be a grandmother) says it has been the perfect career path. “I realized many years ago that selling homes is my passion,” she says. “I knew that I could make it an amazing life experience for potential buyers because I loved helping people find the house they love.” Her passion for real estate has shown in her results. She has won numerous awards through the years, from Rookie of the Year when she started to achieving the Chairman’s Circle for the last seven years. Her career sales total is more than $250 million. Whether you are looking to buy a home on the beach, the Intracoastal Waterway or inland, Wilkie has a choice of many listings, and making her clients happy is her top priority. “Client satisfaction and customer service are crucial,” she says. “It’s my responsibility to make the transaction as seamless as possible and the experience exciting.” In her free time, Wilkie likes enjoying this area as much as her customers, hanging out on the beach with friends and boating on the Intracoastal Waterway. She also loves to travel, and in the fall, it’s football on Saturdays and Sundays. Go Mountaineers!

Angie Wilkie Keller Williams Realty (910) 777-7945

Feels Good To Get Back With Friends & Family Create the Perfect Backyard Venue 910.769.2818

Lawn Care


Landscape Management

Turf Medic Lawn & Landscape, Inc. Email:

Fall 2021



North Brunswick Business Expo North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual expo on July 24 at Leland Cultural Center.

Willie McRae

Nick Hahn and Krysa Robertson

Gage Herring and Daniel Bostic

Kathy Denlinger and Tiffany Graham

Amber Gillette and Stacy Lavallee

Ron and Rocco Campagna


Jesse Bessette and Crystal Ashley

North Brunswick Magazine

Brooke Skipper and Crystal Martin

Katie Moore and Jobana Semones


Karen Wrenn and Rusty Snyder

Timothy Horrell with sons Asher and Trey


Phone# Page#


Phone# Page#

4ever24fit................................................................................910-399-4760 75

Legacy Homes by Bill Clark............................................... 910-363-1682 80

AA Self Storage................................................................... 910-408-1600 70

Leland Ace Hardware......................................................... 910-383-6688 65

Advanced Primary Care.................................................... 910-641-8640 IBC

Leland Smoke House.........................................................910-228-5008 65

Aesthetic Dentistry.............................................................. 910-371-5965 9 ATMC........................................................................................... 844-755-1814 38 Ball Hog Dog Training Academy............................................................... 94 Bianchi Brickyard Supply.................................................. 910-454-4445 4 BlueWave Dentistry............................................................. 910-383-2615 BC Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation........... 910-754-4391 24 Brunswick Forest................................................................. 910-239-3786 93

Leland Veterinary Hospital...............................................910-371-3440 14 Local’s Tavern......................................................................... 910-769-1289 55 Lockwood Folly Country Club.........................................910-842-5666 51 McPherson’s Acme General...........................................910-655-4006 55 Mulch & More......................................................................... 910-253-7663 4 New Hanover Regional Medical Center..................... 910-342-3400 2

Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital......................... 910-777-2107 84

Niche. Décor & Gifts........................................................... 910-769-8839 45

Capeside Animal Hospital................................................. 910-383-2100 63

North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.................910-383-0553 82

Carolinas Oral and Facial Surgery.................................. 910-762-2618 94

North Brunswick Chiropractic ........................................ 910-371-1200 12

Cherubini Orthodontics.......................................................910-371-2323 51

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

Coastal Insurance................................................................. 910-754-4326 26

PC Solutions............................................................................. 910-371-5999 90

Coastal Integrative Health.................................................910-408-1778 20

PODS..........................................................................................910-452-0322 14

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage........................... 910-371-1181 13 Community Association Management Services.......888-798-2624 57 CommWell Health................................................................ 877-935-5255 63 Compass Pointe.....................................................................888-717-6468 11 Complete Dental Leland..................................................... 910-663-1223


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


Cucalorus Film Festival.................................................................................


Curley Implants & General Dentistry........................... 910-463-2267 5 Domin & Schwartz Real Estate Group.........................910-202-3638 57 EmergeOrtho.......................................................................800-332-3800 15 Farm Bureau Insurance......................................................... 910-371-2111 75

P.T.’s Olde Fashioned Grille............................................ 910-399-6808 51 Rhodes Law Offices, PLLC................................................910-383-3610 55 RJB Tax Associates, LLC................................................... 910-338-3001 65 Robert G. Merz, CPA, P.C.................................................. 910-383-6644 45 Sandpiper Pediatrics......................................................... 910-207-0777 45 Sean Skutnik, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage............................................................910-279-1016 66 Seaside Wellness of Shallotte.........................................910-754-2273 86 Seidokan Karate.....................................................................910-616-7470 46 Shallotte Electric Stores................................................. 910-754-6000 90

First Bank................................................................................. 910-383-3955 40

Signature Wealth Strategies............................................910-371-0366 86

Four Seasons Dry Cleaners.............................................. 910-859-8394 80

Smithfield’s Chicken N Bar-B-Q..................................... 910-371-6900 49

Franklin Rouse — State Farm Insurance...................... 910-371-5446 39

Splish Splash Dog Wash.................................................... 910-399-3426 90

Go Store It..................................................................................910-371-2331 66

St. Mary Catholic School..................................................... 910-762-5491 46

H2GO.................................................................................................................... 70

Swell Vision Center............................................................... 910-408-1116 12

Habitat for Humanity ReStore........................................ 910-338-3648 85

Thalian Association Community Theatre..................... 910-251-1788 86

Holmes Security Systems.................................................. 910-483-1196 80 Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries................................. 910-371-2707 66 Intracoastal Realty Corporation.................................... 910-201-2200 19 J & K Home Furnishings.....................................................843-249-1882


Josh London – State Farm Insurance........................... 910-383-1303 39 Katie’s Art & Frame..............................................................910-408-1757 63 Keller Williams — Angie Wilkie Team...........................910-777-7945 95

The Bluffs................................................................................910-383-2820 30 The Committee To Elect Jason Gaver................................................... 37 Triad Power Wash LLC...................................................... 910-599-7798 82 Trinity Wellness Center....................................................910-769-5004 46 Troy Williamson — Cornerstone Home Lending..... 910-262-2613 58 Trusst Builder Group.......................................................... 910-371-0304 34

Kimball’s Furniture & Design Center........................... 910-754-8422 74

Turf Medic................................................................................ 910-769-2818 95

Kingz Custom Concrete Coatings................................ 910-620-8979 38

UPS Store..................................................................................910-383-1401 58

Fall 2021



CAUGHT WITH A PAW IN THE “COOKIE JAR”! Photo captured by Gary Zulauf

HAVE YOU CAPTURED THE MOMENT? If so, email your photos to


North Brunswick Magazine




At Advanced Primary Care - Leland, we focus At Primary - Leland, focus onAdvanced treating our patientsCare as family. Ourwe goal is to on treating our patients as family. Our goal reduce wait times while providing access to is a to reduce wait times while providing access to comprehensive suite of healthcare services.a comprehensive suite of healthcare services. Dr. Chambers brings a wealth of knowledge Dr. Chambers brings aaswealth of knowledge from his background an emergency from his background as an emergency department physician as well as: department physician as well as: • Veteran USAF Flight Surgeon Veteran USAF Flight •• Team Physician USA Surgeon Swimming •• Team Physician USA Swimming Waterman who promotes water safety and •rescue Waterman who promotes water safety and rescue Schedule Your Appointment: Schedule Your Appointment:

910-641-8640 910-641-8640

910-641-8640 910-641-8640 509 Olde Waterford Way Suite 305, Leland, NC 28451 509 Olde Waterford Way Suite 305, Leland, NC 28451

Peter R. Chambers, PhD, DO, FAAFP Peter R. Chambers, PhD, DO, FAAFP Medical Director & Family Physician Medical Director & Family Physician

FAMILY CARE FAMILY CARE SERVICES SERVICES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Annual Wellness Visits Annual Wellness Visits Urgent Care Urgent Care Screenings Screenings Labs Labs Imaging Imaging Preventative Health Preventative Health Chronic Illness Management Chronic Illness Management Open Access Open Access




Life is better with a healthy

David Vurnakes, DMD Chad Biggerstaff, DDS, PharmD

1300 S. Dickinson Drive

In the Villages at Brunswick Forest Call and schedule your appointment today


"BlueWave is the BEST! I love all of them, especially Dr. Vurnakes. My hygienist, Laura, is very gentle and I would highly recommend her. They take great care of my wife and I." - Nino Rosa Actual BlueWave Dentistry Patient

Life-changing. Patient-centered. Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry.

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