North Brunswick Magazine - Winter 2020/21 Issue

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Winter 2020-21 Winter 2020-21

DRIVEN Local teenager WHITNEY MEGGS makes Charger Division racing history.

C O M PL IM E N TA RY

LELAND’S NEW BUSINESSES

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WOMEN IN FIREFIGHTING

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R.H. JENSEN GAME CALLS




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North Brunswick Magazine


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

D FEATURES

FEATURES

WINTER 2020-21 D VOLUME 15, ISSUE 2

84

PHOTO BY MEGAN DEITZ

57 PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

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North Brunswick Magazine

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HEY, BARTENDER!

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NEW IN TOWN

Paul Campbell of Leland fills a catering niche with Mister Bartender mobile mixology service. By Annesophia Richards

Meet the owners and operators of some of North Brunswick County’s new businesses. By Sandi Grigg

70

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Local teenager Whitney Meggs makes Charger Division racing history. By Brian Wilner

84 ANSWERING THE CALL: WOMEN IN FIRE

Whatever the motivation, following in family footsteps or living a childhood dream, women in Leland are stepping up to firefighting service. By Chris G. Layt


A T R U S S T- W O R T H Y B U I L D E R

of Fine Homes

Trusst Builder Group is a locally owned and operated builder and developer of quality homes and neighborhoods throughout New Hanover and Brunswick counties. Since 1992, we have built more than 3,000 homes in the Cape Fear region. Trusst is unique in our ability to build value-priced, custom-quality homes where premier finishes are standard. Our developments include Whiskey Branch, a gated community just outside the Wilmington city limits off of South College Road; and Hearthstone, a charming neighborhood of brick homes off of Lanvale Road in Leland. Trusst is also now building in select neighborhoods in Brunswick Forest, Compass Pointe, Magnolia Greens, Palmetto Creek, Riverlights, RiverSea, St. James Plantation, Waterford and Winding River.

To Learn More Visit

T R U S S T B U I L D E R G R O U P. C O M or Call 9 1 0 . 3 7 1 . 0 3 0 4 Winter 2020-21

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

99

IN EVERY ISSUE

DEPARTMENTS

16 PUBLISHER’S NOTE

35 SPIRITS

18 CONTRIBUTORS 21 WHAT’S HAPPENED

What’s been going on around town.

29 SOUTHBOUND

Finds in the Winter 2020-21 edition of South Brunswick Magazine.

32 ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

47 ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR

Hot Buttered Rum By Sandi Grigg

Outdoorsmen and collectors flock to local craftsman Ralph “The ‘Stache” Jensen of R.H. Jensen Game Calls. By Dalene Bickel

36 WHAT’S COOKIN’

Bone Broth Chicken Noodle Soup By Sandi Grigg

65 COMMUNITY

Leland Area Rotary builds the foundation of service for a growing town. By Dennis Hetzel

39 AROUND TOWN

Leland Innovation Park will promote economic development and create new and better jobs. By Kathy Blake

77 NONPROFIT

Extras you’ll only find online

103 BUSINESS PROFILES The Chef & The Frog

105 ADVERTISERS INDEX

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Thanks to a team of community helpers, Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity builds more than homes in Brunswick County. By Rich Mina

43 ARTS AND EDUCATION

Music teacher Phil Milligan hasn’t let the pandemic slow his tempo on offering lessons to students. By Ashley Daniels

106 CAPTURE THE MOMENT

93 BEHIND THE BUSINESS

LIT Nutrition is building a healthier Leland with nutritional products and health coaching. By Melissa Slaven Warren

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99 PEOPLE PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

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North Brunswick Magazine

In his role as town planner for the Town of Navassa, UNCW graduate Barnes Sutton has found his calling. By Jo Ann Mathews

PHOTO BY MARK STEELMAN

PHOTO BY MATT MCGRAW

PHOTO BY JAMES STEFIUK

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D IN EVERY ISSUE D DEPARTMENTS


Who Needs a Hand, Elbow & Shoulder Specialist?

Welcome To Our Orthopedic Specialists Team, Kelly Esposito, MD, MBA Hand, Upper Extremity & Microvascular Surgery EmergeOrtho offers residents of Brunswick and surrounding counties the expertise of highly trained physicians, including fellowship-trained, board-certified and board-eligible experts in every orthopedic specialty. Advanced MRI, same-day appointments and telemedicine are also available at most locations. So if your bone, joint or muscle pain is getting out of hand, see the specialists at EmergeOrtho. BACK, NECK & SPINE | SHOULDER | ELBOW & ARM | HAND & WRIST | JOINT REPLACEMENT | HIP & KNEE FOOT & ANKLE | SPORTS MEDICINE | PAIN MANAGEMENT | PHYSICAL / OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

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Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better. Winter 2020-21

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North Brunswick Magazine – Winter 2020-21 Volume 15, Issue 2 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: Michael Cline Megan Deitz Laura Glantz Matt McGraw Dominique Rainwater Diane Schafer Mark Steelman James Stefiuk

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Dalene Bickel Kathy Blake Ashely Daniels Sandi Grigg Molly Harrison Dennis Hetzel Chris G. Layt Jo Ann Mathews Rich Mina Annesophia Richards Melissa Slaven Warren Brian Wilner

PUBLISHED BY:

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

© 2020 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.

About the cover: Winter 2020-21

DRIVEN Local teenager WHITNEY MEGGS makes Charger Division racing history.

C O M PL IM E N TA RY

LELAND’S NEW BUSINESSES

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North Brunswick Magazine

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WOMEN IN FIREFIGHTING

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R.H. JENSEN GAME CALLS

Diane Shafer Photography captured this photograph of Whitney Meggs of Riegelwood. A junior at North Brunswick High School, Meggs is a race car driver who captured the first female Charger Division win at Myrtle Beach Speedway on August 2, 2020. Read Brian Wilner’s story about this standout teenager and her amazing race starting on page 70.


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Winter 2020-21

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Your best friend.

Our best care.

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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 NorthBrunswickMagazine.com/subscribe. Call our office at (910) 207-0156 or email us at subscribe@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com 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 info@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com. 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 edit@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com.

Change of Address If you move, please submit your new and old address to North Brunswick Magazine at info@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com.

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

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North Brunswick Brunswick Magazine Magazine North


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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

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Focused on the Positive

As we close out 2020, I know I am not alone in saying that this has been an unpredictable and interesting year. I could go on and on about all the difficulties that have happened and will continue to happen, but you already know what those would be. So, to focus on the positive, I think it’s better to bring up how awesome it is to see our communities coming together, to see people helping each other and checking in on one another in these difficult times. It has been refreshing this year to see people offering their support for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits rely heavily on big, in-person fundraising events such as dinners, lunches, galas and festivals, all which have not been possible this year. I was curious as to how some of these organizations were going to handle this predicament, and each one has seemed to figure it out with new ideas like virtual events, comedic t-shirts and online auctions, to name a few. Of course these organizations did not raise the money this year that they have in previous years, which is why right now it’s so important to give what you can. Whether you give money or time, pick an organization that means something to you and help them. They need it now more than ever. We have had a challenging year here at North Brunswick Magazine, but on the bright side, our small staff has stepped into various roles outside of our regular duties to keep us going. Lots of learning, understanding and growing has taken place. We are ecstatic to be here bringing you local stories from our community, and we hope that you feel the same. The key to us staying around is that our readers support our advertisers. Tell them you saw them in North Brunswick Magazine. Tell them you appreciate them supporting the magazine so that we can bring these stories and information to you. Without them we can’t produce this print publication, run our online stories or post on our social media (please follow us on Facebook and Instagram if you haven’t already!). We hope you enjoy this issue of North Brunswick Magazine. From our annual introduction of new local businesses to a feature on two of Leland’s female firefighters, from a profile about car-racing teenager Whitney Meggs to the economic benefits of Leland Innovation Park and so much more, we offer stories that reflect the history, culture, people, businesses and natural beauty of North Brunswick County and the information you need to best enjoy your time here. We love North Brunswick County and appreciate everyone’s ongoing support!

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North Brunswick Magazine

PHOTO BY MEGAN DEITZ

Justin Williams Owner/Publisher Publisher@NorthBrunswickMagazine.com


FOUR Great REASONS TO LIST YOUR HOME 1. Buyers Are Actively Searching Now is the time to take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market so you can sell your house in the most favorable terms. 2. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale Compared to this time last year, Active Listings are down. Brunswick -35.6% 3. The Process Is Going Quickly According to the latest Origination Insights Report from Ellie Mae, the time needed to close a loan is just 49 days. 4. Its Time to Move Up You’ve likely spent much of the last six months in your current home. Perhaps you now realize how small it is, and you need more space. Bottom Line: The housing market is primed for sellers in our area. Now is the time to connect with your Intracoastal Realty Neighborhood Specialist. If the timing is right for you and your family...

The market is calling your name!

I N T R A C O A S T A L R E A L T Y. C O M | L E L A N D O F F I C E : 9 1 0 - 2 0 1 - 2 2 0 0

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CONTRIBUTORS

Dalene Bickel CONTRIBUTING WRITER

I am a freelance writer and founder of Lasting Legacies (lasting-legacies.net), where I serve as a biographer, nonfiction book coach and legacy speaker. I am the author of The One-Year Collection of Weekly Writing Prompts, have co-authored multiple autobiographies and have contributed to anthologies, local magazines and online publications. A resident of Hampstead for more than 20 years, I enjoy spending time at the beach, reading and sipping java at area coffee shops. I am a history buff who enjoys discovering the stories of the past (both near and far) while also appreciating the amazing opportunities of the present. Life is truly an adventure, full of people and experiences worth writing about! Follow me on Facebook at LastingLegaciesBios.

Kathy Blake CONTRIBUTING WRITER

I grew up in New Jersey and Alabama and have a journalism degree from the University of Louisville. My background includes copy editing and writing for several newspapers and magazines, with a few published books thrown in. Four years ago, my family and I moved from North Carolina’s Piedmont to the coast, where we’ve settled on Oak Island. Living near the ocean always has been our goal, and when I’m not at a desk I enjoy walks along the shore, taking our little girl fishing and watching our Shih Tzu play in the waves. My husband, Dale, is an ordained preacher and Southern gospel musician/songwriter, so our weekends are busy with church and concerts. We have family in Alabama, Georgia and here at the coast, and they know the door is always open when they want time at the beach.

Mark Steelman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

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: marksteelmanphoto.com or marksteelmanimages.com

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North Brunswick Magazine


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North Brunswick Magazine


WHAT’S HAPPENED

Brunswick County Schools Principal, Assistant Principal and Teacher of the Year Announced

Brunswick County Schools is proud to recognize the following: Beverly Eury of Bolivia Elementary, 2020-21 BCS Principal of the Year Allie Dixon of Belville Elementary, 2020-2021 BCS Assistant Principal of the Year Jennie Bryan of South Brunswick High, 2020-2021 BCS Teacher of the Year

H2GO Awards Contracts and Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for Aquifer-Sourced RO Plant

On September 1 the Local Government Commission (LGC) approved Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO’s bond financing request for the much-anticipated aquifer-sourced Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Plant. H2GO has accepted a $42 million, 20-year bond financing proposal from First Bank at an interest rate of 2.65%. With the LGC’s approval, H2GO’s Board of Commissioners awarded three bid contracts to restart construction on the water supply and RO Plant. Raleigh-based Carolina Civil Works was awarded the contract for construction of raw water and finished water mains. Southport-based Carmichael Construction Company was awarded the contract to install lines and a river diffuser for the concentrate discharge to the Brunswick River. The final contract was awarded to Columbia, South Carolina–based M.B. Khan Construction Company for the construction of the RO Plant. Leland based Skipper’s Well Drilling will also resume their well construction contract that was suspended in 2017, and Venice, Florida–based Harn RO will resume their RO Equipment procurement contract. On October 7 Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO held a groundbreaking ceremony the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water

Treatment Plant. Those in attendance included representatives from MB Kahn Construction Company, Carolina Civil Works, Carmichael Construction, The Wooten Company, local leaders, North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, H2GO staff and current and former H2GO board members involved in the advancement of the project. The ceremony commemorated a new beginning for the aquifersourced RO plant. The project started as a way for H2GO to better serve their customers by directly managing water rates and adding a secondary source of water to H2GO’s service area. However, with the revelation of GenX and other PFOAs and PFAs in 2017, the project spotlighted the need to eliminate H2GO’s dependence on the contaminated Cape Fear River. “We are excited to begin construction of the aquifer-sourced RO plant,” says Bob Walker, H2GO’s executive director. “This project has been our focus over the last nine years. As water providers, it is our mission to protect our community and give them the best quality water at the lowest possible rates.” Construction began in November, and H2GO expects clean, contaminate-free water to be delivered to all customers in about 15 months with no water rate increase.

2020 Miss Brunswick County Queens Announced

On August 1 seven girls were crowned as the new 2020 Miss Brunswick County Tiny, Little, Junior, Miss, Greater Miss and Brunswick County Ambassador. They will serve for one year as the Miss Brunswick County representatives in community service, helping with several events throughout Brunswick County, community projects and more. They will also have their own platform they will work with all year. The 2019 title holders made from 30 to 41 appearances last year; they were very busy representing Brunswick County and did a wonderful job. 2020 WINNERS Tiny Miss Brunswick County: Ava Michelle Ball, daughter of Brad and Sara Ball of Bolivia Miss Brunswick County Sweetheart: Savannah Roughton, daughter of Ryan and Chelsea Roughton of Ash Little Miss Brunswick County: Winter Denae Murphy, daughter of Paul and Makesha Murphy of Southport

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WHAT’S HAPPENED

Junior Miss Brunswick County: Khloe Hayden Workman, daughter of Michael Workman and Allison Phelps of Supply Miss Brunswick County: Regina McDonald, daughter of David McDonald and Lisa and Mark Kennedy of Leland Greater Miss Brunswick County: Stella Jewell Bradow, daughter of the late Melvin Royster and Rhonda Royster of Southport Miss Brunswick County Ambassador: Kay Veonna Best, daughter of Jamil Best of Bolton and Keishonna Hewett of Supply

Local Author Gary Neil Gupton Publishes YA Novel Gary Neil Gupton, author of the article “Rainbow of Hope,” which was published in the North Brunswick Magazine summer issue and of a children’s chapter book called Time to Meet Max (2017), has published a YA novel called Natural Causes. The new book launched August 22, 2020. Pre-order from indiebound.com, independent local bookstores, all major national outlets and from the author directly.

Online Art League of Leland Meeting Features Artist Steve Allen Art League of Leland (ALL) invited artists and art enthusiasts to its online meeting featuring artist and ALL member Steve Allen as its speaker on November 5. Allen discussed how he has been able to blend his artistic talent with his career in engineering. Allen began his artistic journey by doodling cars in the margins of his school notebooks. His choice of an engineering major/fine arts minor in college resulted in a surprising career mix when he had the opportunity in the 1970s to be a pioneer in Computer Aided Design (CAD) in the energy industry. His love of drawing cars has never ceased; now in retirement, his artistic interests also include classic portraiture, animals, landscapes and interpretive objects using pencil, pen and ink, watercolor and photography. His computer works have been published in Forbes and numerous Silicon Valley publications. Pencil works and watercolors by the artist have been shown in local arts shows, in numerous area fundraisers and at the Cameron Art Museum. 22

North Brunswick Magazine


WHAT’S HAPPENED

New Surgeon Joins Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine - Brunswick Novant Health is pleased to welcome Dr. Benjamin Browning to Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine - Brunswick. Browning joined the clinic in September 2020 and is accepting new patients. Browning received a bachelor of health science from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, New York, and his orthopedic sports medicine fellowship from Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Browning has three years of experience working as the team orthopedic surgeon for high schools and a community college as the team orthopedic surgeon. Prior to that, he served as the assistant team orthopedic surgeon for the New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans and local high school football teams. The Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine – Brunswick office is located at 6 Doctors Circle, Suite 5, in Supply and is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The office offers same-day appointments and online scheduling.

Leland Town Clerk Named N.C. Clerk of the Year Sabrena Reinhardt, Leland town clerk and administrative manager, was recently chosen as 2020 Clerk of the Year by the North Association of Municipal Clerks (NCAMC). The annual award honors outstanding clerks or deputy clerks throughout the state, who, among other qualities, demonstrate commitment to professional development and community involvement, exhibit an extraordinary job performance and maintain a positive attitude in the workplace. Reinhardt has served as Leland’s town clerk and administrative manager for eight years. During that time, she earned a Certified Municipal Clerk designation and is one of approximately 70 out of 552 municipalities in North Carolina to have achieved a Master Certified Clerk designation. To be eligible for the NCAMC Clerk of the Year award, nominees must be an active member of the NCAMC for at least four years and bring innovative ideas to the association. Reinhardt, who is currently serving as District 3 Director for NCAMC’s board of directors, has been involved with the organization for more than five years, volunteering to serve on a number of committees, including the education committee, in which she has helped share information on municipal practices and grow membership. Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman read a proclamation in recognition of Reinhardt’s achievement during Leland Town Council’s September regular meeting on September 17. Reinhardt said ongoing professional development and community involvement are essential to be an effective part of municipal operations.

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WHAT’S HAPPENED

Town of Belville Unveils New Welcome Sign In October Belville’s leaders and Clark Wilson, owner of Southern Sign Company, installed a new welcome sign, located near the Belville Town Hall. The sign is located on River Road (N.C. Highway 133) near Belville Town Hall.

NC SHAPE Honors Holly Borden as Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year NC SHAPE, North Carolina’s professional organization for health and physical educators, is pleased to announce that Brunswick County Schools teacher Holly Borden was selected as the 2020 North Carolina Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. Borden teaches physical education at Shallotte Middle School. Originally from Massachusetts, she has taught physical education for 35 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s in health education from East Carolina University. An outstanding and well-loved educator, Borden was named Shallotte Middle School’s Teacher of the Year in both 2004 and 2018.

Local Writer Wins at Senior Games State Finals in Raleigh

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North Brunswick Magazine

Eric Mens, a resident of Brunswick Forest in Leland, recently won a gold medal in the Silver Arts writing competition in North Carolina’s 2020 Literary Virtual Senior Games State Finals. Winners were announced on October 19. Mens’ winning entry, a short story entitled “At Peace with Nature,” is a story of personal turmoil, struggle and survival. North Carolina’s Senior Games State Finals happens in the fall of the year for qualifiers from local games. Brunswick County’s Local Senior Games is part of a statewide network of 52 local programs sanctioned by North Carolina Senior Games, Inc. (NCSG). Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented local games from happening this spring, NCSG converted its annual Celebration of the Human Spirit to Virtual Games, which occurred through October 31. A total of 850 athletes and artists registered for and participated in Virtual State Finals. The finals included competition by age and gender for medals, a fitness raffle and the opportunity for fellowship with other participants statewide. NCSG is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing yearround health promotion and education for adults 50 years of age and better. The organization is a statewide nonprofit sponsored by the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services.


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Life is better

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North Brunswick Magazine


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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

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

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Call 910-721-4370 or visit NovantHealth.org/orthospinebrunswick to make a same-day or next-day appointment. © Novant Health, Inc. 2020

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North Brunswick Magazine

9/20 • ECA-627232


SOUTHBOUND

SOUTH BRUNSWICK MAGAZINE WHAT’S GOING ON IN OUR SISTER PUBLICATION

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 LifeinBrunswickCounty.com/sbm | E 

Beer and Cheese? Yes, Please! | SouthBrunswickMagaz Winter 2020-21

Dark beer and bone broth add rich, earthy flavors to this ultra-satisfying, velvety smooth cheese soup.

ine.com

By Sandi Grigg

When I lived in western North Carolina, I worked for a brewery part-time. This was almost 10 years ago, when the brewery industry was just taking off. We attended many festivals and music events where we would have a booth selling our beer. I was at such a beer event in Asheville when I took a few minutes to step away from our booth and grab something to eat from another vendor. I was led by my nose to a booth offering beer cheese soup.

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Future 10 Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and South Brunswick Magazine recognize Brunswick County’s young professionals and future leaders. Leaders come from all walks of life, and they lead with optimism and determination. They have a passion for learning and growing and passing on the tools of success to others. In this annual feature, we share the stories of those in our communities who are doing just that. We present the Future 10 under 40.

A Friend of Wildlife Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter on Oak Island is expanding to rehabilitate more wild birds and animals.

PAC. The acronym may be well known, but this time it stands for Public Archeology Corps, and they have nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with rescuing and preserving our past. The Pender County-based organization recently completed a dig at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Southport.

By Ed Beckley

It was old and needed some work. Hurricane Hazel kited its roof in 1954. But a savvy real estate agent who did very well selling upscale Charleston, South Carolina, suburban beach properties had a vision. She loved that cute little house at 1638 E. Beach Drive on Oak Island. I’ll buy it for a song, she thought, and sell it later as an investment toward retirement. Winter 2020-21

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Winter 2020-21

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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

D EXTRAS YOU WILL ONLY FIND ONLINE D LIFEINBRUNSWICKCOUNTY.COM

EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION by NBM Contributor

Charter Day School will expand three of its local charter schools with new amenities and facilities for students and parents. Charter Day School has announced plans for major expansions at three of its schools after a privately financed bond offering was successfully oversubscribed.

• Columbus Charter School in Whiteville will add a new elementary school office, additional classrooms for exceptional children and a new, enlarged computer lab.

The projects include the following additions:

• Charter Day School in Leland will add a new elementary school office building with a multi-purpose auditorium/ gymnasium along with a new exceptional children’s classroom building at the middle school.

• South Brunswick Charter School in Southport will expand from grades K to 5 to K to 8 by adding middle school classroom buildings, a multipurpose auditorium/gymnasium and more classrooms for exceptional children.

| CONTINUE READING ONLINE

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A FITTING TRIBUTE by Brian Wilner

A new swing at Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville honors the memory of former Leland resident Leslie Blaylock. The Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville has dedicated a new swing and garden to the memory of Leslie Blaylock of Leland. Local officials along with friends and family were present on November 8 for the dedication. 32

North Brunswick Magazine

Blaylock was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in May 2019 and passed away on June 11, 2020. Her close friend David Mabry of Leland spoke at the dedication, along with others. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

D EXTRAS YOU WILL ONLY FIND ONLINE D LIFEINBRUNSWICKCOUNTY.COM

TROPIC TIME

by Annesophia Richards

Brandon Korman, owner of three Tropical Smoothie Cafes in Wilmington and Leland, shares healthy food and good vibes with his customers. Brandon Korman remembers the time he first stepped into a Tropical Smoothie Cafe eight years ago. Although in New York at the time, as soon as he entered, his senses transported him to a tropical island getaway. Surrounded by fresh fruits and vegetables, tropical smells and a relaxed, vacation vibe, Korman knew he wanted more of this ‘tropitude’ in his life. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

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RUNNING BACKWARDS FOR OPTIMISM AND DREAMS by Jo Ann Mathews

Sixty-one-year-old Tracy McCullen will run 100 miles backwards this week to raise money for a new outdoor sports facility for kids in Wilmington’s Northside Community. Tracy McCullen admits his upcoming feat “is a little crazy,” but he is determined to raise $100,000 for Community Boys and Girls Club in Wilmington. He plans to run 100 miles, but not as normally done. McCullen will run the 100 miles backwards in 100 hours! His plan is to run 25 miles a day for four days beginning Thursday, December 17, and finishing Sunday, December 20. McCullen’s idea formulated when he wanted a unique way of getting attention to raise money for the club. The money will help fund an outdoor sports facility in the Northside Community in Wilmington.

AWARD-WINNING DESIGN by NBM Contributor

The newly opened EmergeOrtho Medical Office Building in Leland wins a construction achievement award. Recently opened in The Villages at Brunswick Forest in Leland, EmergeOrtho’s new medical office building is not only being applauded for its service to patients, but also for its design and construction. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

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“I try to tell everyone running backwards is not as hard as it seems, but nobody believes me,” he says, adding that he is stronger and faster when he runs forward because he runs backwards. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE Winter 2020-21

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SPIRITS

Cookies in a Cup This quintessential winter warmer, Hot Buttered Rum should be in every bartender’s playbook. BY SANDI GRIGG

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Hot Buttered Rum is a hearty, warming drink that is associated with the holiday season in my family. The name doesn’t sound appealing to some people I know, but trust me, it is delicious. It is pure cocktail comfort food. The flavor of this cocktail is much like that of a sugar cookie with a punch. The mash you create in the bottom of the glass before pouring in the liquid is even called “batter.” The best part is you can make the batter in large batches and freeze it for later use. The actual alcohol content of this drink is determined by your rum to water ratio. If you prefer a less alcoholic drink, you can easily pour more hot water to dilute the alcohol. The butter melted with the spices and rum is a very rich and flavorful creation. I am familiar with summery variations that use cream, confectioners’ sugar and white rum for a blonde version, but I stick to the dark rum, brown sugar and vanilla recipe in the winter months. This drink will warm your belly and your bones, and I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does.

Hot Buttered Rum Makes 1 drink

INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon butter (softened) 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 dash of ground cinnamon 1 dash of ground nutmeg 1 dash ground allspice 1 drop of vanilla extract 2 ounces dark rum 5 ounces hot water Cinnamon stick

METHOD Place the butter, sugar and spices into the bottom of an Irish coffee glass or mug and muddle to mix well. Pour in the rum and top with the hot water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a few extra shakes of cinnamon on top. Winter 2020-21

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WHAT’S COOKIN’

The Ultimate Comfort Food

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Whether to comfort a sick friend or warm a cold family, chicken noodle soup is a universal favorite. BY SANDI GRIGG | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES STEFIUK

Hearty chicken noodle soup is most commonly correlated with someone being sick. If someone has a cold, people say, “Eat chicken noodle soup.” I did not grow up with the same mentality. At my house, if you were sick you had a can of Campbell’s Chicken and Stars soup. It was more of a treat when on a cold day my mom would make homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch. It was never a get-well soup but more of an exciting winter comfort meal. The most common way to make chicken noodle soup is to boil the chicken breasts or a whole chicken in water and use the water as your broth. I prefer to use chicken thighs and bone broth. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are the most flavorful cut of chicken in my opinion, and bone broth adds a complex flavor that is also superhealthy for you. Bone broth has become very popular recently, especially among those who are health conscious. Bone broth provides vitamin A, vitamin K2, minerals like zinc, iron, boron, manganese and selenium as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Mixed with perfectly cooked chicken, veggies and egg noodles, the bone broth is so tasty that you’ll forget it’s healthy. Egg noodles are my favorite type of noodle to use in this recipe. They are thick and soak up the bone broth. You can certainly use rotini pasta or orzo pasta or break up some alfredo pasta for a more rustic look, but egg noodles are the best in my opinion. If you want to make this incredibly easy soup for someone who is feeling under the weather or just as a delicious homemade recipe for your family, I assure you they will appreciate it. This version is healthy and satisfying, especially on a winter day.

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North Brunswick Magazine

It was never a get-well soup but more of an exciting winter comfort meal.

Bone Broth Chicken Noodle Soup Serves 4

INGREDIENTS 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 Tablespoons butter 1 quart chicken bone broth 1 onion, chopped fine 3 carrot sticks, peeled and cut into half moons 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine 2 stalks of celery, chopped 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 bay leaf 12 ounces egg noodles 1 Tablespoon salt 1 Tablespoon parsley 1 teaspoon black pepper

METHOD In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, cook the chicken thighs and bay leaf in the butter over medium/high heat until done. Remove and set aside. Discard the bay leaf. In the same pot, saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the olive oil. Stir continuously, scraping the bits of chicken off the bottom. Add the thyme and parsley and cook until the veggies just begin to soften (about 5 to 6 minutes). Pour the bone broth over the veggies and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any remaining bits. Shred the chicken and drop pieces into the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the noodles, salt and pepper and cook until the noodles are done. Serve warm with crackers or crusty white bread.


WHAT’S COOKIN’

Winter 2020-21

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AROUND TOWN

Shaping Leland’s Business Landscape Leland Innovation Park will promote economic development and create new and better jobs. BY KATHY BLAKE

Winter 2020-21

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The town is “working closely with this company to establish a production facility in Leland,” Vidmar says. Brunswick County is the fastest-growing of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The 2000 Census showed Leland’s population as 1,938. Now there are nearly that many students (1,131) in North Brunswick High School. The population has increased 74% in the last 10 years.

We also hope that these companies will not only provide high-paying job opportunities for our current residents, but also will attract young families to the town from outside the area to fill these positions.

North Brunswick Magazine

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Map Date: 5.7.2020 Map Updated: 6.16.2020 Town of Leland Planning & Inspections

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In the ever-expanding Town of Leland, where shopping centers, subdivisions and housing developments overflow the borders and retail trade is the number one economic contributor, a newly annexed area near I-140 and Highway 74/76 is giving city officials a chance to plant industries that shape the city’s future identity. The Leland Innovation District, a 225-acre segment of the nearly 600-acre Leland Innovation Park (LIP), could be the incentive to draw a population segment that otherwise might bypass the area. The magnet will be a district blend of personalservice businesses and restaurants surrounded by research companies, start-ups and light manufacturing. “We’re basically a service-based town, so we’re not going to draw upon educated, young people who want to move here with their families,” says Gary Vidmar, Leland’s 02200009 economic and development director. “This is the first step to try to attract companies that will pay the wages that will draw these young families to our town and balance out the population. So that’s a very impactful step toward what we’ve been trying to accomplish.” Vidmar emphasizes that manufacturing does not mean smokestacks and noise — there are other sites in Brunswick and adjacent Pender County for large-scale manufacturing. The goal with Leland Innovation Park is manufacturing, distribution and research businesses with 25 to 100 employees. One already showing interest is EcoTEK Industries, which fabricates artificial limbs using hemp fiber.

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AROUND TOWN

“If you look at the population, the majority is actually between ages 25 and 45, and now we’re seeing Wilmington residents who work in Wilmington moving here to commute back and forth,” Vidmar says. “And we’re also seeing Wilmington residents come here to shop and dine, because it’s easier. What we’re trying to attract is young individuals

and families who wouldn’t otherwise be attracted here, would it not be for the manufacturing companies we want to establish.” According to CoreLogic, which compiles national statistics on housing data, 79.9 percent of Leland housing was built in 2000 or later, and 71.5 of that is single-family homes. Leland Innovation Park is not zoned for residential but is close to family-friendly housing. One of those neighborhoods, Windsor Park, was annexed into Leland’s city limits in 2004 and is a short drive to golf courses, shopping and entertainment. Houses range from $144,000 to $304,000. Windsor Park is next door to the Innovation District. Plans are in place to create aesthetically crafted buffers to divide Leland Innovation Park and the neighborhood. “The buffers must include a combination of canopy trees, understory trees and shrubs,” Vidmar says, “which will provide natural looking opacity and visual screening for adjacent existing and future residential uses.” While no tracts have been sold in the Innovation District, town officials are banking on amenities such as proximity to highways, the Port of Wilmington and Brunswick Community College. “Until this annexation took place, the town had very little

industrial land to which it could attract manufacturing companies that would provide attractive employment opportunities for our residents,” Vidmar says. “We hope that, with this annexation, we will find companies that will be attracted to the LIP due to the growth and attractiveness of the town. We also hope that these companies will not only provide high-paying job opportunities for our current residents, but also will attract young families to the town from outside the area to fill these positions.” WCM Enterprises, LLC owns the Innovation District land, and Cape Fear Commercial is the real estate firm. “Workforce development is an essential element of the town’s economic development plan and this annexation will go a long way to help fulfill this goal,” Vidmar says. “The town plans to work closely with the landowner and the local commercial real estate community to promote the LIP in a variety of ways including through the town’s website, local publications and social media.” Vidmar has been with the Town of Leland for five years. Leland Innovation Park — rebranded two years ago from being Leland Industrial Park — has been on the Leland’s to-do list to create job opportunities. “So, we as a town,” he says, “now can put more emphasis on that.” 

Want to know more? For more information, visit lelandinnovationpark.com or email Gary Vidmar at gvidmar@townofleland.com. Winter 2020-21

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ARTS AND EDUCATION

Don’t Stop the Music Music teacher Phil Milligan hasn’t let the pandemic slow his tempo on offering lessons to students. BY ASHLEY DANIELS PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT MCGRAW

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The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a stop to many happy things in life, but Phil Milligan hasn’t missed a beat. The drum/guitar/bass/ukulele teacher has been instructing students in the Wilmington area for the last 10 years. In early 2020 he went out on his own with Milligan’s Music Lessons, but music has been a part of his heart and soul for most of his 32 years. “Music in some fashion or another, from sales, teaching,

playing, performing, enjoying and finding a passion for all of that is still very much alive for me now, as much as when I started at 3 years old,” Milligan says. He grew up in a family that always had instruments in the home. His first instrument of choice was the drums, which he continued to master as squad leader in his high school marching band. Now he just wants to share his passion for drums (and music in general) with others, whether that means Winter 2020-21

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ARTS AND EDUCATION

he travels to his students’ homes, students come to his in-house studio for private lessons or he teaches virtually. “I’m just trying to provide whatever works best for each individual because I know not everybody is comfortable going into other people’s houses,” Milligan says. “I’ve even offered to bring drums to folks’ homes so they can try them for the first time because I know that is an investment.” He says he’d eventually like to open a brick-and-mortar music school, but the timing to open a business probably isn’t

the best, based on the fallout from the pandemic. For now, he’s staying busy with a steady lineup of lesson for students that range from age 4 to 86. “Some are above and beyond passionate about music, and some are just wanting to try something new,” he says. “A big thing for me is trying to instill passion or a fun factor. I’m not only keeping things informative, but also making sure it’s fun and that it’s something you enjoy doing — I don’t even like to use the word practice for students because that’s a bad word.” Practice and homework, he adds, aren’t part of his music language with students since they’re forced to experience school in such an unusual way nowadays. Instead, he finds creative ways to customize each student’s learning method, from handwritten instructional notes to recorded videos and more. “It’s really crucial to consistently keep their interest, especially in a time when most middle school kids and high That’s why we’re proud to be here to help life go right ™ – school band programs have had to and to support Brunswick County. postpone or put them on hold,” he says, If there’s anything you need, call us. “because it’s a time that truly makes it ™ That’s why we’re proud to be here to help life go right – impossible to facilitate a Zoom band and to support Brunswick County. If there’s anything you need, call us. class. Could you imagine being a band That’s why we’re proud to be here to help life go right ™ – director, trying to sit on the computer and to support Brunswick County. and watch 12 clarinet players play?” If there’s anything you need, call us. Over the years, Milligan says he’s played just about every genre you can think of, from reggae to core metal to hip hop and jazz, with a central focus on some form of rock. Today, he’s focused on helping his students find their passion in music. “I want to create a personalized Josh London Ins Agcy Inc Rouse Insurance Agency Inc experience for them,” he says. “I don’t Josh London, Agent Franklin Rouse Jr, Agent 1112 E Cutlar Crossing Ste 104 1107 New Pointe Blvd force any one method of teaching or NC 28451 JoshLeland, LondonNCIns28451 Agcy Inc RouseLeland, Insurance Agency Inc style of music. Do you want to learn to Bus: London, 910-383-1303 Bus: 910-371-5446 Josh Agent Franklin Rouse Jr, Agent read sheet music? Cool. Do you want 1112 E Cutlar Crossing Ste 104 1107 New Pointe Blvd to just jam? Cool. Do you want to just NC 28451 JoshLeland, LondonNCIns28451 Agcy Inc RouseLeland, Insurance Agency Inc Bus: London, 910-383-1303 Bus: 910-371-5446 Josh Agent Franklin Rouse Jr, Agent look at videos and you have no interest 1112 E Cutlar Crossing Ste 104 1107 New Pointe Blvd in papers? Absolutely. I do try to instill Leland, NC 28451 Leland, NC 28451 a little music theory with my kids just Bus: 910-383-1303 Bus: 910-371-5446 because I think it’s good for them, but if you’re 38 and want to learn how to play ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ on my acoustic guitar, that’s fine, too.”

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North Brunswick Magazine 1601492

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ARTS AND EDUCATION

It’s really crucial to consistently keep their interest, especially in a time when most middle school kids and high school band programs have had to postpone or put them on hold.

Milligan believes making a connection will drive his students to a deep passion for music. “If you can connect with them, they start to see the reason for learning a little deeper, not just being shown that or told that,” he says. “They start to see that from themselves and even take some self-initiative. And that’s one of my favorite phases of working with someone: When they start to push the bill even for themselves and not just with what I give them.” 

Want to know more? For more information or to schedule a lesson, call Phil Milligan at (910) 352-0831 or visit facebook.com/MilligansMusicLessons/. Stay tuned for a website launch soon!

Winter 2020-21

45


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North Brunswick Magazine


ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR

Calls of the Wild Outdoorsmen and collectors flock to local craftsman Ralph “The ‘Stache” Jensen of R.H. Jensen Game Calls. BY DALENE BICKEL

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ Winter 2020-21

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ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR

M “Most of my duck calls are in here,” R.H. “Ralph” Jensen says, opening the door to a hunter’s haven. Suspended in midflight near the ceiling are an impressive variety of mounted ducks and a vibrantly colored turkey that he bagged himself. Above the couch is a mounted deer head and opposite are approximately a dozen duck decoys on shelves. “All of these decoys were given to me by the craftsmen who carved them in trade for my duck calls,” Jensen explains, his smile framed by his signature handlebar mustache. He then directs me

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North Brunswick Magazine


ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR

to a different shelving unit where his finished duck, goose and turkey calls are stored. Creativity is integral to each call that Jensen crafts. Customers often bring him old pieces of wood that are meaningful to them, such as a 13thcentury library door from Bath, England, and the stock of a gun that belonged to Spanish-American War Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Admiral Anderson. Most of Jensen’s calls, however, are made out of antique burled walnut (his favorite) or

100-plus year old riverwood, which is reclaimed lumber from the bottom of the Cape Fear River. Jensen estimates that he has made 1,000 different calls since he carved his first one in 2000. Many of his calls are commissioned by hunters who want to commemorate their loyal hunting dogs. For these custom requests, he creates templates from photos they provide and then carves the designs into the calls. The carving process takes about two hours, but that does not include the time it takes to first transform a block

of wood into a usable call. In addition to carved ducks and dogs, Jensen also offers the option to incorporate interesting inlay materials. “Look at this one,” he says, handing me an elegant duck call featuring blackand-white diamond-shaped inlays. “Isn’t that pretty? Those inlays are ebony and ivory piano keys.” If you’re looking for something more exotic, you can request that he incorporate pieces of ivory from the tusk of a Siberian woolly mammoth into your call. Winter 2020-21

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ACROSS THE CAPE FEAR

For any call to attract wild game, it has to be tuned to sound like the desired game bird. The overall sound is produced by vibrations of a reed, similar to a clarinet, but it’s the reed’s length and thickness that affects its tune. Since the reeds need to be much smaller and thinner than that of a clarinet, Jensen cuts and shaves wood to create his own reeds. Initially he crafted them out of heart pine but later moved on to other materials, including cedar wrappings from cigars. When out on a hunt, Jensen recommends utilizing a double-clasp lanyard to retain both the mouthpiece and the barrel in case they become separated. Otherwise, the calls are maintenance free. Unlike musical

of the Internet introduced Jensen’s quality craftsmanship to hunters across the country. “I’ve shipped calls to almost every state, including Hawaii,” he says. Indeed, it was the creation of the

“That put me on another level of what your mind says you can do and what you actually can do,” he says. This realization led him to accept the recent Garden & Gun magazine request for calls to be featured on their field shop website. “I don’t know what kind of orders to expect, so I have multiple calls in the works,” he explains. The designs he shows me are varied: a mallard in flight, a Labrador retriever, a Boykin

spaniel and a turkey call made out of a teak plank from the USS North Carolina. Regardless of where you purchase one of Jensen’s calls, you can be certain you’ll receive a quality product that combines form and function. Each call is a showcase-worthy piece of artwork that preserves history and attracts live fowl. As his company’s motto summarizes, “For a call with class, go with the ‘stache.”  instruments, the reeds on the calls rarely if ever need to be replaced (but if such a need arises, he is happy to replace them for his customers). What started out as a hobby has slowly grown into a sought-after product line. Initial sales were largely the result of local word-of-mouth recommendations, but then the power 50

North Brunswick Magazine

R.H. Jensen Game Calls website that landed him the largest order of his career. “Copenhagen [Tobacco] commissioned me to create 305 duck calls for an online promotion they were holding,” he says. Featuring a duck rising in flight out of two tobacco leaves, the calls disappeared within minutes of the event going live.

Want to see them? R. H. Jensen Game Calls rhjensengamecalls.com (910) 231-6865 Call to discover any current specials not advertised on the website.


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Nice legs Dr. Kamran!

Now Open in Leland at Waterford Medical Center

Do You Have These Leg Symptoms? • Leg Cramps • Dull Leg Pain • Itching • Throbbing • Restless Legs

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Call to see if you qualify for a FREE VEIN HEALTH SCREENING 910 - 726 -3737 ScarlessVeinCare.com 509 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 305 Leland, North Carolina 28451 Winter 2020-21

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, y He ! r e d n e t r a B Paul Campbell of Leland fills a catering niche with Mister Bartender mobile mixology service. BY ANNESOPHIA RICHARDS PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOMINIQUE RAINWATER

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In the food and beverage industry, there’s a lot more that goes into the art of bartending than simply making a tasty cocktail. For Leland resident Paul Campbell, otherwise known as “Mister Bartender,” perfecting his craft requires having a passion for customer service and a focus on providing the ultimate guest experience. Over the past five years, Campbell has used his unique upbringing and extensive industry knowledge to bring an innovative cocktail catering business to the Cape Fear area. Born in the small South American country of Guyana, Campbell spent his early childhood in a nation known for its diverse people and rich culture. At the age of 13, his family moved to New York City, and Campbell quickly learned how to adjust to the fast-paced life of the Big Apple. “We came from a country where the natural environment had a strong influence on the way people lived,” Campbell says. “There was no refrigeration, and electricity was a luxury. People grew their own food, and everything was made fresh, so New York City was a complete culture shock. The lifestyle was something we had to get used to, but luckily I was a kid who was ready for that.” Inspired by his father, a leather craftsman by trade and an entrepreneur at heart, Campbell knew at a young age that he wanted to one day run his own business. After high school he joined the Air Force, where he received a degree in finance. Upon graduation, he decided to return home to help support his family, and at the age of 21 he began his career on Wall Street with Deutsche Bank. It was there that he met his future wife, Veronica, and the couple had just begun their life together when their world was turned upside down on September 11, 2001. “When September 11th happened, we were in the Bahamas on our first vacation together,” Campbell says. “The offices we worked in were directly affected by the planes crashing into the World Trade Center, which fell on top of our

Paul Campbell, born in Guyana, raised partially in New York City and a resident of Leland since 2009, runs a high-end bartending service in the Cape Fear area.

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building and cut it in half. After 9/11, Veronica and I looked at each other and realized this hustle and bustle lifestyle wasn’t what we really wanted for our future.” For the next few years, the couple remained in New York, got married and had two daughters. Their urge to relocate remained strong, however, and when Veronica’s parents retired to Brunswick County in 2007, she moved with them, while Campbell remained behind to continue providing for his family. It was during that time he decided to pursue his bartending license, and he surprised himself with how much he enjoyed the side gig and working in the hospitality industry. In 2009 Campbell left New York City and corporate America for good and headed to Leland to join his wife and children. He began working as a bartender at the Bald Head Island Club, then later as the front of house manager at Fishy Fishy Café in Southport. A few years later, he worked as assistant banquet manager at the Country Club of Landfall under the guidance of Certified Master Chef Olivier Andreini, an experience that made a huge impression. “I was so inspired to be in a position where I could learn from someone with so much experience,” Campbell says. “It helped form the idea of Mister Bartender and what I really wanted to do with it. I wanted to give people something more, something extra, like what I saw in New York and what motivated me to be in the bartending world.” Using his background in business, his experience in catering and his love of working with people, Campbell created Mister Bartender, a premier, private-event bartender service. During his years working in country clubs, he recognized a demand for higher-end beverage catering. Starting with private parties and small residential events, Campbell’s business soon blossomed. He currently has a team of 15 servers and bartenders, all of whom share his same eye for detail and passion for perfection. 54

North Brunswick Magazine

Campbell, second from right, and his team share the same passion for perfection and eye for detail.


“We have a very high standard, and that’s what sets Mister Bartender apart,” Campbell says. “I always say we’re not in the bartender business, we’re in the customer service business, and it starts with building those relationships and taking care of our clients.” By partnering with local vendors, rental companies and food caterers, Campbell continues to expand his business and the Mister Bartender brand. In 2019 he and his team provided bartending services as part of downtown’s Cucalorus Film Festival and the Azalea Festival. But although his team can now accommodate these larger-scale events and festivals, Campbell still “I always say we’re not in the bartender holds true to his belief that business, we’re in the customer service providing an exceptional customer experience business, and it starts with building requires an emphasis on those relationships and taking quality over quantity. care of our clients.” “We’re not the company that goes out there and does every event,” Campbell says. “Our focus remains on the higher end, for people who’re looking to get something extra. I’m also always looking for ways to give back to the community, so we’ve done a lot of charity work as well.” Campbell admits the pandemic has certainly impacted his small business. Gathering restrictions and social distancing requirements have led to the cancelling and rescheduling of numerous weddings and other events on the calendar for the remainder of the year. However, his spirits remain high, and his commitment to being there for his customers when their lives return to times of celebration remains as strong as ever. “We just have to be patient,” he says. “My team continues to be motivated and supportive, and we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best. We’re looking forward to doubling business from where we left off, because there will be a need for people to do these high-level events again once we get the clearance that it’s safe. I feel confident that will happen.” 

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Jason Krause

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NEW I N TOW N BY SANDI GRIGG PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ

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Recognizing the growth and prosperity of North Brunswick County, many entrepreneurs see the Leland area as the perfect place to build a new business or expand an established one. For many reasons, 2020 was not the easiest time to start a new business or make changes to an existing one, but these business owners did it anyway. We reached out to six entrepreneurs in Leland to learn about their new businesses and to find out what it has been like for startups in the year of the pandemic. What have been the successes and challenges? It’s not always what you think.

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TRINITY WELLNESS CENTER R. Thomas Mathew MD, Medical Director 1003 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 1C, Leland (910) 769-5004 www.twcwaterford.com

Why was 2020 the right time to open your business? We actually opened the original Trinity Wellness Center in 2005, and we opened our Brunswick County branch in June 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. While there was an ongoing crisis, we saw a natural opportunity to step in and help with the growing physical, mental health and wellness needs in a new location. COVID-19 is a stress test, in many ways, of our community’s health, and we believe that the best way to fight the pandemic in the long run is to help as many people as we can to lead healthier lives. What made Leland the ideal location for you? Brunswick County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation and was already underserved from a mental health perspective. Leland is the primary location for shopping in Brunswick County. We are situated right in the middle of several major residential communities. We are wellpositioned in a variety of ways. What services/products do you offer? We offer psychiatric treatment from a functional, holistic perspective. We offer hormone replacement therapy, intravenous ketamine for depression, vitamin and nutrient infusions for wellness, ozone treatment for mold and Lyme infections and other chronic illnesses, psychological testing for memory and attention, and we are adding more antiaging treatments all the time. We also offer acupuncture. What separates you from the competition? We are a small, boutique practice offering individualized care plans that focus on overall health, wellness and prevention. We don’t focus on treating symptoms. We try to find the underlying cause of your symptoms so that we can offer long-term solutions. What has been your leading success so far? Getting a fully functioning and dedicated team together so quickly. We literally went from an idea that two of us were

batting around in March to a fully functioning clinic in June. We've assembled an incredible team with a diverse skill set, and we all enjoy working together. We have created a healing environment, and we love seeing our patients get better. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? Most people know very little about the treatments we do and the potential benefits they have. A billboard or a print ad really can’t convey what we do. We are looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to help people think differently about their physical and mental health and what’s possible. How has COVID affected your business? A good portion of our clientele has chosen to receive services via telemedicine, so we have been able to stay busy throughout the pandemic. But in the midst of all the pessimism and polarization, we also choose to try to live our lives optimistically and we try to convey that in all our interactions and educational responsibilities. I am an immigrant and moved to the United States in the early ’70s. I have lived on three different continents and in different parts of the country. I will never take for granted the opportunity that this great country has given me to do the work that I love to do, with people I want to work with, in a place that I love living in. I’m very fortunate. What can we anticipate from you in the future? We aspire be on the cutting edge of providing safe, novel treatments for mental health, anti-aging and wellness. Most people aren't aware of the fact that Botox has been found to be helpful in the treatment of depression. We will be adding Botox to our service line this winter. We also hope to add transcranial magnetic brain stimulation for depression and OCD next year. What is a fun fact about you or your staff? We love good puns and dad jokes. Please bring your best in with you. Laughter really is the best medicine.

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LELAND SMOKE HOUSE Troy Knight, Owner Daniel Crouson, General Manager 503 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 100, Leland (910) 228-5008 lelandsmokehouse.com

Why was 2020 the right time to open your business? Our original location, Southport Smoke House, is five years old, and we felt that we had a great product and were meeting a need in the Southport area. We have a strong management team, and the time just seemed right to expand. What made Leland the ideal location for you? Several of our managers live in Boiling Spring Lakes, and all of us shop and dine in Leland. It’s such a great, growing city with the potential for even more growth in the days ahead. We want to scratch where people are itching. We believe the people of Leland are itching for authentic wood smoked BBQ and brisket. And we believe our product is perfectly designed to meet that need. We also had many customers driving to Southport from Wilmington and Leland, so this location will be more convenient for them.

meat. We believe the meat is the main event, not the sauce. We have seven different homemade sauces so that our customers can dial up their own amount of sauce, but we are shooting for smoked BBQ and brisket that is so good you don’t even need sauce. But the primary thing that separates us from almost all BBQ joints in N.C. is our brisket. We use USDA Prime brisket and prepare it and smoke it using Central Texas techniques and rub. I would put a cut of our moist brisket up against anyone in the state of N.C. It’s that good.

What services and products do you offer? We offer wood smoked brisket, ribs, pulled pork, sausage and chicken. We also start from scratch every morning with all our homemade sides. The fried food is frozen, but all other

What has been your leading success so far? Consistently great food and great customer service. One of our core values is that we treat our customers like guests in our home. We want our customers to feel welcomed and we want them to experience consistently great food at a fair price.

sides are made from scratch. We have a large dining room with plenty of seating. Part of our dining room can be closed off and reserved for private events. We also offer pick up, online ordering, full-service catering and large order delivery. What separates you from the competition? We’re old school. We smoke all our meat on site with our Old Hickory Smoker using 100 percent hickory logs that we get from a local wood supplier. We serve all of our meat with a dry rub so that our customers can taste the smoke and enjoy the moist flavor of the meat. BBQ restaurants that have to cover their meat in sauce are camouflaging dry and bland

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? We did not anticipate the amount of to-go ordering that we have experienced. When we first opened almost 80 percent of our business was to-go orders. Since we have multiple ways to order (online, phone in, in person) it became very hard to manage. We made some people mad when we first opened because of long wait times and messed up orders, and we’re sorry about that. Thankfully, we’ve improved our systems, but it’s still a challenge on busy weekend nights. How has COVID affected your business? To-go orders and a very competitive job market. With unemployment benefits so generous, many workers in the restaurant industry are simply staying home and collecting unemployment rather than working. What can we anticipate from you in the future? We want to be Leland’s go-to BBQ joint. No new plans, just keeping it real every day.

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ISLANDS FRESH MEX GRILL Lucas Jones, Owner 2013 Olde Regent Way, Suite 110, Leland (910) 409-9860 islandsfreshmexgrill.com

Why was 2020 the right time to open your business? We just really wanted to be in Leland, and the perfect location became available at the perfect time and we went for it! What made Leland the ideal location for you? It’s really the only area that we had not had a presence in, so now we feel like we can serve the entire Wilmington and Leland areas with our locations. What services/products do you offer? We offer fast, fresh, affordable food with great service in a cool atmosphere. We cater too! What separates you from the competition? Our taco specials ($1 tacos from 5 pm to close with a drink purchase, $1.99 tacos from 11 am to 5 pm with a drink purchase) and also our rock-solid catering operation.

What has been your leading success so far? Our taco specials and catering. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? COVID, of course! How has COVID affected your business? It is sometimes hard to fully staff the stores. What can we anticipate from you in the future? We are very excited about the future of Islands. We would like to franchise the concept in the future. What’s a fun fact about you or your staff? My best friend from high school opened the car wash in the same shopping center as Islands (Waterford) — Carolina Shores Car Wash!

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SCARLESS VEIN CARE BY DR. KAMRAN Kamran Goudarzi, MD, FICS, FACS, DABVLM 509 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 305, Leland (910) 726-3737 scarlessveincare.com

Why was 2020 the right time to open your business? I believe treatment of venous disease is best served through a more personalized setting where the surgeon has the opportunity to provide one-on-one treatment and follow-up. I left a high volume vein clinic and re-established the brand “Scarless Vein Care” and “Nice Legs, Dr. Kamran” to provide that more personalized, boutique experience. It allows me to concentrate on the quality of patient interactions, as opposed to quantity. What made Leland the ideal location for you? In July, it was reported by WWAY-TV that Leland ranks as the fastest growing town in North Carolina with nearly 10,000 new residents in less than 10 years. We saw an opportunity to provide the only vein center in Leland, which is conveniently located and accessible to other communities throughout southeastern North Carolina. In addition, the census data suggested that the primary demographic of the area was in line with that of our typical patient. What services/products do you offer? I am one of the nation’s leaders and pioneers in the scarless treatment and elimination of varicose and spider veins. One of the first surgeons in the United States to achieve board certification by The American Board of Phlebology, I have now performed thousands of successful procedures in the field. What separates you from the competition? I am board certified in venous and lymphatic disease as well as general surgery and a true pioneer in the field of phlebology and vascular surgery. I was part of the first group of physicians to receive board certification by the American College of Venous and Lymphatic Disease and the first physician in the United States to incorporate Angiodynamic NeverTouch Direct laser ablation treatment in my practice. Since 2002, I have performed thousands of ablations resulting in excellent patient outcomes with very low recurrence rates. The utilization of cutting-edge technology and outstanding patient outcomes allowed my practice to become one of the first 20 accredited vein treatment centers in the nation. I am considered one of the foremost experts in the art of treating venous disease. I have trained numerous physicians and helped develop vein treatment facilities throughout the country, including multiple prominent centers in North Carolina. What has been your leading success so far? Patient testimonials! It warms my heart to hear from my patients, who tell me their procedure has improved their

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

quality of life and confidence. Years ago, my team and I had an epiphany that our marketing should focus on telling those stories. You may have seen or heard these stories, and I can assure you that they are all genuine and unscripted. We have hundreds of unedited and unscripted positive reviews online as well. How has COVID affected your business? Symptomatically: In April, blood clots emerged as one of the many mysterious symptoms attributed to COVID-19, a disease that had initially been thought to largely affect the lungs in the form of pneumonia. Quickly after came reports of young people dying due to coronavirus-related strokes. Next, it was COVID toes — painful red or purple digits. An impairment in blood circulation is the common denominator for all of these symptoms and conditions. Simply put, COVID-19 affects the vascular system, including your veins. Because a lot of people are staying at home and are less active, people (especially older folks) are more susceptible to blood clots. We have seen many patients this year who have been living with vein disease but their symptoms have been exacerbated due to a lack of exercise and activity. We offer easy-to-use teleconsulting for prospective patients who feel more comfortable speaking with me without a formal visit to the office. Teleconsulting is HIPPA compliant and only requires the user to have a smart phone, computer or tablet device. What can we anticipate from you in the future? We are growing and expanding our services to include cosmetic treatments such as laser hair removal, sun spot removal and skin tightening. We have recently hired Kirsten Schneider, MPAS, PA-C. She has extensive dermatology experience treating patients for more than 20 years. What’s a fun fact about you or your staff? I recently started my own podcast called “Nice Living with Dr. Kamran.” The podcast series is aimed at equipping you with knowledge to help you lead a vibrant life. During each episode, co-host Aimee Bowen and I dive into some of today's top medical, health and wellness topics and feature expert guests. The podcast is produced in my personal studio located in Howe Creek Landing in Wilmington.

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FIREHOUSE SUBS LELAND Louis and Jan Tabor, Owners Chris Tabor, General Manager 3572 Leland Town Center Drive, Leland (910) 408-1007 firehousesubs.com

Why was 2020 the right time to open your business? We had been looking for the ideal location to expand our family business and thought Leland would be a great place to serve hearty, flavorful food and provide heartfelt service. What made Leland the ideal location for you? Our son, Chris, calls Leland home, and we knew from visiting the area that this was the kind of town we were looking for to expand our family business. The people are welcoming and supportive. We’re thrilled to be able to serve them every day at our restaurant. What services and products do you offer? Firehouse Subs serves a variety of hot and hearty specialty subs, from our number-one selling Hook & Ladder Sub to our mouthwatering Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket Sub. We also offer a delicious Veggie Sub and gluten-free bread to accommodate appetites of all kinds. In addition to our signature subs, we offer a variety of catering options from sandwich and dessert platters to salads and snacks to fuel any occasion. What separates you from the competition? Our subs are like none other because they’re piled high with premium meats and cheeses that are sliced fresh daily in-restaurant and steamed together to bring out the ingredients’ natural flavors, served “Fully Involved®” with fresh produce and condiments. Plus, these are subs with substance — a portion of every purchase at our U.S. restaurants benefits Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, helping achieve its mission of providing lifesaving equipment and resources to first responders and public safety organizations across the country. What has been your leading success so far? We opened in the fall of 2020, and we’re extremely grateful for the Leland community that has been so supportive since

we opened. It means everything to us to be able to serve them and keep our crew members employed. Our favorite thing about owning our own restaurants is getting to know our regulars and making sure their experience with us is above and beyond. We look forward to doing this for years to come! What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? This year has presented us with several new challenges as entrepreneurs and local business owners. Our biggest priority has been doing everything we can to keep our crew members and guests safe in these unprecedented times. How has COVID affected your business? We were supposed to open back in the spring, but when the pandemic started, it caused a lot of delays. Despite these challenges, we’re grateful that we could open the doors to this new restaurant in September and bring Firehouse Subs’ signature subs and welcoming customer service to Leland. What can we anticipate from you in the future? The heart of Firehouse Subs and what we do in our restaurants every day is heartfelt service. We provide a welcoming place for all of our guests to come in and enjoy a hot, hearty meal for any occasion. Plus, we’re able to make a positive impact by giving back through Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Since inception in 2005, the Foundation has awarded more than $121,000 in grants to local first responders and public safety organizations in the Greater Wilmington area. What’s a fun fact about you or your staff? Our son, Chris, is running this new restaurant in Leland, and we’re so proud to see him step into this leadership role. He’s been part of our family business since we opened our first Firehouse Subs restaurant in Wilmington back in 2006. This is now our third restaurant, and we love working together as a family on this.

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M&K’S SOUTHERN STYLE KITCHEN Kory Sanderlin, Executive Chef and Owner 403 Village Road, Leland (910) 833-8030 mandkskitchen.com

Why was 2020 the right time to open your business? We did not technically open our business this year. We opened in May 2019 at our old location off of Lanvale Road. We decided to relocate in 2020 to a different location that was bigger and had indoor seating. We are not open inside just yet due to COVID; we are providing only curbside and delivery until we can get past this hectic time. What made Leland the ideal location for you? This is home. The majority of our staff is native to the area. Over the years we have watched our childhood fade and the Leland area grow. The old Pelican Snow/ Mr. Frosty's location is one building that has been here since we were all kids. We did not want to see it go to waste or some random chain buy it. What services/products do you offer? Good old Southern comfort food. Our menu has a total of 56 items: burgers and sandwiches with a twist, pastas, Southern comfort meals, starters, country fixings, soups, salads and even a small menu for the kiddos. Our menu is very friendly for everyone.

What separates you from the competition? All the plates that come out of our kitchen are made with love, and we take our time with each one. We are a family-run business, and we consider each employee blood related. That's what you have to do to have a successfully run business and not a high turnover rate. What has been your leading success so far? We don't look for success in our kitchen. We strive to always get better. We love to have the public's input on our food. We take everyone’s words and apply it to any situation that arises the next day! Any day is a successful one on our end if the customers are happy. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? Our first location almost killed us. It wasn't the best location, and we had no sit-down area for families and that really put a damper on our business. That's why we decided to move and have a bigger family environment. How has COVID affected your business? COVID really hasn't affected us any. We are still open for curbside and delivery (up to 20 miles). What can we anticipate from you in the future? Watch us grow into a large company! We look forward to expanding in the coming years and having some other locations around the area. We will continue to help our community any way possible. What’s a fun fact about you? I love to Jet Ski. I went Jet Skiing almost every Sunday I had off when the weather was warmer. 

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COMMUNITY

A Club for the Community Leland Area Rotary builds the foundation

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of service for a growing town. BY DENNIS HETZEL

aybe you think this is a story about a service club’s 10-year anniversary. And, sort of, it is. But the bigger story is how some people realized in 2009 that Leland’s rapid growth wouldn’t stop anytime soon. That much seemed inevitable and turned out to be true: Leland’s population was around 4,000 in 2000. By 2010, Leland hit 14,000, and that number likely will double soon. The Town of Leland website notes that Leland is the fastest-growing municipality in North Carolina and the 12th fastest-growing in America. What wasn’t inevitable in 2009 was Leland’s path as a community. Would the town evolve into another sprawling, disconnected suburban sea of strip shopping centers and subdivisions? Or, was there passion and leadership to create a thriving community with a strong sense of place, pride and people working together? The fundamental question was this: Where would you rather live, work or shop? The answer seemed obvious to a group of people who started meeting at the Two Guys Grille in Waterford, where the morning sun through the front windows was so bright that George Murray drove to Walmart to

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COMMUNITY

buy shower curtains to block the glare. The initial group included Murray, Jon David (now Brunswick County’s district attorney) and two regulars from the South Brunswick Islands Rotary Club — Shallotte auto dealer Gary Younts and Tim Daniels, a state trooper. They also gathered regularly at Murray’s frame shop, which has evolved into Murray Signs & Graphics. Murray, an Air Force veteran and former executive with Waste Management, had always wanted to own his own business. In 2004 he picked a site in an empty strip center in what is obvious now as the thriving U.S. 17 corridor in northern Brunswick County. But that wasn’t always the case. “People would ask me what the hell I was doing,” Murray recalls. “At that time, there were no stoplights and few buildings. But I had the data from my job with Waste Industries. I could see all the housing starts and what was coming.” When Walmart opened in 2006, the Highway 17 corridor was off to the races as a major retailing hub. But Leland seemed to lack identity. One example was the lack of civic groups. There weren’t many local opportunities to engage, David remembers. “George and I began discussing the ways to serve the community at the local level,” David says. “We went on a listening tour of the area and visited various service clubs. Rotary attracted us. It draws from a lot of different

professions, and our strength is our diversity. That’s what distinguishes us.” David’s twin brother, New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David, was a member of the Downtown Wilmington Rotary Club, and members of that club joined with other area clubs to provide encouragement and support to the Leland group. “We wanted a sense of community in our own backyard,” Jon David says. The South Brunswick Islands Rotary Club provided direct, ongoing mentoring that led to the charter for the Leland Area Rotary Club going into effect on February 11, 2010, with Murray as its first president. (North Brunswick Magazine Publisher Justin Williams was a charter member.) Today, it’s one of the region’s strongest Rotary clubs with around 40 active members. From the beginning, David says, the club has helped numerous community groups such as Matthew’s Ministry and the Hope Harbor Home for domestic violence victims. The priority has consistently been to assist children in northern Brunswick County with programs such as giving away backpacks, providing a dictionary to every thirdgrader in the area, offering mentors and guides to North Brunswick High School and sponsoring the high school’s athletic hall of fame. “Their timing was terrific,” Younts says. “A businessperson

Rotarians gathered to collect trash and debris from local roadways.

George Murray talks at a Leland Area Rotary meeting. 66

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George Murray, left, and Jon David

“ We went on a listening tour of the area and visited various service clubs. Rotary attracted us. It draws from a lot of different professions, and our strength is our diversity. That’s what distinguishes us.

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COMMUNITY

THE FIVE ROTARY CLUBS IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY

wants to see that the community is involved. I can’t stress visibility enough, and they have been very visible.” The club also has been visible with its community-based fundraising, such as a popular golf tournament that raises funds for Alzheimer’s research and food distribution to hungry children. The David brothers have offered a Cape Fear evening of “wine, cheese and mystery” in which they discuss intriguing local criminal cases. For the future, David says, the club will continue to support youth in multiple programs while remaining a place where people from different walks of life can come together. That includes fresh outreach to tap the life experiences of the many older newcomers to Brunswick County. “Brunswick County is a place where a lot of people retire with different backgrounds and life experiences,” David says. “Early on, we were focused on business and political leaders, so we had that. What we failed to do initially was leverage the power of the retirees. Many of them served their communities and were Rotarians where they lived before. We want them to be involved in the life of this community.” To Chris Stevenson, the area governor overseeing the local clubs and a member of the Leland Area Rotary, the club’s growth and evolution is a signature example of what Rotary represents to a community. “I stand on the shoulders of giants,” Stevenson says. 

Brunswick County has five active Rotary Clubs that meet weekly, either in person or by Zoom in recent months. All clubs provide numerous opportunities for fellowship and service, both to the community and internationally. Prospective members and visitors are welcome. The five clubs are these: • Leland Area Rotary Club

lelandarearotary.org • Shallotte Rotary Club

shallotterotaryclub.com • South Brunswick Islands

Rotary Club sbirotary.org • Southport Evening Rotary Club

southporteveningrotaryclub.com • Southport Rotary Club

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WE HAVE A WINNER! Local teenager Whitney Meggs makes Charger Division racing history. BY BRIAN WILNER

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PHOTO BY DIANE SCHAFER PHOTOGRAPHY

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A historic moment: North Brunswick High School student Whitney Meggs captures the first female Charger Division win on August 2, 2020.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

I

magine driving in just your sixth Charger Division car race. Now imagine you are a 16-year-old girl racing against men of all ages. And on a track in Myrtle Beach where some of the all-time greats have competed, including Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr., Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick, Ned Jarrett, Elliot Sadler and many others. Imagine you have the fastest qualifying time and start the race on the pole. And then in an exciting finish, you cross the finish line first to get the checkered flag!

Sounds hard to believe, doesn’t it? But Whitney Meggs of Riegelwood actually did it. The junior at North Brunswick High School became the first female to ever win a Charger Division race at the Myrtle Beach Speedway on August 2, 2020. After starting on the pole, Meggs dropped back to second place for most of the race. She then made a daring pass with only two laps to go to claim her first place trophy and a place in victory lane. When I ask Meggs to describe

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how that moment felt, she says, “It felt like everything we had worked for all year had finally paid off!” It turns out that for Meggs the race was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, at least in this location — shortly thereafter the Myrtle Beach Speedway closed permanently. “I am proud to say that I am part of the history of a track with so much history behind it,” she says. Growing up in Riegelwood with her parents, Chris and Gina Meggs, Meggs was always around racing as her father and

grandfather, Bobby Meggs, raced go karts. Meggs had other hobbies before she even thought of racing. She was destined to become an outdoorswoman. The family always had horses, and she began riding horseback when she was 4. Then she got hooked on fishing as her father took her with him on their fishing boat. At 6 years old, she discovered something she really loved — hunting. “I remember the thrill of going out with my dad and grandpa, hunting either for deer or for


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THIS COLUMN: PHOTOS BY MEGAN DEITZ

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ducks,” she says. “Now every year I can’t wait until each season comes in.” Meggs also played school softball with her twin sister, Laney, right up until this year. As the years passed, she spent more and more time watching races at the local dirt tracks. It got to be a weekly thing. After seeing her younger brother, Alex, race and have some success, Meggs decided it was time for her to start a new hobby. She joined the same racing series as Alex, driving the Bandolero cars, designed as entry-level cars for drivers as young as 8 years old. “I picked #22 because that was my dad’s racing number,” she says. Her crew chief, Kendall Sellers of AK Performance Racing of Kannapolis, describes her start in racing: “I’ll never forget the competitive side she possessed from day one driving the Bandolero, although some of it may have been led on by a sibling rivalry against her younger brother, Alex.” As Meggs progressed through the Bandolero ranks, Sellers decided it was time for her to move up to the next level. “She made the move to full-bodied, late-model stock cars over this past winter,” Sellers says. “She had never driven one of those cars before — or even a car with a manual transmission!” It was then Meggs began competing at the Myrtle Beach Speedway, a place that Sellers and his team were


PHOTO BY DIANE SCHAFER PHOTOGRAPHY

Meggs began driving full-bodied, late-model stock cars last winter and quickly advanced in the ranks against veteran drivers.

very familiar with. She began to show her true talent, as she fiercely competed against veteran drivers. “She was never afraid of any obstacle that faced her in this male-dominated sport,” Sellers says. “She stepped up to

the challenge of racing people with more experience.” On August 2, it all came together. Pole position. Good tires. Good start. Crew, family and friends watched as the race unfolded and Meggs stayed at the

front of the pack. “Once Whitney’s car is on the track my eyes never leave it,” Gina Meggs says of her daughter. “I try to mentally help it around the track!” When Meggs crossed the finish line first, the tears of joy were evident everywhere in the pit. But there was no one prouder of her than her parents. Even the other drivers and pit crew members were quick to give their congratulations for her accomplishment. Everyone had smiles on their faces for the ride home that evening! Meggs finished second overall in points for the 2020 season. “I have a very knowledgeable and experienced pit crew and have to give them so much credit for my success,” she says. As she drives around the county nowadays in her Ford F150, listening to her favorite country artist Morgan Wallen, Meggs dreams of the future and what might be: “Racing!” But just in case that doesn’t work out, she already has a backup plan. When she graduates from high school in 2022 she will have already earned her Certified Nursing Assistant degree through Brunswick Community College. Nothing like a 16-year-old who already has a career planned and a backup career to boot! Maybe one day we will be watching her racing on Sundays. We can all dream with her. Bravo, Whitney Meggs, and best of luck! 

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Building Hope Thanks to a team of community helpers, Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity builds more than homes in Brunswick County. BY RICH MINA

|

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK STEELMAN

“I was excited and a ball of nerves,” she says. “With Habitat I get stability and safety for my niece. She’ll have a backyard — her own safe haven. I’m so grateful to Habitat for Humanity for helping me make this dream come true.” Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Carlo Montagano eagerly shares his optimism and passion for seeing that vision become a tangible reality. Habitat’s vision

PHOTO BY RICH MINA

W When April Flowers and her 3-year-old niece, Aiyana, arrive at the jobsite of the latest Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity home, excitement ensues. The cement truck pulls up to pour not just a home foundation, but the foundation of a new chapter of their lives. Flowers and her niece are the partner-family for this house, and Flowers beams recalling how she felt when she received the approval call that she had qualified for a house.

Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Carlo Montagano. Below: April Flowers and her niece, Aiyana.

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NONPROFIT

statement is “to help create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” The process of applying for a home may begin by attending a community-based informational meeting in which current Habitat homeowners conduct a question and answer session about their experience with the program. According to Tamara Morales, Brunswick County’s Habitat development director, Flowers learned of the program at one of these and applied for her home in September 2019. Eligibility for application includes an income of 35 to 70 78

North Brunswick Magazine

percent of the median income for Site lead Craig Pierce, executive director the area. In addition, current Carlo Montagano living conditions must be and volunteer Ted unsuitable for various reasons. Stephens discuss plans Becoming a partner-family for a recent home built in Southport. requires sweat equity from the applicant, which may involve working in Habitat ReStores, helping at the main office or working at the homesite. Applicants to become partnerfamilies may request a certain city/area where they wish to


NONPROFIT

Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity volunteer Rich Edwards.

build. Zero interest mortgage arrangements are made through Habitat’s lending services. Qualified partner-families are obligated to meet monthly mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance and utilities. Montagano came to Habitat after 25 years of business success. He had paused to reflect on his life and consider if there was more he could do to give back to others. Although he had been donating time with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Knights of Columbus and hospice, he sought greater fulfillment. He reflected upon philosopher Ralph Waldo

Emerson’s words: “That the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, honorable, compassionate and have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Recognizing that affordable housing is a universal need, Montagano returned to college in Connecticut and earned an MA degree in human services. He completed his graduate internship at Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity in New Hanover County. “I was hired by Brunswick Habitat to lead the affiliate to the next level of growth,” he says. “We hired more staff, Winter 2020-21

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Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity volunteers: Rich Booth and Ted Stephens (above), Rich Edwards (opposite, top), Rich Booth, project coordinator Brian Troxler and Rich Edwards (opposite, bottom).

instituted process and increased capacity and safety. Although COVID-19 caused shutdowns in all three thrift shops, I am grateful for the continuous flow of new volunteer applications from the community.” Habitat for Humanity’s business model relies on three main sources of revenue: profit from the ReStores, donations and grants. ReStores in Brunswick County are in Leland, Southport and Ocean Isle Beach. Income is generated by selling goods that have been donated and sanitized. Donations come from many charitable sources in the communities, and grants may become available from time to time. A recent matching donation of $10,000 from a Brunswick County company was especially welcomed. 80

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Montagano is specific in pointing out that the role he sees in Habitat is more than just counting the number of houses built within a given year. He cites the importance of helping families rather than just putting up numbers of completed homes in a linear graph. With much-needed land donations, he projects building one to five homes per year. Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford reminds his executive directors around the world that running a small nonprofit is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, it is critical not to get hung up on the number of homes built. Part of the organization’s mission statement is to bring people together to build not only homes but also communities and hope. Montagano names three keys to sustaining his successful business — relevance, resilience and growth/stability. It must remain relevant to the needs of the community, where 32 percent of all households are cost-burdened with spending more than 30 percent of their budget on housing. Also, it must continue to seek help with land donations and volunteer workers in these challenging times. Its growth will be determined in part by the help they attain from donations, 82

North Brunswick Magazine

volunteers, local business partnerships and sales at ReStores. On the jobsite with Flowers, Montagano hands Aiyana a souvenir pen with a plastic hammer at one end. She smiles and holds it close, symbolizing how business and construction can help families find safe havens in Brunswick County. 

Can you help? Brunswick County Habitat for Humanity 1323 Stone Chimney Road SW, Supply (910) 454-0007 To make donations, volunteer or learn about home ownership, visit brunswickcountyhabitat.org. Shop or donate items at local ReStores at: 414 Village Road, Leland 4170 Long Beach Road, Southport 6560 Beach Drive, Ocean Isle Beach


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ANSWERING THE CALL

WOMEN IN

FIRE

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Whatever the motivation, following in family footsteps or living a childhood dream, women in Leland are stepping up to firefighting service. BY CHRIS G. LAYT

|

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN DEITZ

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Nationwide, about 4 percent of full-time firefighters are women, but in Leland, the percentage is higher, about 16 percent. Of Leland’s 30-some firefighters, five are women. Gabby Cooksey and Whitley Lovette, two of Leland’s female firefighters, share what it’s like in the demanding job of saving lives in what formerly has been seen as a man’s world.

A CHILDHOOD

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Running toward danger to help others might seem like an unimaginable career choice, but it’s what Gabby Cooksey always wanted to do. Starting in kindergarten, she told all of her teachers she wanted to be a soldier and a firefighter, even though none of her immediate family was in the military or fire service. Her dreams never changed, and she has accomplished both. Cooksey tackled the soldier part first, enlisting with the Marines and serving in the engineer company as a water support technician at Cherry Point from 2015 to 2018. Her brother joined the Marines with her. When her four years in the Marines were finished, Cooksey began fire training at Crystal Coast Fire Academy in Morehead City. “What really caught my eye to be a Marine was the challenge, the camaraderie, the brotherhood,” Cooksey says. “When I decided to get out of the military, I still wanted all that. I wanted to serve my country and the American people. The transition was very smooth for me because a lot of things are the same.” Although she thrived on the physical and mental challenges of the fire academy, admiring the instructors and being pumped by the challenge, she admits it was very hard to stay the course and says she almost didn’t make it through.

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DREAM


“ She is very proud. She tells all her friends ‘Mommy’s a firefighter.’ I want to be that role model in her life. “It is very challenging,” she says. “It’s Monday through Friday and sometimes every other Saturday. I was working and going through the school. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up. It was just hard, especially when I was the only girl and all these guys were doing everything so easily. At the same time, it was so much fun.” Cooksey did make it through the fire academy. She’s been stationed at Leland Fire Station #2 on River Road for six months. Previously she served the Western Carteret Fire & EMS

Department. Being in fire service means you have to stay fit, so it’s a good thing Cooksey enjoys power lifting. She would love to compete on the Rock’s The Titan Games one day. “My motivation is that I’m in a physically demanding job, and if you’re not fit you become a liability,” she says. “Another driving factor is that I have a 4-year-old as well. I don’t want to be one of those parents who just sit around because they’re too unhealthy to go do anything.”

Cooksey’s shifts at the Leland Fire Station run from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. “Our typical day is to come in, sit down with the previous crew and get an overview of what they did,” she says. “They hand the post off to us. After that we check all of our trucks, all of our gear, make sure everything is in service. We usually do some sort of training, get lunch in, we do a workout together of some sort. That’s it, training and calls and working out. We’ll have a family dinner and unwind at the end of the day, a little after 5 usually.” Just like on TV, the calls often come in at inopportune moments. “Either you’re in the shower, in the restroom or in the middle of cooking, and you just have to turn everything off and run,” Cooksey says. Leland currently has 30 fulltime firefighters and is planning to hire nine more after the start of the year. “I love the fact that the department is growing, and we meet all these people that come from different places,” Cooksey says. “We all teach each other things and piggyback off each other’s experiences and as a group we can grow and learn.” Being a mother adds extra challenges to Cooksey’s job. “There are times when it is hard because I leave for 24 hours and she’s like ‘Mom, you’re always gone.’ In reality, though, I get four days off at a time. I say the Marine Corps is a lot harder for parents. There would be times when I’d be gone for months. It all comes down to having that strong family base. You just have to have everything in order, if you don’t your work and family life is going to be a mess.” Besides, her daughter is her biggest fan. “She is very proud. She tells all her friends ‘Mommy’s a firefighter.’ I want to be that role model in her life, show her that women can do tough jobs.” Winter 2020-21

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Whitley Lovette is another of Leland’s firefighting women. She has served more than two years at Station #1 in Leland and is also a volunteer lieutenant at White Lake Fire Department in Bladen County. Her firefighting roots run deep. Not only did Lovette grow up in a house with a fire chief for a dad and a police chief for a mother, her grandfather was a charter member of the South Salisbury Fire Department, and his father drove the first motorized fire engine for the city of Kannapolis. Lovette started as a Firefighter Explorer in Burlington, North Carolina, at the age of 14. The Explorer program allows teens to get introductory experience at a station by doing ridealongs, cleaning trucks and other tasks. Lovette explains that she and Cooksey are both on A Shift at their separate stations. “We both ride tail board, which is the backseat, which is like the bottom of the totem pole,” she says. “We are the ones who actually go inside and fight fire. We support the rescue truck on wrecks and stuff like that. We don’t necessarily make big decisions, but we make split-second decisions that support our officers, our drivers, our captains, our battalion chiefs. It’s like in the military, it’s like we’re the grunts.” Like all firefighters, the main goal is keeping their cool. “You have to be levelheaded and keep your head on a swivel, be aware of all of your surroundings and everything that is going on around you,” Lovette explains. “It’s like playing chess not checkers. You have to have an understanding of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what needs to be done in the next step.” A self-described adrenaline junkie, Lovette says she is like the Tasmanian

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“ Devil. “Just point me in the direction you want me to go,” she says. She has no fear of emergency situations, but don’t ask her to ride a rollercoaster or talk to a clown. “I am terrified of clowns. Terr - i fied!” she says with a laugh. Lovette gave some thought to taking another career path. She got a bachelor’s degree in agri-businesses at Mt. Olive College and considered going back to get another degree in plant pathology, breeding plants and crops. She would have joined a line of farmers on her mother’s side of the family. “I quit running calls for about three 90

North Brunswick Magazine

“It’s like playing chess not checkers. You have to have an understanding of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what needs to be done in the next step.

or four years while in college,” she says. “I hated it, not being able to do what I wanted to do. I just came back to what I knew.” Finding time to volunteer with White Lake Fire Department is a way to share her fire service knowledge. “I volunteer because it really does help my community,” she says. “I’m one of three paid firemen on my volunteer station. … Having the knowledge I’ve gained at Leland, and with my background, I can turn around and implement that into a volunteer house and help move them forward.” When the boots are on the ground,

the job is tough, and the human loss can be devastating. “When the outcome is bad, you compartmentalize and you deal,” she says. “When you sign up for this job you know you are going to see people at the worst times of their lives. You have to be a pillar, a concrete substance to help them deal with what they’re going through at the moment. And you deal with what you’ve seen when you get back to the station house. “I’ve had some rough calls in my career. The ones that affect me the most are usually children and young adults, those hit heavy. It’s the same with anybody in emergency services. You don’t want to see somebody so young gone. We are a family in emergency services, law enforcement, EMS, fire, emergency management — we all have the same life thread. We all understand that there are things that are going to affect us negatively in this job. But most of us are protectors, defenders and fixers. We don’t want other people to go through what we’ve seen or gone through. “We get a lot more bad than we do good at times, it’s the nature of the job,” she says. “At the same time, you see a lot of positivity. I like doing fire prevention in the month of October and going in schools. If a young female looks at me and thinks ‘Hey, if she can do this, I can do this,’ then I show a positive role model for younger children in the community.” On Lovette’s 5-foot-tall frame, the weight of the fire gear is almost half her weight. “With all my gear, tools, air pack, what have you, it is about 75 pounds of things when I’m geared up,” she says. But just as with all the tough parts of the job, she has a mindset that helps her thrive: “You just do it. If it is what you want to do, you find a way and you do it.” 


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BEHIND THE BUSINESS

Wellness Warriors

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LIT Nutrition is building a healthier Leland through with nutritional products and health coaching. BY MELISSA SLAVEN WARREN

|

Rolanda and Manny Pacheco can help you meet your healthy-weight goals, improve your digestive health, boost your immune system, look after your heart health, age gracefully and even sleep and relax better. No, they aren’t doctors; they are your neighborhood purveyors of delicious, nutritional shakes and teas served up at LIT Nutrition Smoothie & Juice Bar. In the Waterford Shopping Center in Leland, LIT Nutrition provides a healthy meal replacement for those who want a fast food that actually benefits their health. “We opened our doors on December 8, 2018, with the mission to create a community of positive, healthy and active people by educating them about wellness and helping them create a healthier lifestyle through great nutrition,” Rolanda says. Their drinks aren’t just nutritious, they’re meant to taste

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ

great and be satisfying. Protein shakes often have a reputation for having a chalky aftertaste, but not these. Using great-tasting, plant-based Herbalife as ingredients, LIT Nutrition serves flavors like peanut butter cup, chocolate cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate death, cinnamon toast crunch, cookies and cream and brownie batter, and they taste just like they sound. In total, they have 50 different shake flavors to choose from. “Each shake is only 220 calories with 24 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs and 24 essential nutrients,” Manny says. The inspiration for LIT Nutrition came from Rolanda’s own weight-loss journey she began five years ago. She began using Herbalife products and lost nearly 40 pounds in just a few months. Herbalife’s plant-based nutrition products have been on the market since 1980, and according to Rolanda, Winter 2020-21

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BEHIND THE BUSINESS

Manny Pacheco creates a healthy shake for a customer.

“They help people get the right balance of healthy nutrition.” She is a Herbalife distributor. Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association has proven that diets higher in plant foods and lower in animal foods are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in a general population. Also, proper nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins and water enable the body to function properly. Customers get all that and more in the shakes at LIT Nutrition. It’s not just shakes that LIT Nutrition serves. They also serve protein coffee and energizing teas like green pomegranate and a mixture of orange pekoe and green tea. “We have other specialty drinks, Mega LITs with flavors like Aqua Storm, Island Breeze and Kentucky Sidecar,” Manny says. They also have a selection of protein bars and healthy products that help with healthy weight, digestive health, sleep and relaxation, immune support, heart health, men’s and 94

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women’s health, children’s health, energy and fitness, and skin and hair care. LIT Nutrition is a good solution for busy people on the go when there sometimes isn’t enough time between meetings or appointments to grab a healthy, satisfying lunch. Instead of hitting a drive-thru for an unhealthy option, their mealreplacement shakes, which are nutrient dense with vitamins and minerals, have a low glycemic index and promote lean body mass. Customers can call ahead so it’s ready when they get there for pick up. LIT Nutrition is more than a local smoothie and juice bar. Manny and Rolanda are truly passionate about helping people live healthy, happy and balanced lives. They provide wellness coaching, weight-management coaching, sports nutrition, free body analysis and a free wellness profile. “We can help guide you on what might be a successful wellness journey,” Manny says. People come for the shakes and teas, but they also come for the customer service. When it comes to making sure their


BEHIND THE BUSINESS

It’s not about a lot of money, it’s about making a lot of healthy people. Truly, our customers are an extension of our family.

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BEHIND THE BUSINESS

customers feel valued, it’s all about providing a positive atmosphere, Manny says. “It’s our priority, and we put it before the business,” he says. “It’s not about a lot of money, it’s about making a lot of healthy people. Truly, our customers are an extension of our family.” Rolanda adds, “Together with building strong relationships, we can make a positive impact in all of those around us. We’re impacting our community one person at a time.” Many of their regular customers don’t even have to tell Manny or Rolanda what they want. It’s simply, “Give me the usual.” Fortunately, LIT Nutrition is deemed an essential business and did not have to endure a prolonged shutdown; although like most businesses, they had to change the way they do business, including adding curbside service and grab-and-go options. LIT Nutrition’s business actually grew during the pandemic. “I think people were looking for something other than the usual, and they are trying to be healthier now,” Manny says. 

Want to try it? LIT Nutrition 511 Old Waterford Way, Suite 103, Leland (910) 408-1636 Facebook @litnutritionilm Hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 5 pm, Saturday 8 am to 1 pm and Sunday 9 am to 1 pm. They offer discounts to military, veterans and first responders.

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PEOPLE

Man with a Plan In his role as Town Planner for the Town of Navassa, UNCW graduate Barnes Sutton has found his calling.

S

BY JO ANN MATHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT MCGRAW

Sometimes the path we start on is entirely different from where we end up. Navassa Town Planner Barnes Sutton chose marine biology as his major when he entered University of North Carolina Wilmington, but he quickly switched gears. “After my first semester, I was kind of lost,” he says. “I realized marine biology was more than just working with the animals and swimming with the dolphins.” Sutton sought assistance from his college counselor, who recommended he take a class in entrepreneurship. “She thought I was a good fit for the business school,” he says. He followed her advice and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in economics, another bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in public policy and a master’s degree in public administration. With his MPA in hand, Sutton

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PEOPLE

Navassa can be a beacon for environmental protection, cultural promotion and economic sustainability. My main goal is to push every one of those doors open and to see what’s there.

took a job in Pender County as a permit technician. He moved up to current planner, one of five full-time planners in Pender County, with responsibilities for commercial and special-use permits. In 100

North Brunswick Magazine

2017 he accepted the position of town planner for Navassa and believes he found his calling. Navassa, a town of about 1,900 primarily Black residents, is one of the fastest-growing small towns

in North Carolina. Its population grew almost 56 percent from 2010 to 2019. Sutton attributes its growth in population and industry to several factors. Navassa has acres of land for


PEOPLE

potential development, and it already has infrastructure in place. Its location near the Cape Fear River and I-140 provides access to not only Wilmington International Airport, but also a multitude of entertainment venues, medical facilities and educational institutions in both Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. “Navassa can be a beacon for environmental protection, cultural promotion and economic sustainability,” he says. “My main goal is to push every one of those doors open and to see what’s there.” Kevin Lackey, business development manager at Brunswick Business and Industry Development in Leland, says he knows Sutton from UNCW and often contacts him about companies interested in locating in Brunswick County. “Barnes is the point man for Navassa,” he says. “He’s genuine in what he does. That’s number one. He gives it his all. He’s very sharp, and he’s not afraid to ask for help or guidance.” Lackey directed the call from Pacon Manufacturing to Sutton when the company inquired about locating a plant in Navassa. “We supported what they were trying to do and what their business is about,” Sutton says. “We said we would work with them.” The New Jersey company opened in April 2020 and created 40 jobs. It is still in the process of refitting a former fertilizer company and former boat factory to its specifications and will eventually employ about 300 people. This will bring more than $37 million in economic development to Brunswick County. Pacon makes wipes, towels, pads and liquids for medical, industrial and consumer use. Sutton goes in many directions as town planner. He issues permits, oversees programming and municipal events at the parks and handles code enforcement, utilities and many other aspects of the town. He says everyone works together in Navassa: “If something has to be done, we all pitch in and get it done.”

M

ayor Eulis Willis answers with three words when asked what impressed him about Sutton and what convinced him Sutton belongs in Navassa. “Young, gifted, Black,” he says. Surprisingly, Sutton is only 27 years old. Standing at 6 feet-two inches, he has an engaging smile and friendly manner. He was born at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to

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Donald and Edie Sutton, both Army recruits. “This is the longest I’ve lived anywhere,” he says of Wilmington, where he moved in 2011. He inherited his name from his grandfather, Edgar Barnes Smith, while his older brother, who recently retired from the Army after six years including time in Kuwait, is named Donald. Sutton says he considered the Army while interviewing for jobs in local government, but being accepted in the MBA program eliminated that choice. “I was having zero success in getting even an interview,” he says. “I would have liked the Army because of the lifestyle I grew up in. Both my brother and I were conditioned to the military life. I probably would have acclimated to it, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.”

Besides Missouri, the family lived in Germany, Texas and finally in Fayetteville. When his father retired in 2007, the family moved to La Grange, North Carolina, where his father’s family lived. His parents bought a restaurant they named Sutton’s Grill and Restaurant and kept it until 2014. “My only hobby is cooking,” Sutton says. “I like to experiment and mess around with she-crab soup and other soups.” Sutton also enjoys basketball, having played on the team at North Lenore High School in La Grange. At the UNCW recreation center he played intramural basketball and football and refereed games and taught refereeing. His interest extends to humanitarian efforts as well. He is on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity in

Supply. “Habitat always gives,” he says. “I’ve always tried to emulate that.” Sutton co-parents his son Camden, 3, with the boy’s mother, and he and his girlfriend, Olivia West, value the time they spend with the toddler. Sutton wants to stay in local government at least until he reaches the goals he has set to bring more services he thinks Navassa needs and wants. Then he wants to move into a management position where he can create a team and a network to accomplish more in Navassa. “Local government is where I find the most enjoyment,” he says. “I think Navassa has a lot going for it, and I think there are going to be a lot of good things to come in the near future, and I’m excited that people are watching.” 

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North Brunswick Magazine


The Chef & The Frog

Business Profile BY MOLLY HARRISON

N

freshest ingredients, growing her own herbs and vegetables and even raising chickens for the fresh eggs. An extensive wine list and bar offerings add to the enjoyment, and the staff is trained to make everyone’s experience as pleasant as possible. Word about The Chef & The Frog is spreading, and it has become a destination restaurant for foodies throughout southeastern North Carolina. They are open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Thursday through Sunday and for Sunday brunch (but call ahead to verify hours). They also offer onand off-premise catering with two private dining rooms and an outside patio. Make the hour’s drive to Whiteville for lunch or dinner and discover this hidden gem for yourself. The Chef & The Frog 607 S. Madison Street, Whiteville (910) 640-5550; chefnc.com

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CLINE

ot all of the best restaurants in southeastern North Carolina are in Wilmington or along the coast. Take a drive inland on Highway 74 to downtown Whiteville, and you’ll find the awardwinning The Chef & The Frog. An artisan blend of French-Asian farm-to-table slow food, The Chef & The Frog has been featured in numerous magazines and TV shows and could easily stand out among the restaurants in larger cities. But owners Sokun Slama and Guillaume Slama are committed to Whiteville. They like the small-town atmosphere and the townspeople who have supported their restaurant for the last 12 years. Sokun (the Chef) and Frenchman Guillaume (the Frog) love what they do, and it shows. They put their heart and soul into everything at their restaurant, and the results add up to more than a meal but rather an exceptional dining experience. Chef Sokun uses the

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What Is The Dark Web? Written by The Computer Warriors, Inc. Many security companies are now offering ‘dark web’ scans as part of their security packages. In the article below, we’ll discuss what the dark web is and what these scans mean.

Wilmington \ Jacksonville \ Leland \ Camp Lejeune 104 North Brunswick Magazine


ADVERTISERS INDEX Advertiser

Phone# Page#

4ever24fit..........................................................................................910-399-4760 91

Advertiser

Phone# Page#

Leland Ace Hardware..................................................................910-383-6688 91

AA Self Storage............................................................................ 910-408-1600 56 Leland Smoke House.................................................................910-228-5008

59, 69

Aesthetic Dentistry........................................................................910-371-5965 7 Leland Veterinary Hospital...................................................... 910-371-3440 14 ATMC.......................................................................................................844-755-1814 69

Livingston Creek Farms.............................................................910-655-4333 34

Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery....................................910-769-1605 12

Local’s Tavern...................................................................................910-769-1289 101

Ball Hog Dog Training Academy........................................................................ 101 McPherson’s Acme General..................................................910-655-4006 64 Bianchi Brickyard Supply...........................................................910-454-4445 4 MME Insurance Solutions.........................................................910-520-8748 80 Bill Clark Homes...............................................................................910-550-1167 22 Mulch & More...................................................................................910-253-7663 4 BlueWave Dentistry.......................................................................910-383-2615

26 & 27

Brodee Dogs.......................................................................................910-523-5121 69

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

88, 108

Niche. Décor & Gifts.....................................................................910-769-8839 98

Brunswick County Dept. of Social Services......................910-253-2112 75 North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce..................... 910-383-0553 97 Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation...............910-754-4391 15 North Brunswick Chiropractic ................................................910-371-1200 73 Brunswick Forest............................................................................910-371-2434 3 Novant Health...................................................................................910-754-5988 28 Brunswick Forest Veterinary Hospital...............................910-777-2107 106

PC Solutions.......................................................................................910-371-5999 103

Capeside Animal Hospital.........................................................910-383-2100 42 Pinnacle Storage ...........................................................................910-408-1394 19 Carolinas Oral and Facial Surgery.........................................910-762-2618 83

PODS....................................................................................................910-452-0322 80

Cherubini Orthodontics............................................................... 910-371-2323 97

Port City Java...................................................................................910-383-2429

Clean Eatz Express.........................................................................910-769-5414 83

P.T.’s Grille.........................................................................................910-399-6808 73

Coastal Insurance...........................................................................910-754-4326 107

Rhodes Law Offices, PLLC....................................................... 910-383-3610 14

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Coastal Integrative Health......................................................... 910-408-1778 38 RJB Tax Associates, LLC...........................................................910-338-3001 64 Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage................................. 910-371-1181 13

Robert G. Merz, CPA, P.C...........................................................910-383-6644 46

Community Association Management Services.........877-672-2267 46 Sandpiper Pediatrics...................................................................910-207-0777 64 CommWell Health..........................................................................877-935-5255 42 Scarless Vein Care........................................................................ 910-726-3737

51, 61

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

5

Sean Skutnik, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage.....910-279-1016 34

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

104

Seidokan Karate..............................................................................910-616-7470 88

Curley Implants & General Dentistry.................................910-463-2267 2 Shallotte Electric Stores......................................................... 910-754-6000 102 Dew Oil Company......................................................................... 910-655-2295 83 Shuckin’ Shack...................................................................................910-221-5522 88 EmergeOrtho..................................................................................910-332-3800

11

Farm Bureau Insurance.................................................................. 910-371-2111 73

Signature Wealth Strategies................................................... 910-371-0366 96 Smithfield’s Chicken N Bar-B-Q............................................ 910-371-6900 24

First Bank............................................................................................910-383-3955 6 Swell Vision Center......................................................................... 910-408-1116 91 Four Seasons Dry Cleaners......................................................910-859-8394 98

Thalian Association Community Theatre..........................910-251-1788 92

Franklin Rouse - State Farm Insurance..............................910-371-5446 44 The Bluffs..........................................................................................866-383-2820 25 Go Store It............................................................................................ 910-371-2331 97

The Chef and The Frog.............................................................910-640-5550 103

Holmes Security Systems..........................................................910-793-4181 46 Trinity Wellness Center...........................................................910-769-5004 58 Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries........................................910-371-2707 34 Triad Power Wash LLC...............................................................910-599-7798 56 Intracoastal Realty Corporation............................................910-201-2200 17 Troy Williamson — Cornerstone Home Lending..........910-262-2613 51 J & K Home Furnishings............................................................ 843-249-1882

30 & 31

Trusst Builder Group..................................................................910-371-0304 9

Jason Krause — Allstate............................................................910-338-5686 56 Turf Medic...........................................................................................910-769-2818 92 Josh London — State Farm Insurance................................910-383-1303 44 UPS Store............................................................................................ 910-383-1401 51 Katie’s Art & Frame....................................................................... 910-408-1757 103

Venture Business Park................................................................910-523-1984 76

Kingfish Bay......................................................................................910-579-4657 20 Wilmington Health.........................................................................910-341-3400 76 Legacy Homes by Bill Clark.......................................................910-550-1167 23 Wine & Design.................................................................................910-399-7874 92

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CAPTURE THE MOMENT

Photo captured by Courtney Roberts

HAVE YOU CAPTURED THE MOMENT? If so, email your photos to capture@northbrunswickmagazine.com.

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