Topsail Magazine Winter 2021-22

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WINTER 2021-22

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COMPLIMENTARY

Season is

OYSTER SEASON THREE LITTLE SPATS OYSTER CO WANTS TO CHANGE HOW THE PUBLIC PERCEIVES OYSTER SEASON.

PENDER'S ARTS EPICENTER

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TOPSAIL YOUNG LIFE

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HOW SNEADS FERRY GOT ITS NAME


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Expect Remarkable Learn more at NovantHealth.org/NHRMC.


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At Intracoastal Realty, we have a high concentration of our market’s top performing agents whose local knowledge is unmatched. We are excited to serve all of your real estate needs from our Topsail Island location!

Contact one of our island experts today!

1 0 4 T R I T O N L A N E | S U R F C I T Y, N C 2 8 4 4 5 | 9 1 0 - 3 2 8 - 3 0 0 0 | T O P S A I L . I N T R A C O A S T A L R E A L T Y. C O M


TABLE OF CONTENTS

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WINTER 2021-22

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VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1

25

46

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

IN EVERY ISSUE

36 MORE THAN A LAUNCH POINT

25 BEHIND THE BUSINESS

8

Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill Marina is a destination for boaters with dry boat storage, a convenience store, fuel, a clubhouse and a restaurant, The Sailfish at Marsh Creek Marine. By Melissa Slaven Warren

46 GROWING A BETTER PENDER COUNTY

Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension is a resource for farm and garden assistance as well as youth development. By Dalene Bickel

56 EVERY SEASON IS OYSTER SEASON

Three Little Spats Oyster Co wants to change how the public perceives oyster season. By Emory Rakestraw

For the past 12 years, ArtExposure has served as an epicenter for the arts in Pender County.

CONTRIBUTORS

10 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 12 TAGGED

31 HISTORY

Waterways, a murderer and seafood: How Sneads Ferry got its name.

17 SPIRITS

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cocktail

41 PEOPLE

Pender County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill focuses on making education relevant for every student.

18 WHAT’S COOKIN’

Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies

20 ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

51 COMMUNITY

Three women business owners revive an old Surf City shopping complex.

22 WHAT’S HAPPENED 69 SNIPPETS

63 KIDS

Topsail Young Life has been standing by area teens when they need it most for nearly 20 years and is now in search of a new leader.

78 FACES & PLACES 80 TIDE CHART 81 ADVERTISERS INDEX 82 CAPTURE THE MOMENT

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Topsail Magazine

PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

56

PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

PHOTO BY SHAY PERNA

PHOTO BY JAMES STEFIUK

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Helping Your Family Smile For 25 Years zz

NEW STATEEOFFTHEEART FACILITY

CEREC SAME DAY PORCELAIN CROWNS

SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT

SURESMILE CLEAR ORTHO ALIGNERS

ZOOM WHITENING

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Hampstead |

910.270.1222

Jacksonville |

910.353.3551


About

Winter 2021-22 Issue — Volume 3, Issue 1 CEO/PUBLISHER: Justin Williams DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Sandi Grigg

Publishing Quarterly

COPY EDITOR: Molly Harrison

25,000 copies printed each issue 14,000 copies directly mailed to area homes

CONTRIBUTING GRAPHICS: Laura Glantz Paula Knorr Teresa Kramer Samantha Lowe Elizabeth Dale Niemann

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: George Jacob Brian Wilner

Top

sail Mag azin e Top

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Mark Butler Laura Glantz Adam Hawley Jenn Snaps Gold Vicky Oliver Shay Perna Bill Ritenour Eric Sills James Stefiuk Unique Media & Design Eric Vithalani

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Dalene Bickel Ashley Daniels Pat Fontana Sandi Grigg Courtney McLaughlin Denice Patterson Emory Rakestraw Melissa Slaven Warren Edward Wills

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FOUNDER: B.J. Cothran

Want to advertise? ads@TopsailMag.com PUBLISHED BY: CAROLINA MARKETING COMPANY, INC.

Have a story idea? edit@TopsailMag.com Are you a writer or photographer? freelance@TopsailMag.com 910.207.0156 TopsailMag.com

©2021 Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. strives to bring correct, accurate information that is published in the magazine. However, Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from errors or absences. Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. also cannot be held responsible for the services provided by any and all advertisers in our publications. All material in this magazine is property of Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. and may not be reproduced without authorization from the publisher. Topsail Magazine – A Carolina Marketing Company, Inc. publication is published four times per year and is distributed to residents and businesses in Pender & Onslow County, NC, to subscribers and to select areas of New Hanover County, NC. Interested in back issues, subscriptions or advertising? Contact us at (910) 207-0156 or info@TopsailMag.com.

Topsail Magazine

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

TopsailMag.com

WINTER 2021-22

A publication of Carolina Marketing Company, Inc.

|

COMPLIMENTARY

Winter 2021-22

Season is

Volume 3, Issue 1

OYSTER SEASON THREE LITTLE SPATS OYSTER CO WANTS TO CHANGE HOW THE PUBLIC PERCEIVES OYSTER SEASON.

PENDER'S ARTS EPICENTER

6

Topsail Magazine

|

TOPSAIL YOUNG LIFE

|

HOW SNEADS FERRY GOT ITS NAME

About the cover: Photographer Laura Glantz captured this cover image while on a shoot at Three Little Spats Oyster Co at Permuda Island. See Emory Rakestraw's story about Three Little Spats, as well as more of Glantz's photos, starting on page 56.


Winter 2021-22

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CONTRIBUTORS

Laura Glantz CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

My background includes time spent in the U.S. Air Force working on B-1 Bombers, followed with 10 years in the design and sign industries. I have won multiple American Advertising Federation Addy Awards in design, and my design experience includes logos, brochures, business cards, T-shirts, wedding invitations, event collateral, magazine layouts, posters, vehicle wraps and signage. Custom illustration is a favorite of mine in creating a unique client brand. As an avid photographer, I feel I can capture so many defining moments that get lost in our everyday hustle. Photography is definitely one of my most favorite aspects of art. Stopping time for a moment with a "click" is truly exciting and it allows for the magic of our world to be captured forever.

Emory Rakestraw CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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

Edward Wills CONTRIBUTING WRITER

I am a transplanted Hoosier enjoying life in coastal North Carolina.

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Topsail Magazine


13741-E Hwy 50, Surf City Open 7 days a week at 11:30 All ABC Permits

Low Tide Steakhouse and Sandbar is among the best of Surf City's Restaurants and the only Steak House! We have the finest meats and the only salad bar in the area. With our full service bar and amazing bourbon selection, you’ll be sure to find something you'll love. Our fantastic caring staff will happily serve you in our upscale yet casual dining atmosphere.

910-803-0738

 LOWTIDESTEAKHOUSE.COM  @LOWTIDESTEAKHoUSE  MOOOO@LOWTIDESTEAKHOUSE.COM

Winter 2021-22

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Welcome

2022

I

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the calendar to flip to 2022. 2021 was one heck of a year for me personally, and that’s probably the understatement of the year. I’m ready for a reboot. As I mentioned in the last edition’s publisher’s note, I spent the better part of 2021 bouncing between Florida and North Carolina, helping take care of my mom, who was ill. I finally moved her to North Carolina in October, and she passed away just before Thanksgiving. I never realized how insanely grateful I am for her until that moment. Most of my life I took my mom for granted, as we all do, I guess. She shaped me into the person I have become, and I certainly would not be writing this today without her special grace in my life. Hug your people extra tight today and tell them you love them. Meanwhile, life in Topsail is moving right along, and thanks to my hardworking staff and freelance contributors, we have a great winter magazine for you. You’ll learn about some of intriguing Topsail area places, such as Three Little Spats Oyster Co near Permuda Island; ArtExposure art gallery and studios in Hampstead; and Marsh Creek at Scott’s Hill Marina and its onsite restaurant, The Sailfish at Marsh Creek Marine. You’ll meet some of the area’s influential people, such as Dr. Steven Hill, superintendent of Pender County Schools; the staff of Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension; and three women business owners in Surf City — Anne Bilderback, Danielle Mahon and Debbi Beverage. You’ll see photos from things that happened around

10

Topsail Magazine

town in the fall, and find Sandi Grigg’s Topsail Magazine Publisher Justin recipes for a Peppermint Hot Chocolate Williams with his Cocktail and Mini Chicken Pot Pies. late mother, Jo Ann, Thank you for reading Topsail and daughter, Ava. Magazine. We could not do this without the support of our advertisers, so please visit them and tell them you saw their ads here. I have a feeling that 2022 is going to be a great year! I hope you all find plentiful time to enjoy the beauty of Topsail Island.

Justin Williams Owner/Publisher

Publisher@TopsailMag.com



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Tag, you’re it!

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@camronlens  Sneads Ferry, North Carolina

@blushandblaze  North Topsail Beach, North Carolina

@rudder.the.goldendoodle  North Carolina

@brittanieraquelevents  Topsail Manor, North Carolina

@ehrenphotography  Surf City, North Carolina

@jennsnapsgold  Surf City, North Carolina

@thepinkflamingobungalow  Topsail Beach, North Carolina

@kylecaitlinmyers  Surf City, North Carolina

@watermanswarehouse  Hampstead, North Carolina

Topsail Magazine


THERE’S NO

REPLACEMENT FOR EXPERIENCE.

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Winter 2021-22

13


SOLD IN 2021

4132 ISLAND DRIVE SOLD | $1,800,000

108 ABIGAIL COURT SOLD | $1,564,900

922 OBSERVATION LANE SOLD | $899,900

4166 ISLAND DRIVE SOLD | $1,200,000

1150 N ANDERSON BOULEVARD SOLD | $1,595,000

709 OCEAN BOULEVARD SOLD | $1,033,000

14 MARITIME DRIVE PENDING | $829,500

1914 S SHORE DRIVE SOLD | $855,000

1402 S SHORE DRIVE SOLD | $1,600,000

49 N RIDGE SOLD | $899,900

1716 S SHORE DRIVE A/B SOLD | $845,000

33 SANDY LANE PENDING | $849,900

1144 N ANDERSON SOLD | $1,700,000

4258 ISLAND DRIVE SOLD | $1,211,000

392 NEW RIVER INLET ROAD SOLD | $987,500

2322 S SHORE DRIVE SOLD | $1,139,000


SOLD IN 2021

1614 S SHORE DRIVE SOLD | $1,475,000

1043 S ANDERSON BOULEVARD SOLD | $975,000

639 MARITIME WAY SOLD | $1,100,000

1016 CAROLINA BOULEVARD SOLD | $1,700,000

106 N PERMUDA WYND DRIVE SOLD | $975,000

1343 CAROLINA BOULEVARD SOLD | $885,000

617 N ANDERSON BOULEVARD SOLD | $873,260

1604 S SHORE DRIVE SOLD | $1,133,000

6056 6TH STREET SOLD | $839,000

924 OBSERVATION LANE SOLD | $840,000

140 ATKINSON ROAD SOLD | $865,000

1139 N ANDERSON BOULEVARD SOLD | $1,547,132

914 S SHORE DRIVE SOLD | $1,425,000

123 S BOCA BAY LANE SOLD | $935,000

394 NEW RIVER INLET ROAD SOLD | $987,500

1162 MONROE LANE SOLD | $1,600,000


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Topsail Magazine


SPIRITS

Not For Kids Only

I

Adults love hot chocolate too, especially with a splash of schnapps and my special secret ingredient. BY SANDI GRIGG

I love hot chocolate. Once December rolls around, I trade in my morning coffee for a Thermos of creamy hot chocolate. Then, when the sun goes down, I like a second helping — an adult hot chocolate cocktail in a nice big mug, topped with my special secret ingredient. When I was a kid, I used to make instant hot chocolate from the premade packets. I heated it up with water in the microwave and somehow it tasted like heaven. The ones with the little marshmallows were always my favorite. As I got older, that hot chocolate began to taste too diluted for my liking. It was more of the nostalgic flavor that kept me coming back every year. I began to take those packets to the next level and make them my own. I started by adding warmed milk instead of water. Then I added flavor extracts or whipped cream. I even used fancy pottery mugs that I could have sworn made it taste better. Now I make my own hot chocolate and skip the premade packets. I also enjoy adding alcohol for a night cap option. To me, this recipe is perfection. The hot chocolate is creamy and chocolatey, and the vodka and schnapps add to the flavor. My secret ingredient? Dandies Peppermint Marshmallows. They make it festive and just the right amount of over the top. You can find the peppermintflavored Dandies at your local grocery around the holidays; they typically are not available year-round. If you enjoy hot chocolate as much as I do, then you should cozy up with your f lannels and f luffy blankets on the sofa with a steamy mug of this Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cocktail — it is sure to warm your body and soul.

PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS 2 cups whole milk or half & half 4 teaspoons brown sugar 4 ounces chocolate bar, chopped fine

5 teaspoons cocoa 1 Tablespoon peppermint schnapps 1 Tablespoon vanilla vodka Dandies Peppermint Marshmallows

METHOD Heat milk, brown sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbles start to form around the edges. Add the chopped chocolate bar and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vodka and peppermint schnapps. Pour into mugs and top with Dandies Peppermint Marshmallows. You can also top with candy canes and/or chocolate shavings. Winter 2021-22

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WHAT’S COOKIN’

Comfort from the Kitchen

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Is there anything better on a winter night than your very own homemade mini chicken pot pie? BY SANDI GRIGG PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES STEFIUK

Chicken pot pie is the ultimate Southern comfort food. The combination of chicken, veggies, buttery crust and creamy sauce is sure to please any family. This recipe is simple to make ahead of time and uses premade items to make it even quicker. Sure, you can simply go to the grocery store and purchase a frozen chicken pot pie and it will be good. But I love making my own, and it pleases my family. I prefer making chicken pot pie in individual ramekins (they’re not only for crème brûlée!) because I can freeze some of them for a quick dinner at a later date or I can cover them with foil for lunch the next day. Removing the bubbling little ramekins from the oven brings everyone into the kitchen and makes for an impressive-looking meal. I usually make this for my family a few times a year; typically, after Thanksgiving or Christmas so I can use leftover turkey and/or vegetables. After the holidays you may have leftover vegetables, and this recipe is a great use for them as well. My grandmother often makes peas and carrots for holiday meals, and I take the leftovers home with me and reuse them in this pot pie recipe. The recipe I have provided uses rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but you can certainly use turkey too; just be sure to shred it into small pieces. If you want to incorporate corn or potatoes into this, it would be equally delicious. Yellow squash would also be a great vegetable to use if you don't like mushrooms. Green peppers make a good substitution for the celery. Feel free to mix it up to match your family’s palate. Some recipes call for a premade pie crust, but I prefer to use refrigerated biscuits, the ones with the bits of butter. I only put the biscuit on the top. You can mash an additional biscuit in the bottom of the ramekins if you would like a bottom crust, but in my experience, it always comes out mushy. Maybe it is because I like my chicken pot pie a bit saucier rather than set up, but you do what you like best. No matter how you prepare it, these mini chicken pot pies are outstanding and super simple. Try making these the next time you want to put a warming comfort food on your family's table.

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Topsail Magazine


WHAT’S COOKIN’

Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies Makes 6 to 8 mini pot pies, depending on the size of the ramekins.

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

4 cups chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced 2 celery ribs, diced 1 large sweet onion, diced 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1 cup mushrooms (stems and pieces), chopped 1/2 cup green peas (frozen is fine) 4 Tablespoons salted butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 cup milk 2 Tablespoons dried parsley 1 Tablespoon dried sage For the Top: 16 ounce can (8 count) refrigerated biscuits (I prefer Butter Biscuits or Grands) 2 Tablespoons melted butter

Place 6 to 8 ramekins inside a larger baking dish or baking sheet (to prevent spills in the oven) and grease each one. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt butter. Add onions, carrots, garlic and celery and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until tender. Stir in the chicken, flour, salt, pepper, parsley and sage, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, milk, peas and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Sir constantly so it will not burn. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is somewhat thick. (If it becomes too thick and sticky, add more chicken stock to loosen.) Remove from heat and divide the mixture between the ramekins. Place 1 biscuit on top of each filled ramekin and brush the top with melted butter. (I like to mold each biscuit with my hands to match the size of my ramekin and flatten it out a bit.) Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Winter 2021-22

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ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

D EXTRAS YOU WILL ONLY FIND ONLINE D TOPSAILMAG.COM

TOPSAIL HIGH SCHOOL PIRATE CLASSIC 16 area high school marching bands competed at Topsail High School on October 16, along with two very special guest performances. Contributed content

More than 4,000 people attended the 2021 Pirate Classic, an annual high school marching band competition and the primary fund-raising event for the Topsail High School Marching Band on October 16. Exciting guest performers included the 2nd Division Marine Band from Camp LeJeune and the East Carolina University Marching Pirates. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

EMERGENT: PASSING THE PIGSKIN AND PUMPKINS Serving the community in unexpected ways is good for you and the community.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Diver Surfside Cafe, a family-run business offering coffee, fresh-pressed juices and smoothies, is run by a longtime local and a couple who is new in town.

By Mike Johnson

Part five in a monthly series about positivity, wellness and reconnection.

By Kathryn Greene

I’m not sure if it’s COVID-related or if we’re just shut-ins since we’re old now, but it takes real effort to get us out of the house. When we do venture out, we like to walk the Abbey Nature Preserve or sit on Topsail Beach, so nature is the draw — we rarely seek out opportunities to be social. My wife and I both lean toward the introverted side of the spectrum, so maybe our kids are destined to be mole people, too. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE 20

Topsail Magazine

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In a pink building just across the bridge in Surf City is one of the area’s newest additions to the food scene, Diver Surfside Cafe. With its two levels and beach house-like exterior, visiting the waterfront cafe feels a bit like being inside someone’s home. And in a way it is, at least an extension of one. Diver is co-owned by three family members: husband and wife Matt and Brittany Shaw and Emily Lara, Brittany’s sister. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

|


ONLINE EXCLUSIVES

D

TOPSAILMAG.COM

Customized plans to make

Your Coastal Dream Home A REALITY

Kinco, Inc. C. Nathan King

WINGING IT TopSea Wingz in Hampstead delights the wings lovers of Topsail.

New Construction | Remodels | Additions

By Courtney McLaughlin

The next time you sink your teeth into a juicy, flavorful wing at TopSea Wingz, be sure to thank the owners’ oldest son. The then 12-year-old was excited the family was moving to the Topsail area from Atlanta but disappointed he couldn’t find his beloved lemon pepper wings like back home. His parents, Lonnie and Autumn Mathis, set out to make things right for their son and other local wing fans when they opened TopSea Wingz in the summer of 2021. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

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Building on your imagination

SCHOOL SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES Pender Education Partnership held its third annual State of Education and Economy event on October 21. Contributed content

Pender Education Partnership (PEP), a nonprofit foundation established to enhance educational opportunities and assist public school educators, sponsored the third annual State of Education and Economy on October 21. | CONTINUE READING ONLINE

 KincoInc.com  910-803-0695 Find us on Facebook @KincoRealEstate

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Call Today For Your Custom Quote Winter 2021-22

21


WHAT’S HAPPENED

Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival

Pender County Awarded an Economic Development Grant

The 50th annual Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival was the most successful to date. The festival is typically held in August, but was moved to October 22 and 23 in 2021 due to COVID. The Historical Hometown Parade was held at 9 a.m. on Saturday prior to the festival gates opening. There was live music, mostly local bands, for the entirety of the festival, and there were also rides, games, exhibitions, food and fireworks. Children's offerings included face painting, balloon art, a touch tank and bounce houses. Look for the next event in August 2022.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that Pender County was awarded a $1,575,000 grant for a Natural Gas Fuel Generator Project. The public utilities project, based in the Pender Commerce Park, will create 50 jobs created and save 30 jobs. The total cost of the project is $2,100,000, including $8 million in private investment leveraged. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The EDA investment supports Pender County with constructing a permanent natural gas-fueled generator at its water treatment plant and establishing a berm around the adjoining county’s wastewater treatment plant to mitigate the impact of significant flooding on the operation of both facilities.

Bus Shelter Ribbon Cutting Pender County Schools held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially dedicate the new covered bus shelter serving the students at Topsail High. The event took place on September 22 at Topsail High School in Hampstead.

Hampstead Business Park Open House and Vendor Market

2021 Linda Richardson Minority Business Advocate of the Year

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

On August 28 Hampstead Business Park held an Open House and Vendor Market from 10 am to 3 pm. Many people came out to enjoy the day with neighbors and friends while shopping among an assortment of great vendors. Food trucks, makers, crafters and live music were all part of the fun.

Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce board member Wendy Fletcher-Hardee was presented with the 2021 Linda L. Richardson Minority Business Advocate of the Year Award at the 2021 Minority Enterprise Development Week awards luncheon held by the Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce.

Liberty Festival

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Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast CONTRIBUTED IMAGE

The Town of Holly Ridge's Liberty Festival took place on September 4 at Holly Ridge Municipal Park. The event ran from 11 am to 10 pm, and fireworks lit up the sky at 9 pm. The Imitations and T-Bone and Blues Butchers provided the music, and food vendors and shopping vendors were also on site.

Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island hosted its annual Pancake Breakfast during the Autumn with Topsail event on August 16 and 17. The event was held at the Assembly Building festival grounds to raise money for scholarships for Dixon High School and Lake Waccamaw Boys & Girls Home.


WHAT’S HAPPENED

Kiwanis Club of Topsail Volunteering Landscaper

Idle Nomad Gift Shop Grand Opening

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island volunteered as landscapers to help the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitaion Center. They helped spread pine straw to improve the appearance of the grounds.

2021 Annual Topsail Chamber Member Luncheon

On October 29 Tammie Parris, director of Pender County Economic and Workforce, hosted the 2021 Annual Topsail Chamber Member Luncheon at the Surf City Welcome Center. AWARDS GIVEN: Woman of the Year: Wendy Fletcher-Hardee of Atlantic Mulch and Stone Man of the Year: Scott Franko of Treasure Realty Lifetime Achievement: Peggy Bailey of Herring Sporting Goods Special Recognition: Becky Borneman of Coral Cottage Boutiques and Southern Roots Grille

The Restaurant Round Up

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Idle Nomad Gift Shop held a grand-opening event on October 29. Idle Nomad, an eclectic gift shop containing handmade local products, is at 17077 U.S. Highway 17 in Hampstead.

On November 17 Share the Table hosted The Restaurant Roundup in partnership with local restaurants. Participants supported Share the Table while enjoying food from local chefs, live music from The Awkward Silents, raffle prizes and socializing with friends and neighbors.

Winter 2021-22

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Tanner Gray Tanner Gray Tanner Gray

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BEHIND THE BUSINESS

Inside the Art Barn For the past 12 years, ArtExposure has served as an epicenter for the arts in Pender County. BY EDWARD WILLS | PHOTOGRAPHY SHAY PERNA

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ravelers along Highway 17 in Hampstead may have noticed a large, red and white, barn-like structure along the roadside. It may look like a farm building, but inside is a big surprise: a multi-colored world in which art reigns supreme. This is the home of ArtExposure, a 5,000-square-foot art gallery, studio and classroom space where the senses are excited by the works of 40 artists, including watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels, photography, metalwork

and jewelry. With instruction and classes in painting, drawing and other forms of art and activity, including ballroom dancing and yoga, it’s also a place for students to get in touch with their creative sides. “We’ve been well received since opening in 2009,” says Ellen Elder, who owns the gallery with her husband, Mike, a retired Marine. Ellen is a retired art teacher who had a dream of one day opening a center for art and artists as well as the community. Before building ArtExposure, the couple Winter 2021-22

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BEHIND THE BUSINESS

traveled extensively, and Ellen says that they visited art galleries wherever they went, looking for ideas and things that they liked. Most of the art spaces they liked best were in converted homes and old warehouses, but Ellen also was inspired by the spaciousness of a barn. The Elders took a big risk in building their barn and trying their concept in Hampstead, but the gallery has proven to be a success. “There was nothing in this area (between Jacksonville and

Cara Merritt (studio artist: acrylics)

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Wilmington) that supported the arts,” Ellen says. “When we built ArtExposure, supporters came out of the woodwork.” Jacksonville portrait and landscape artist Karen Lee Crenshaw was the first artist to rent space at ArtExposure in 2009. Her painting of the former swing bridge to Topsail Island was the first piece of art sold in the gallery. She says most artists work in isolation, so it’s important to have a place like ArtExposure nearby. “I was attracted to ArtExposure because there would be

Marty Allran (studio artist: ceramics)


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BEHIND THE BUSINESS

Above: Students Barbara Stubbs and Suzanne Karako in a watercolor class. Right: Sabine Baeckmann-Murray (studio artist) with a student.

more artists and more energy,” she says. “It also gives me a more public and professional space.” To Sabine Baeckmann, an artist specializing in watercolors and oils, ArtExposure is a “cultural hub” and one of the area’s premier galleries. The semi-retired medical illustrator and graphic artist from Buffalo and her husband, Richard, also teach ballroom dancing on Fridays. Beginners are welcome, as are singles. Baeckmann hung a show entitled Aqua and Equis at the gallery in October 2021. “We get people in here for shows and special events,” Ellen says. “But we’d love to have more people driving by to stop in for a few minutes.” The gallery is a great place to find a gift for a friend or something beautiful to decorate your home. Prices for the artwork range from $10 for a small piece of metalwork to $3,000 for a large painting. All the art is original and handmade. ArtExposure also has a custom frame shop and a gift shop. Classes are for adults and children, even for someone who has never done art before. Painting classes include acrylic painting and watercolor workshops as well as drop-in painting sessions. Ballroom dancing classes are held every Friday at 7 pm, and yoga is held on Saturday mornings at 9 am. ArtExposure rents seven artist studios, and all of them are currently rented. Visitors can stop by the studios and may get a chance to watch an artist put paint on canvas or work with ceramics. The artists have 24-hour access to their studios. Ellen says that there is a spirit of cooperation among the artists that pushes everyone to be better. The artists display 28

Topsail Magazine

works within their studios, but they also may rent wall space in the gallery for more exposure. Any artist wanting to rent wall space or a studio must be juried in or have fellow artists review his or her work to ensure that it meets the ArtExposure standards. Next time you ride by the red and white barn in Hampstead, be sure to stop in and say hello, meet the resident artists and see what you’ve been missing in this art haven. 

WANT TO GO? ArtExposure 22527 U.S. Highway 17, Hampstead (910) 803-0302 artexposure50.com ArtExposure is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and closed on Sunday and Monday.


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HISTORY

What’s in a Name? Waterways, a murderer and seafood: How Sneads Ferry got its name.

BY COURTNEY MCLAUGHLIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY VICKY OLIVER

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We have it all!

No trip to Topsail Island is complete without a stop by the Topsail Island Trading Co. Located in the heart of Surf City we truly have something for everyone. Come and check out our beautiful selection of jewelry or have fun playing in our kids section. Maybe a new t-shirt is in order or a custom Topsail sign to remember your trip by. We have lots to offer including our almost famous Fresh Fudge. Over 150 flavors and made with real cream and butter. It is worth the trip just for our sweet treats.

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HISTORY

The people who call Sneads Ferry home as well as those passing through can thank a ferry operator and tavern owner for the town’s unique name. The area now known as Sneads Ferry, located in Onslow County between Jacksonville and Wilmington, was first named Lower Ferry. Lower Ferry started as a small fishing village due to its prime geography where the New River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Its position also provided easy transportation of people, goods and information between neighboring states. The area was a key connection point for postal delivery between Virginia and South Carolina and news about the Revolutionary War. In 1728 Edmund established the first ferry between the two river shores. Thirty-five years later in 1760, Robert Snead, an attorney with an interesting place in history, also received a license to operate a ferry from the opposite side of

“ Sneads Ferry continues to hold an important place in history as a commercial fishing hub and home to the wildly popular Shrimp Festival, founded in 1971 as a way to honor the area’s fishing culture.

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HISTORY

the bank, where he established a tavern. Snead came into town with a questionable past trailing behind. He was convicted of shooting and killing Revolutionary War hero Colonel George W. Mitchell during a political quarrel turned bloody. Snead was tried and convicted of murder by a superior court in Wilmington; however, he found a full pardon signed by Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight when he arrived in court for sentencing. Long story short: Sneads Ferry is named for the ferry crossing that was named after Robert Snead.

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The first ferry was made of flat boats onto which teams and wagons could enter and be transported across the water. Later ferry models incorporated pulleys with a wire cable attached on either shore propelled by hand with a notched stick. The ferry shuttled people, animals and goods between shores for another 200 years until a wooden drawbridge took its place in 1939. Finally, in 1992 the 2,781-foot long Sneads Ferry Bridge was built for approximately $13.2 million to accommodate the heavy traffic to and from Camp Lejuene. Sneads Ferry continues to hold an important place in history as a commercial fishing hub and home to the wildly popular Shrimp Festival, founded in 1971 as a way to honor the area’s fishing culture. To this day the two-day festival brings people from all over to Sneads Ferry to enjoy music, good times and heaping plates of boiled or fried seafood. Next time you cross Sneads Ferry Bridge, try to imagine the time when horse and wagons crossed this waterway on a flat-bottomed ferry, and you’ll always remember of Sneads Ferry got its name. 


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MORE THAN A

LAUNC

Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill Marina is a destination for boaters with dry boat storage, a convenience store, fuel, a clubhouse and BY MELISSA SLAVEN WARREN

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Topsail Magazine

PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

a restaurant, The Sailfish at Marsh Creek Marine.


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Not just for launching boats, Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill Marina is the perfect place to spend the day. Whether you’re boating with your family, out angling with friends or enjoying a delicious seafood dinner, Marsh Creek is the perfect place to do it. Family-owned and -operated since 1986, this privately owned marina once offered daily ramp passes to the public. Noticing the area’s growth and water access demand for the local community, Marsh Creek is

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill Marina boasts nearly 400 annual members and offers about 40 wet slips and 300 dry storage slips, all with convenient concierge service. Additionally, the marina offers on-site fuel for all boaters by water and a convenience store complete with all the provisions you need for a day of boating. However, Marsh Creek is more than just a point of launch for boaters; it’s a family destination, complete with a clubhouse and restaurant, The Sailfish at Marsh Creek Marine. First, there is the setting. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, directly across from Rich’s Inlet, 6 miles north of the Wrightsville Beach bridge and 8 miles south of the Surf City bridge, it’s the only place of its kind sitting on the New Hanover and Pender County borders. With a private membership clubhouse that

PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

now a private dry storage marina to allow for more water access to the area. Marsh Creek is nestled in a residential area off Scotts Hill Loop Road and offers two distinct features that set it apart. “We provide easier water access to the local community and a family-friendly atmosphere,” says Charlotte Kornegay, marketing manager at Marsh Creek. The marina has a long history as a family-owned business. Today, Jeb and Stephanie Bradshaw continue the tradition of providing community boaters with a place to launch, even though the business model has changed since the marina’s original inception. The Bradshaws made the decision to turn the boat ramp access to a dry boat storage facility, giving local boaters access to the water, right in their own backyards and away from the congested public ramps. Today,

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offers panoramic views of the inlet, barrier island and Atlantic Ocean, it’s the perfect spot to relax after a day of recreation on the water. What would a great clubhouse be without delicious food? The Sailfish is a full-service restaurant and bar offering local, seasonal steamed seafood. You don’t have to own a boat to enjoy it. The general public can buy a membership for $1 each year. Opened in 2016, The Sailfish offers something for every taste, including a children’s menu. Under the talents of Chef Chris


CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Kronenwetter, who focuses on simplicity and freshness, diners can expect a varied menu from Crab and Shrimp Ceviche to hand-cut filet mignon to burgers and seafood like Shrimp Etouffee and shrimp and fish baskets. “Our Barbecue Shrimp and Grits entree is one of our most popular,” Kornegay says. The menu is often evolving as seasonal catches and ingredients change. The Sailfish is accessible by water, making it convenient for boaters to stop by for lunch or spend the evening dining on the water. No matter what brings you to Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill WANT TO GO? Marina — day tripping on the water or dining at The Sailfish Find Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill — you’ll be welcomed. Marina and The Sailfish at Marsh Creek Marine at: “In a word, we’re a familyfriendly establishment,” 2570 Scotts Hill Loop Road Kornegay says. “We want our Wilmington, NC 28411 members and guests to feel www.marshcreekmarine.com like they’re home when they www.thesailfish.net visit.” 

From top left: Some of The Sailfish favorites: Fried Grouper Po-Boy, Caribbean Jerk Spiced Swordfish and Shrimp Fettuccine.

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PEOPLE

A Clear Path Forward Pender County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill focuses on making education relevant for every student. BY DENICE PATTERSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY UNIQUE MEDIA & DESIGN

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Dr. Steven Hill, superintendent of Pender County Schools, is passionate about education and his community. The Lenoir County native built his career forging relationships between public schools and higher education

and surrounding industries, and his life-long goals have been to create relevancy in the classroom and to help provide students a clear path forward into meaningful careers. Hill’s journey began with one

question, “How do I get there from here?” Growing up in Deep Run, he dreamed of being an SBI agent, but there was no clear route toward that goal. He asked his parents, but without Winter 2021-22

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PEOPLE

throughout his twenties. “Back then, Seymour Johnson Airforce Base had a hallway of colleges, and I could take courses from a number of North Carolina colleges,” he says. “I even took a course from Michigan State.” Hill’s commitment to education then became intentional. He took a position as a School Resource Officer (SRO), where he was able to focus evenings and summers on completing his degree at Mount Olive College. As his experience in the school system shifted his ambitions to teaching and then administration, he completed his master’s degree in education and

experiencing higher education themselves, they were unsure. Looking back, it was Hill’s aha moment and has driven him ever since. “I have a passion for these kids who have the dreams and the ability but don’t know how to get there,” Hill says. “We have to build real-world connections into their education to help guide them forward.” The self-described “country guy” worked tobacco during high school and after graduating became a full-time firefighter/EMT and part-time heavy-equipment operator and then a local police officer as he navigated college courses one at a time

I have a passion for these kids, who have the dreams and the ability but don’t know how to get there. We have to build realworld connections into their education to help guide them forward.

Hill with his daughters Stevie Layke and Maddie and wife, Michelle. Not pictured is Hill's oldest daughter, Hannah Hill Moody, her husband, Landon Moody and their child, Raleigh.

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PEOPLE

education doctorate in administration at East Carolina University (ECU). In 2011 the N.C. Policy Fellow took a position as the executive director of STEM East, a regional workforce education initiative under ECU, broadening his experience in creating pathways for students. Nearly 30 years later, here in Pender

particular math problem or science method is used.” Hill describes the work as reverse engineering. “We build relationships with businesses that need future employees, support collaborations with higher education and preK-12 educators to provide student courses, and design

County, Hill has continued his work to ensure classroom education makes sense to students. Under his watch, the district is working to improve attendance and graduation rates, expand educational opportunities for students and teachers, and build relationships with higher education representatives and professionals. One result is that teachers have the opportunities to make connections between the curriculum they teach and how students can apply what they learn after graduation. “Students always ask, ‘Why do I have to know this?’” Hill says. “We want teachers to be able to give them real-world examples of how that

cohorts in schools to provide what students need for a career here,” he says. The superintendent’s tenure in Pender County began with the extreme challenges of recovering from Hurricane Florence and enduring a year and a half of a global pandemic. “We have had to constantly change the education model here in Pender County,” he says. “And I am proud to share that our teachers and administration have been very successful.” Even during the pandemic, the district was able to continue to advance student relevancy efforts. “We completed state-of-the art

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Centers in each of the six middle schools,” he says. These are designed in parallel to what the economic development groups have modeled, such as value-added agriculture, life sciences, aerospace and advanced manufacturing. “These STEM Centers provide students with project- and problembased learning in which they receive hands-on experience, occasionally even working with professionals from local industries,” Hill says. The superintendent describes the potential outcome: “Our goal is that students get a pathway forward; not necessarily a specific job, but a pathway to college or a career in a workforce field.” Once the school knows the student’s interests, a delineated pathway in high school can be designed based on that area of interest. “It is similar to an early college model that we can use in every high school,” Hill says. The initiative moves in both directions. The relationships help regional industries recognize the value in working with younger students, rather than relying solely on the traditional senior year job-fair model. “We say to the industries, ‘Come talk to us,’” Hill says. “We can add value to our community with early connections and experiences.” Pender County Schools includes 18 schools, nearly 10,000 students and employs upward of 1,400 people. It is one of the fastest-growing districts in the state and recently scored 11th out of 116 districts in school performance, according to the N.C. School Forum. Hill and his wife, Michelle, live in Surf City. They have three daughters: Hannah and Madison, who are both teachers, and Stevie-Layke, who is a rising Pender County freshman. 


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GROWING

A BETTER

PENDER COUNTY Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension is a resource for farm and garden assistance as well as youth development.

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BY DALENE BICKEL

Regardless of where you live in Pender County, at some point you will have a question about your soil and vegetation. And if you’re a backyard gardener or traditional farmer, you will have exponentially more questions. While Google and YouTube offer instant information, they don’t always provide the best or most accurate responses to your location-specific queries. Enter the Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension office, which has been offering residents free and low-cost agricultural and horticultural information and services since 1914. Here in Pender County, Mark Seitz, county director The origins of the extension service date back to and field crops agent, focuses primarily on pesticide the nineteenth century. Concerned about the effects safety for farmers, helping new landowners explore ways of the industrial revolution, Abraham Lincoln and to get started in farming and assisting landowners as Congress passed the Morrell Act of 1862, which they assess what to do with their timber and estate promoted practical agriculture, science, military planning. science and engineering programs throughout the Although you’ll find relatively few farms east of Rocky United States. In 1890, a second Morrell Act was Point, the county nevertheless is home to 336 total passed to ensure that African Americans were also farms, each consisting of at least 10 acres and generating offered such training. N.C. State and N.C. A&T more than $10,000 a year. State University continue to oversee and help fund “No one who lives here grows cotton or tobacco the numerous N.C. Cooperative Extension offices anymore,” Seitz says, but the most common field crops throughout the state. currently are corn, soybeans, wheat, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. Timber is also a big crop in this county, bringing in roughly $22 million in sales in 2019.

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FARM & CROP ASSISTANCE


HOMEOWNERS & MASTER GARDENERS

PHOTO BY LAURA GLANTZ

Above: Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension staff members, left to right: Mark Seitz, Traci Spencer, Reatha Hoffman, Jessica Hall, Amy Jones and Tiffanee Boone.

Tiffanee Boone, consumer horticulture and local food program agent, helps homeowners with such property conundrums as identifying suitable grass types, removing weeds, knowing when to plant what and learning how and when to prune plants. “I also get a lot of questions about how to get rid of something because it makes a hole in their yard, or it swarms, or because they are scared of it, such as snakes,” she says. “Many animals and insects are actually very beneficial to us and the ecosystem, so I try to help people understand and appreciate them.” Boone also runs the Pender County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. These volunteers care for the county’s demonstration gardens and educate students and the public at large in such places as the Ask a Master Gardener Booth at farmers markets and festivals. If you’re interested becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, applications for the upcoming January 2022 class can be found online (see website below). There is a one-time fee of $110, and class size is limited to 25 people due to its hands-on nature. Winter 2021-22

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

4-H youth development programs include fun summer day camps and clubs.

4-H & YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Traci Spencer, 4-H youth development agent, oversees all eight of the county’s 4-H clubs as well as other youth programs. “My favorite part of my job is engaging with youth and providing enriching, hands-on educational opportunities,” she says. According to 4-H.org the program “provides kids with community, mentors and learning opportunities … grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing.” Hands-on projects explore such topics as science, health, agriculture and civic engagement. Area clubs include Hooves, Spurs and Furs (Burgaw); Phoenix First 4-H Robotics Team (Pender High School); and Holly Shelter 4-H Shooting Club (Hampstead). All 4-H members are encouraged to participate in yearly presentations and project competitions as well as the local Cape Fear Fair and Expo. Teen 4-H members also have the opportunity to participate in the statewide 4-H Congress and 4-H Citizenship Focus, a three-day event where they meet with their elected officials in the N.C. General Assembly. In the summer, Spencer coordinates fun day camps such as Bees, Worms and Soil, STEM camp and field trips. These spots fill up quickly so be sure to check the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Facebook page and website in February 2022, when the schedule will be announced. 

WANT TO REACH OUT? On average Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension office responds to 7,718 face-toface contacts and more than 100,000 non-face-to-face and digital media contacts annually. To help ensure that your question gets answered in a timely manner, it is recommended that you email your query and, if possible, attach a clear, close-up photo of the problem or issue. Agent email addresses can be found at pender.ces.ncsu.edu. Phone calls are also welcome, or you can stop by the office. Pender County N.C. Cooperative Extension 801 S. Walker Street, Burgaw (910) 259-1235 pender.ces.ncsu.edu

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COMMUNITY

Raising the Bar Three women business owners revive an old Surf City shopping complex. BY PAT FONTANA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK BUTLER

Three local businesswomen have breathed new life into a decades-old shopping center located just off the roundabout on the island side of Surf City. In an area where some businesses would close before they even officially opened, these new businesses are packing the parking lot every day.

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Anne Bilderback, Danielle Mahon and Debbi Beverage

nne Bilderback launched the Fractured Prune in 2016, offering hot, hand-dipped doughnuts and coffee in a style modeled after the original Fractured Prune in Ocean City, Maryland. Customers enjoy a wide variety of doughnuts that are essentially made to order, as the shop touts “always hot doughnuts, all ways.” Surf City’s favorite flavors include Eskimo, Bacon Bomb and Maple Coffee Cake, among many other flavors. In April 2021 Bilderback opened Sunrise Bagels right next door to the Fractured Prune. She says that customers at the doughnut shop kept asking her if she ever made bagels; after sitting on the idea for several months, she seized the opportunity to open the new business. Sunrise Bagels occupies the space that was the home of Topsail Steamer, which outgrew the center and moved across the street. Winter 2021-22

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It’s about relationships. It’s about trust. It’s about taking the time to ask the question,

“WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?”

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Your Goals, Your Family, Your Future.


COMMUNITY

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anielle Mahon opened Topsail Steamer in 2017 after being inspired by a similar restaurant in South Carolina. Offering “take-home, steamand-eat seafood steam pots,” Topsail Steamer’s concept has been wildly successful. Mahon saw an opportunity to buy the building across the street from her spot in the shopping mall the week after Hurricane Florence hit the island. She says they are already “busting at the seams” and have expanded the size of the original building. Topsail Steamer has also opened several other locations, including one in Wrightsville Beach and three in New Jersey. They’ve recently started a national shipping program. Everything they offer is locally sourced. One-use pots, which customers fill with vegetables, seasonings and locally sourced, in-season seafood, are then taken home to be steamed and enjoyed with family and friends.

Sunrise Bagels and The Fractured Prune, top photos, provide Topsail Islanders with breakfast, while Topsail Steamer is a go-to for local seafood dinners.

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ilderback and Mahon were both instrumental in convincing Debbi Beverage to open her new business in the same shopping center. Looking for a place for her market and design business, Inlet Blue Market, Beverage says she watched several places and had a couple of places in mind. Then Bilderback and Mahon told her about their location, which Beverage thought seemed like a “really good place for a design shop.” Today, Inlet Blue Market is located on the opposite end of the shopping center from the Fractured Prune and has now expanded into the unit next door to her. She has partnered with another design expert, Ally Schieselbein. The two share the same love of design, Beverage says, noting that they offer interior design services along with home decor, gifts, furniture and jewelry. Winter 2021-22

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COMMUNITY

Inlet Blue Market is the Topsail place to go for interior design services, home decor and gifts.

Why are these businesses thriving in an area that has been known as the place “where businesses go to die?” Mahon says it’s primarily because of their high standards, in their level of customer service and in their operations. “We have good business models and we do good business,” Mahon says. The island, Surf City in particular, was “thirsty for each one of our businesses,” she adds. Mahon, Beverage and Bilderback are enjoying great success throughout the year. Each emphasizes that their business is a family venture, with children, spouses and a few in-laws and nieces involved as well. Bilderback also focuses on developing job

skills in the youth of the island. “We hire young people and try to help them grow,” she says. During the summer season, she employees 48 people to run Fractured Prune and Sunrise Bagels. Mahon is looking at opening new locations for Topsail Steamer, probably in

Delaware and Florida as well as additional locations in North Carolina. Bilderback is happy with the Fractured Prune and plans to expand Sunrise Bagels in a year or so. She says she is “not looking to make any major changes.” Beverage is also pleased with Inlet Blue Market’s success, particularly as it expands into the adjoining space, but emphasizes, “I don’t want to be so busy I can’t enjoy my family.” This little pocket of Surf City is the place to go for hot, handdipped doughnuts, fresh bagels, local seafood and beach decor. It is now a place where businesses thrive under the high standards and direction of three successful businesswomen. 

WANT TO GO? Fractured Prune Doughnuts 303 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City fracturedprunesurfcitync.com 54

Topsail Magazine

Sunrise Bagels 303 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City facebook.com/SunriseBagelCo

Topsail Steamer 302 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City topsailsteamer.com

Inlet Blue Market 303 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City topsailsteamer.com


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Season is

OYSTER SEASON

A Three Little Spats Oyster Co wants to change how the public perceives oyster season. BY EMORY RAKESTRAW | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA GLANTZ

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Topsail Magazine


A

At some point in time, the saying “only eat oysters during months containing the letter r” lost validity, and as it slipped away, only a select few understand why. While yes, wild oysters are at their best during that time, farmed oysters are available year-round. Different than, say, a salmon farm, oyster farming occurs in the oyster’s natural habitat, thus producing the same briny bivalves the wild would. The difference is that farmed oysters are of the triploid variety (non-spawning). Unlike their diploid counterparts, they’re not exerting themselves in the summer months for the sake of procreation. They hold their value year-round while growing at a faster rate. Next to Permuda Island Reserve in Sneads Ferry, Three Little Spats Oyster Co has been farming their triploid and Crassostrea virginica diploids since 2017. When Ryan and Kim Gadow moved to Wilmington to pursue the business, their company name came naturally. The term spat means

Jake Anderman (this page) and Evan Gadow (opposite) of Three Little Spats Oyster Co harvest oysters from the waters around Permuda Island Reserve year round.

Winter 2021-22

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Evan Gadow

58

Topsail Magazine


young oyster, and the three little spats are their sons, who all help out. The oldest, Evan, 22, works there full-time. “We’ve been around oysters our entire life,” Evan says. “I’ve always dreamt of working on the water. On my mother’s side, all the way back to 1810, my family is listed as oystermen.” He points to a 28-foot deadrise boat and says, “My great-grandfather built this boat. That’s what he did for a living, he tonged oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. I’ve always loved oysters and seafood, and I want to do it sustainably. It’s a dream come true.” For the Gadows, March kicks off growing season alongside a year-round harvest. Each oyster takes shape at its own pace, keeping Evan and Ryan in the water during the “no r” months. They utilize both bottom and floating cages throughout their 55-acres in Stump Sound. Jake Anderman, the son of Ryan’s business partner, has also taken to the oyster business and works alongside Ryan and Evan full-time. “The typical day depends if it’s a seed day, harvest day or maintenance day,” Anderman says. “If it’s a seed day we will load up the bags with a certain amount of oysters and let them grow in the water for a few months, then run them through a tumbler to sort them. If we’re harvesting, we take the bags of oysters we have sorted that have grown to 2 to 3 inches. We run them back through the sorter to make sure they have enough meat and shape. The shell has to be nice and shuckable, the biggest thing is the shape.” So, what shapes the perfect oyster? According to Jason Simas, owner of Shuckin’ Shack in Surf City, “The ideal shape is short, round and 2 to 3 inches deep. We want a meaty oyster with a nice, clear brine. The cup size is important; a nice rounded cup adds to the experience, you get the oyster liquor with it and get to truly taste the merroir.” Farmed oysters are sometimes referred to as “manicured.” Unlike their wild cousins that find a surface and stay put, these are slowly shaped through the process of transferring and spacing within crates as well as tumbling. Each oyster produced by Three Little Spats is handled eight times during its lifecycle. While most of their primed oysters receive the half-shell credential, some also go for boiling or steaming. Three Little Spats found luck in purchasing two leases on either side of Permuda Island Reserve in waters long known for their aquatic diversity. Primitive Native Americans scouted these waters for clams, oysters, scallops and crabs, and in the 1980s a conservation effort spearheaded by Lena Ritter saved

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Permuda Island from commercial roasters. Local restaurants development. Today, Stump Sound including Shuckin’ Shack Surf City is designated as an Outstanding and Wilmington-based Pinpoint Resource Water by the N.C. and Seabird are some of Three Division of Water Quality. Little Spats’ customer base. Yet “This is one of the perfect one could travel as far south as vehicles for conservation,” Evan Savannah and as far north as New says. “One adult oyster filters 50 York City and still find a Permuda gallons of water per day. You’re Island Select from Three Little doing conservation in conjunction Spats. with creating a product while As for the “r months” notion, the helping water quality.” Oyster Trail team, local Ted Wilgis, a coastal scientist restaurants and farms are banding with N.C. Coastal Federation, together to educate the public. stresses the ecological and “It’s important to get the word economic importance of North out that there isn’t one true oyster Candace King Carolina oysters. One effort to season anymore,” Simas says. educate and attract oyster lovers to “We’re in the heart of wild oysters, country with oyster lovers.” the coast is the North Carolina the terminology is an old term. We Three Little Spats’ Permuda Island Oyster Trail. Developed through a post about fresh oysters and sometimes Selects hold a uniquely brothy brine, partnership with the federation, the get push back with people saying, ‘It’s buttery finish and earthy notes. Their trail features points of interest along not oyster season.’ But you can get Stump Sound Golds pack plenty of the waterways, including Three Little beautiful, farm-raised oysters all year umami and make for great steamers or Spats. long.”  “The primary goal of the trail is to get the economics of oysters raised to a higher value so people see it as an economic boom for the coast,” Wilgis says. “The second is to get more people aware of North Carolina oysters, be it visiting a farm or a restaurant. We’re one of the leading partners of the Oyster Blueprint. The whole theme behind that is that oysters filter water and provide essential fish habitats. They do a lot in terms of protecting our marshes. Oysters can be excellent ambassadors for clean water; a visitor on the trail might not know that, but this brings them awareness.” Ryan refers to North Carolina as the Napa Valley of oysters, with Stump Sound being in the upper echelon of Follow our Facebook page Located at the merroir. for our live music schedule. entrance to “Our coast has so many diverse Roger’s Bay on North Topsail places you can grow oysters,” he says. “If you look at Stump Sound, we call it the historic district of North Carolina oysters. Everyone wanted a Stump Sound oyster. It’s known across the

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KIDS

Serving Strength & Support Topsail Young Life has been standing by area teens when they need it most for nearly 20 years and is now in search of a new leader. BY ASHLEY DANIELS

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

M

More than ever, young teens are in critical need of moral guidance and mental health management. That’s where the international organization Young Life comes in, serving as the heartbeat of the young generation here in Topsail.

Winter 2021-22

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

KIDS

64

them for the bigger issues.” The Christian-based Young Life was founded in 1941 by a young associate pastor, Jim Raybrun, in a small town in Texas. He took the first step that Young Life continues to walk 70 years later: to show “young people how much God cares about them by showing up in their world and sharing the message of God’s love through

“It’s more than religious, it’s just a relational thing,” says Jen Ball, Young Life’s committee co-chair. “I feel like now, more than ever, kids are just needing those connections, with this COVID world and mental health … We just need each other. So Young Life provides that safe, positive environment for kids to be together and to have caring adults around

Jesus in ways and words they could understand and relate to.” Today, chapters of Young Life can be found in more than 100 countries around the world, with a total of 2 million young adults that have been reached within their local towns and nearly 350,000 kids involved regularly each week (as of 2018). Ball says that Young Life has lived in

Young Life provides that safe, positive environment for kids to be together and to have caring adults around them for the bigger issues.

Topsail Magazine


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KIDS

some form at Topsail High School since 2002, with a brief lapse of involvement, followed by a resurgence in 2009. Their most recent area director stepped down, so the group is currently in a rebuilding phase, with Fidel Forde leading the group in the interim. Young Life, according to Ball, thrives on the tenets of the “Five C’s: Contact,

Club, Campaigners, Camp and Committee.” “Contact work is really the foundation of everything we do through our staff and volunteer leaders — usually high school or college-aged young adult leaders that just hang out with kids and go where kids are,” Ball says. “They are earning the right to be

heard and show up to sports games, help at the school for tutoring or proctoring. It’s really service-oriented and just going where kids go, rather than having kids come to church.” Ball describes the Club “C” as a weekly party with a purpose. “It’s typically full of a lot of energy and, usually, the party will happen in somebody’s backyard,” she says. “For a long time, we had it at one of the fitness centers in Hampstead on a Monday night for the kids to play silly games and sing the songs that are familiar from the radio.” Ball adds that somebody normally plays guitar and, at the end of club, there is a short devotional. “When I’ve talked to the kids that have participated in clubs and asked them what their take was, they tell me they enjoy all the fun stuff at the beginning, but most of them talk about those deep talks at the end — that little

To show your support or for more information on volunteering or serving Topsail Young Life in some way, visit topsail.younglife.org/about.

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Topsail Magazine

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

WANT TO GET INVOLVED?


KIDS

bit at the end that just speaks to their heart in some way.” Rounding out the rest of the “C’s” is Campaigners, a smaller group of youth that regularly attend the Young Life Club events and realize they want to learn more about the Bible. “It’s a time for them to come and just have questions and, if we don’t have the answers, we dig and we all figure it out all together,” Ball says. Camp by Young Life, according to Ball, does it better than any organization she’s ever experienced. “My first experience with Young Life was going to a family camp in the spring,” she says. “We had just come off of a vacation to Disney World, and I had to talk my kids and my husband into going on a seven-hour drive in North Carolina, get there on Friday night and then leave on Sunday … “But it happened to be Mother’s Day that weekend,” Ball adds with a laugh. “It’s hard to even describe what it was like, but it was so much fun. I think some of it is the fact that you get away from all the noise. And my kids came away from that — one was in elementary school, the other was in middle school — and just said, ‘Mom, that was way more fun than Disney World.’” Committee, the fifth C, is comprised of a group of caring adults that support and raise money for the staff leader and college-aged Young Life volunteers working as missionaries, in a way, through the high school and middle school. “Young Life does an incredible job training people in the art of meeting kids where they are and sharing the hope that we have in Jesus,” Ball says. “I love church, but I think that there’s a lot of kids that wouldn’t necessarily show up to youth group because it’s connected to church. And so, we’ve got

that advantage that it’s a fun, safe place to be and maybe the guard drops a little bit.” Today’s Topsail Young Life, as mentioned before, is rebuilding and actively searching for a new director. Ball says they hope to have regularly scheduled clubs and a virtual banquet up

and going in the next couple months. “The school system is linking arms to be a support system,” she says. “Right now, I’m really optimistic that we’re going to get someone soon. We also have a lot of support from the regional office and a lot of support from all over the place.” 

Winter 2021-22

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Topsail Magazine


CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

SNIPPET

The Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Luncheon  On October 29 Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce (GTACOC) held its annual Chamber Banquet and Membership Luncheon at Surf City Welcome Center. The event exceeded attendance expectations, and everyone was obviously thrilled to see and speak to other members and town officials in person after those connections had been delayed for so long due to COVID. Jeff Price and the

Woman of the Year Wendy Fletcher-Hardee

staff at Beach Shop Grill prepared a fantastic lunch. This year the banquet recognized the Corporate Gold Sponsors and their support of the GATCOC. The chamber offers special thanks to Access Realty, Beach Shop Grill, Coral Cottage, Pender County Farm Bureau (Hampstead Office), Jones Onslow Electric Membership Corporation, Loggerhead Inn & Suites, Pluris, SFI

Man of the Year Scott Franko and Tammie Parris

Insurance, South End Outfitters, Surf City Line, Topsail Magazine and Treasure Realty. The chamber gave special recognition to Wendy FletcherHardee, who was recognized as Woman of the Year; Scott Franko, who was Man of the Year; and Peggy Bailey of Herring’s, who was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tammie Parris and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Peggy Bailey Winter 2021-22

69


SNIPPET

 With a mission “To Surf and Protect ... and to Party!” 2021 Surf City Ocean Fest was a huge success. The free event, held October 8 and 9, 2021, kicked off at the Surf City Welcome Center on N. Shore Drive and welcomed a huge turnout of locals and visitors. Runners came out for the 5K/1-miler, surfers competed in the Vintage Surf Contest, and everyone enjoyed the concerts. The Surf City Ocean Fest planners want to give special thanks to the volunteers who made it all possible and to the community for coming out to raise $15,000 to share with the fellow nonprofits that work together to help protect Mother Ocean. Be sure to mark your calendar for October 7 and 8, 2022, for the next Surf City Ocean Fest. 70

Topsail Magazine

PHOTOS BY ERIC VITHALANI

2021 Surf City Ocean Fest


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SNIPPET

1st Annual Colonel Classic

PHOTOS BY JENN SNAPS GOLD

The memory of Gary Cavenaugh was honored with the 1st Annual Colonel Classic, a light-hearted surf competition held October 30 in Surf City.

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SNIPPET

Paddle 4 Troops Annual Competitive and Fun SUP Race

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

 On August 28 standup paddleboarders gathered at Sears Landing Boat Docks in Surf City for the Paddle 4 Troops SUP Race. The event included a 10K competition and a 5K fun race. Both started and finished at the docks behind Sears Landing. Drafting was allowed, but racers had to stand up to paddleboard; no kneeling was allowed. If a competitor fell, they had five strokes to get back up on their feet. Paddle trophies were awarded to the top three males and females in the 10K, and lunch was provided to all registered paddlers. Live entertainment, silent and live auctions, a 50/50 drawing, food and drinks were all part of this fun event. Paddle 4 Troops is a nonprofit organization geared toward supporting local veterans, and 100 percent of proceeds go toward assisting veterans and their families.

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Connecting Business and Community 74

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FACES & PLACES

Surf City Expo at the Park The Surf City Expo was held September 11, 2021, at Sound Side Park in Surf City.

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NEW RIVER INLET TIDES

January Febr uary D a t e

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0.0

5:35

-0.1

7

12:00

2.8

12:12

2.3

6:19

0.2

6:20

0.0

9

12:45

2.7

12:58

2.5

6:56

0.2

7:16

0.0

8

12:54

2.7

1:05

2.0

7:22

0.3

7:08

0.2

9

12:02

2.8

12:18

2.0

6:38

0.4

6:12

0.3

10

1:45

2.7

1:55

2.3

8:03

0.3

8:06

0.1

9

1:52

2.7

2:05

1.8

8:28

0.4

8:01

0.2

10

12:57

2.7

1:17

1.8

7:41

0.5

7:07

0.4

11

2:43

2.8

2:53

2.1

9:09

0.3

8:55

0.1

10

2:52

2.7

3:07

1.8

9:33

0.4

8:58

0.2

11

1:59

2.6

2:23

1.8

8:48

0.5

8:11

0.4

12

3:37

2.8

3:48

2.0

10:09

0.3

9:43

0.1

11

3:49

2.7

4:06

1.8

10:30

0.4

9:55

0.2

12

3:03

2.7

3:28

1.9

9:48

0.5

9:17

0.4

13

4:26

2.9

4:39

2.0

11:02

0.3

10:29

0.1

12

4:41

2.8

4:57

1.9

11:19

0.3

10:46

0.1

13

5:01

2.7

5:23

2.0

11:39

0.4

11:15

0.3

13

5:27

2.9

5:41

2.1

12:01 PM

0.2

11:33

0.0

14

5:51

2.9

6:09

2.2

--

--

12:21

0.3

14

6:08

3.1

6:22

2.2

--

--

12:38

0.1

15

6:34

3.0

6:51

2.5

12:06

0.1

12:59

0.1

16

7:14

3.1

7:31

2.7

12:52

0.0

1:33

0.0

14

5:12

3.0

5:25

2.0

11:48

0.2

11:13

0.0

15

5:54

3.1

6:07

2.1

12:29 PM

0.1

11:55

0.0

16

6:33

3.2

6:47

2.1

--

--

1:07

0.1

17

7:11

3.2

7:25

2.2

12:36

-0.1

1:44

0.0

18

7:48

3.3

8:02

2.3

1:15

-0.1

2:19

0.0

19

8:24

3.2

8:40

2.3

1:53

-0.1

2:53

-0.1

20

9:00

3.2

9:18

2.4

2:33

-0.1

3:27

21

9:37

3.1

9:59

2.5

3:14

-0.1

22

10:16

2.9

10:44

2.6

3:58

-0.1

15

6:47

3.2

7:00

2.4

12:16

-0.1

1:13

0.0

16

7:24

3.2

7:38

2.5

12:57

-0.2

1:47

-0.1

17

7:59

3.2

8:15

2.7

1:37

-0.3

2:20

-0.2

-0.1

18

8:35

3.2

8:54

2.8

2:17

-0.3

2:52

-0.2

4:02

-0.1

19

9:12

3.1

9:35

2.9

3:00

-0.3

3:27

-0.3

4:38

-0.1

20

9:52

2.9

10:20

3.0

3:45

-0.2

4:03

-0.3

21

10:35

2.7

11:09

3.1

4:35

-0.1

4:44

-0.2

23 24 25

23

10:59

2.8

11:34

2.7

4:48

0.0

5:18

-0.1

24

11:47

2.6

--

--

5:44

0.1

6:03

-0.1

25

12:30

2.8

12:42

2.4

6:48

0.1

6:54

-0.2

26

1:31

3.0

1:44

2.2

7:58

0.1

7:51

-0.2

27

2:35

3.2

2:51

2.2

9:10

0.1

8:53

-0.3

28

3:40

3.4

3:58

2.2

10:19

-0.1

9:57

-0.4

29

4:43

3.6

5:02

2.3

11:20

-0.2

10:59

-0.5

30

5:42

3.8

6:01

2.5

12:16 PM -0.3

11:59

31

6:37

3.9

6:56

2.7

1:08

--

--

22

11:23

2.5

--

--

5:30

0.0

5:30

-0.2

23

12:04

3.2

12:20

2.3

6:33

0.1

6:24

-0.2

24

1:07

3.2

1:25

2.1

7:44

0.1

7:27

-0.1

25

2:17

3.2

2:38

2.1

8:58

0.1

8:37

-0.1

26

3:27

3.3

3:50

2.2

10:07

0.0

9:48

-0.2

-0.6

27

4:32

3.5

4:55

2.4

11:08

-0.1

10:54

-0.4

28

5:31

3.6

5:52

2.7

12:01 PM -0.2

11:54

17

7:52

3.2

8:09

3.0

1:35

-0.2

2:07

-0.1

18

8:30

3.2

8:49

3.2

2:18

-0.3

2:41

-0.2

19

9:08

3.2

9:29

3.4

3:01

-0.3

3:16

-0.3

20

9:48

3.0

10:12

3.5

3:46

-0.3

3:53

-0.3

21

10:31

2.9

10:58

3.6

4:33

-0.3

4:33

-0.3

22

11:17

2.7

11:49

3.6

5:25

-0.2

5:17

-0.2

--

--

12:09

2.5

6:21

0.0

6:07

-0.1

12:47

3.5

1:09

2.3

7:24

0.1

7:07

0.0

1:52

3.4

2:19

2.2

8:35

0.2

8:16

0.0

26

3:03

3.3

3:35

2.3

9:47

0.2

9:32

0.1

27

4:15

3.3

4:46

2.4

10:53

0.1

10:46

0.0

28

5:19

3.3

5:48

2.7

11:49

0.0

11:51

-0.1

29

6:16

3.4

6:42

3.0

--

--

12:39

-0.1

-0.3

30

7:06

3.4

7:30

3.2

12:49

-0.2

1:22

-0.2

-0.5

31

7:52

3.3

8:14

3.4

1:40

-0.3

2:03

-0.3

*TIDE CHARTS ARE ACCURATE TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE. IF YOU ARE CHECKING TIDES FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES, PLEASE VERIFY THESE TIMES WITH ANOTHER SOURCE.

80

Topsail Magazine


ADVERTISERS INDEX

Advertiser

Phone# Page#

Access Realty..................................................910-329-9800 BC AnA Builder's, Inc............................................910-329-9819 BC Beach Bums Pizza Bar & Grill...........................910-328-1044 61 Beach Furniture Outfitters Inc...........................910-328-0455 29 Beach Shop & Grill..........................................910-328-6501 7 Carolina Coast Contracting................................910-328-6400 71 Coastal Carolina Real Estate.............................910-329-1133 71 Coastal Insurance............................................910-754-4326 40 Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage................910-328-5626 27 Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Holly Hobbs....415-748-8227 35 Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Tanner Gray....910-547-9618 24 Computer Warriors...........................................910-238-2277 68 Coral Cottage boutiques...................................910-650-2891 48 Crew Insurance................................................910-329-3691 52 Curtis Media Group................................................................ 45 East Coast Sports............................................910-328-1887 79 Edward Jones – Karen Jerabek..........................910-270-3634 52 EmergeOrtho...................................................910-332-3800 13 Historical Society of Topsail Island.......................................... 34 Inis Spa..........................................................910-328-3988 42 Intracoastal Realty Corporation.........................910-328-3000 16 Intracoastal Realty Corporation - Topsail Area Agents.... 910-328-3000 3 Intercoastal Mortgage, LLC...............................910-389-1865 50 Intercoastal Mortgage, LLC – Patty Davis...........910-617-3135 55 Island Time Cleaning & Construction.................910-520-1594 30 Keller Williams – Angie Wilkie...........................910-777-7945 39 Kinco Inc........................................................910-803-0695 21, 79 Landmark Sotheby's International Realty...........910-328-2276 14 & 15 Linen & Leather Interiors..................................910-803-0048 73 Low Tide Steakhouse & Sandbar........................910-803-0738 9 Mia's Marketplace............................................910-803-0316 42 New Estuary Home Care...................................910-541-1160 79 New River Pottery............................................910-791-7522 76 NHRMC and Novant Health..............................910-254-1033 IFC Oliver's Photography........................................910-650-4633 76 Organize with Jess...........................................844-267-4264 50 P & L Palms....................................................910-742-8286 79 Pet Supplies Plus............................................910-803-2440 11 Pierpan Dentistry.............................................910-270-1222 5 Quarter Moon..................................................910-328-4969 67 Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry..............910-795-1287 60 RJB Tax Associates..........................................910-338-3001 52 Sandy Toes Boutique........................................910-541-2091 55 Sea Vista Motel...............................................910-328-2171 75 Ship on Site....................................................910-803-2292 65 Shorefront Construction....................................910-329-9800 BC South End Outfitters........................................910-541-0832 7 Southern Roots Grille.......................................910-803-0773 48 Surf City Dental...............................................910-329-0298 40 Surf City Pet Hospital......................................910-329-4700 59 The Crab Pot...................................................910-541-0930 81 The Daily Grind Surf City..................................910-541-0471 59 The Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce ....910-329-4446 74 The Topsail Island Trading Company..................800-762-1257 32 Topsail Home Watch........................................910-233-0410 50 Topsail Steamer...............................................910-328-2645 73 Town of Surf City.............................................910-328-4131 77 Treasure Realty................................................800-762-3961 IBC Unique Media & Design Inc..............................910-526-7926 62 unWINEd........................................................910-541-0095 59

Island Seafood Shac k

Sea-to-Table Outdoor Dining Daily Drink Specials Live Music

508 Roland Ave. Surf City, NC 910.541.0930  Winter 2021-22

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Topsail Magazine


Experts ExpertsOn Onand andOff Off the the Island Island Experts On and Off the Island Experts On and Off the Island

Sales and Vacation Rentals Sales and Rentals Sales and Vacation Rentals Sales and Vacation Rentals The oceanfront sales on Topsail Island Theleader leaderin vacationrental rental management management and The leader ininvacation vacation rental management and oceanfront oceanfront sales saleson onTopsail TopsailIsland Island The leader in vacation rental management and oceanfront sales on Topsail Island The leader in vacation rental management and oceanfront sales on Topsail Island

FindYour YourTreasure Treasure Call Call Today 800-762-3961 Find Today 800-762-3961 Find YourTreasure Treasure Call Today 800-762-3961 Today 800-762-3961

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