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New Faces, New Places: Meet the people behind 12 new businesses that have opened in North Brunswick County in 2013

by | Jan 27, 2016 | Brunswick County, Business, North Brunswick, See

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Brunswick County. A huge number of new businesses have cropped up in garages, bonus rooms and backyard workshops, and just as many have appeared in brick-and-mortar locations around Leland and Belville. All of that bodes well for the prolonged healthy growth of our communities and region.

It’s not just the number of businesses that have opened, but the variety in the types of businesses that points to a strong economic and community base. Everyone from woodworkers to pizza tossers to sushi rollers decided to open their doors in 2013, and they were joined by doctors and surfers and too many others to name. Without the support of the community (that means you, dear readers), these businesses won’t last, and Leland and Brunswick County (and even New Hanover County) will be the poorer for it.

So hats off to the business owners who saw an area of need and stuck their necks out to fill it. Without further ado, here are some of the new businesses on the block for 2013.

Anchor Wood Products Showroom

103B Village Road, Leland (910) 399-5952
Owners: Lou and Jan Purin

Anchor Wood Products provides custom woodworking for small furniture pieces including built-in shelving units, bunkbeds, and Murphy beds. As a regionally licensed representative of nationally known 1800Bunkbed, Anchor Wood Products builds bunkbeds and storage units in addition to their own woodworking projects. Owner Lou Purin calls Anchor a “faith-based business” and utilizes several of his fellow church members who are skilled in woodworking.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

As a result of the economic slowdown, I saw a need for quality woodworking. It was evident that folks needed a well-built product at an affordable price, and since I’ve worked in all aspects of woodworking for several years, I thought I could make this business work. Starting a business at this time also provides part-time employment for folks in the community who need some supplemental income.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

We moved to Leland seven years ago and found a community that suited our lifestyle and is convenient to many activities and resources necessary for our business.

What services/products do you offer?

We offer a variety of custom-built bunk beds that include options like storage drawers, integrated desks, trundle beds and storage stairs. One of our unique items is our storage stairs – a drawer system built into the stairs to the top bunk. We also offer Murphy Bed systems and other wood products.

What separates you from the competition?

Everything is built on site here in our shop in Leland. We use only solid wood; absolutely no particleboard is used. That means our products are free from many of the toxins endemic to artificial wood furniture. We also offer a lifetime warranty on our beds.

What has been your biggest success so far?

We’ve had a great response to our product line. People here are seeing that bunk beds are good for homes, dorms, hunting camps and beach rentals.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Our constant challenge is sourcing quality wood in the species we need for our projects.

When did you open?

We opened in November [2013]. Currently our showroom is open by appointment only.

How many employees do you have?

Currently we have four part-time employees plus me, but we will add more as necessary.

A & A Golf Carts

130 Division Dr., Leland (910) 471-4049
www.facebook.com/aagolfcarts
Owners: Gary and Amy Aycock

The golf-cart craze has caught on in Leland. With more of the street-legal carts zipping around town and the legion of standard carts used on golf courses and neighborhoods, A & A Golf Carts felt they could add something to the scene. What do they add? The ability to customize your cart and turn it into a vehicle that does what you want. From street-legal or off-road modifications to personalized seats and color schemes, A & A has done it all. Check out their Facebook page to see the custom-built off-road golf cart/hunting blind they built.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

We sold golf carts as a hobby with a partner and decided to strike out on our own and make it a full-time family business.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

We live in Leland and love Brunswick County, so it is the best place to open up shop. Also, it’s centrally located for easy access to the towns and beaches around Brunswick County, and it’s easy to access for customers from Wilmington.

What services/products do you offer?

We sell and repair golf carts, custom-build golf carts and work on street-legal golf carts. We’re also starting a golf cart rental business in the spring of 2014.

What separates you from the competition?

We maintain a shop and office space in the North Brunswick Industrial Park for customer convenience, and we feel we offer superior customer service.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Being able to grow the business in this economy.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

There are other golf cart businesses out there, so establishing ourselves and getting our name out were the main concerns. We just needed to let people know there’s a full-service golf cart shop in Leland.

When did you open?

We opened officially as A & A Golf Carts in June 2013.

How many employees do you have?

Right now we’re family only, so we have three employees.

Absolute Vapor

503 Olde Waterford Way, Suite 105, Leland (910) 371-2244
absolute-vapor.com
facebook.com/pages/Absolute-Vapor/263283080439609
Owners: Tim and Georgia Sparkman

E-cigarettes are an integral part of kicking the smoking habit or, at the very least, switching to a less harmful nicotine-delivery system. E-cigarettes are a vapor-based smoking accessory in which nicotine is suspended in a harmless water-like substance and smoked via a pipe-like unit.
When users exhale, no noxious smoke comes out, just water vapor.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

The Electronic Cigarette industry exploded in January of 2013.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

We wanted to offer our Leland and Wilmington customers easy access to our products.

What services/products do you offer?

Personalized electronic vaporizers and accessories, our own line of USA-made e-liquid in nicotine levels from 0 mg-24 mg in 2 mg increments, and also battery repairs.

What separates you from the competition?

Customer service, battery repair and 100% USA-made e-liquids.

What was your biggest success so far?

The number of people we have helped change their lives by switching from traditional cigarettes to electronic vaporizers.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Customer awareness.

When did you open?

We opened our first store in Southport in July 2012.

How many employees do you have?

Nine.

Eye Care Associates

2013 Olde Regent Way, Suite 260, Leland (910) 782-1883
eyecareassociatesnc.com
facebook.com/EyeCareAssociatesNC
Owner: Dr. Stephen Bolick

As Leland grows, more service-oriented businesses are needed in town. Thanks to Eye Care Associates’ new Leland location, residents can stay on this side of the bridge for their eye care and eyewear needs. And, who knows, the convenience of this location — right by Harris Teeter in front of Waterford — may even draw some clients from downtown Wilmington.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

Brunswick County has always been a great place to be. In 2013, as we began focusing even more on growth, Brunswick County was a key area. Since Brunswick County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, we wanted to be a part of that momentum.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

Expanding to Leland was the next logical step in Eye Care Associates’ goal of ensuring all residents of the Wilmington area have world-class eye healthcare.

What services/products do you offer?

Eye Care Associates offers a full range of eye healthcare services and products, including comprehensive eye exams, distinctive eye glasses, contact lenses, high-quality sunglasses, high-performance sports exams and sports glasses. Eye Care Associates’ doctors, technicians and optical consultants are committed to offering world-class care and personal service. In short, Eye Care Associates is about exceptional doctors and comprehensive vision care paired with a distinctive glasses and sunglasses offerings.

What separates you from the competition?

Eye Care Associates delivers extraordinary eye care services and a unique shopping experience. By taking a personalized, consultative approach to eye care and providing stylish, distinctive eyewear from top brands, we set ourselves apart from other eye care providers.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Eye Care Associates is incredibly honored to be the leading eye-care provider in North Carolina. In addition to being a pillar in the North Carolina business community, Eye Care Associates is also proud to support programs that enrich lives, such as the Gift of Vision, the Dr. Stephen Bolick Scholarship, and partnerships with community organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club. Through this partnership, Eye Care Associates will provide comprehensive eye exams to more than 3,000 children in North Carolina.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

It was challenging to meet the needs of our growing customer base throughout Brunswick County with just two locations. We overcame this challenge by opening our new Leland store.

When did you open?

Eye Care Associates was founded in 1978 by Dr. Stephen Bolick in Raleigh, N.C. Our Leland location opened in September of 2013.

How many employees do you have?

[We have] more than 300 valued employees throughout North Carolina.

What’s one thing you’d say to someone thinking of opening a business in Leland?

Leland is a fantastic location for a business. Residents welcome new businesses with open arms and are as excited about growth as we are! If you can’t see how great it is to be in Leland, you might need an eye exam.

Family Dog Naturals

2013 Olde Regent Way, Suite 170, Leland (910) 859-7605
familydognaturals.com/
facebook.com/familydognaturals
Owners: Betsy and David Head

Taking care of your pet means more than just a brisk walk every morning, a game of backyard (or better yet, beach) Frisbee or a session of catch the laser pointer. Pet health begins with proper nutrition. Betsy and David Head know this, and that’s why their pets eat the best, most nutritious foods available. And it’s why their business, Family Dog Naturals, stocks only the best alternative nutritional products and the finest toys, treats and chews around.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

We had just moved here in April of 2012 with the dream of someday opening a store like this. We figured there was no time like the present and so we just went for it.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

We live in Leland and we love it here. No doubt, the growth here exceeds anywhere else in the vicinity, and there was nothing like our store in the immediate area.

What services/products do you offer?

We specialize in educating people about nutrition for their dogs and cats. To support what we teach, we offer high-quality commercial dry and wet foods as well as easy-to-prepare raw, home-cooked pet food and dehydrated pet food. You can find everything from all-natural treats and chews, grooming supplies, gifts, collars and leashes, toys, natural flea and tick prevention, bedding and even apparel.

What separates you from the competition?

Our knowledge, personal customer service and love for animals. Our philosophy is about community relations and customer care. We provide education to consumers, and that’s one of our greatest advantages over big-box competitors. Quality is also very important to us and that’s something that has kept customers coming back, as has the fact that we try to stay USA-made.

What has been your biggest success so far?

After being open for only six months, we had the honor of being nominated as the Best Pet Store in the Cape Fear Region. We’ve been welcomed by the community with open arms and we feel we’re already having a big impact on the wellness of our customers’ companions.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Getting more people to shop here and support our local store rather than patronizing the large chain pet stores. Unfortunately, those large chains have a lot of buying power, and we can’t always be as price competitive as we like, but the attention you get here is far superior than what you get in one of the big stores.

When did you open?

April 2013

How many employees do you have?

Right now, we’re just a husband-and-wife team, so just the two of us.

What’s one thing you’d say to someone thinking of opening a business in Leland?

I’d say they picked the perfect place to start a business.

Kendall’s Hallmark and Alayna’s Boutique

2029 Olde Regent Way, Leland (910) 794-9951
facebook.com/KendallsHallmark
Owners: Kirit Khajanchi and Rajul Moose

In 1987, Rajul Moose’s mother and father opened their first store in Wilmington. Just a few years later, that one store had grown into seven, and now their first store has opened in Leland. At Kendall’s Hallmark (which takes its name from Rajul’s daughter), you’ll find cards, gifts and notions for every occasion, and at Alayna’s Boutique (which takes its name from Rajul’s other daughter), you’ll find a fun women’s boutique and a Life is Good store for men and women.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

We’ve had an eye on Leland for a couple of years, and when the opportunity presented itself early in the year, we decided to make the move.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

It was the right time and the right place. Many customers in our Wilmington stores are from Leland and Brunswick County, and, after hearing so many requests for a store on their side of the river, we looked at our mailing list and saw a huge number of customers with Leland addresses. Once we saw that, we knew a location in Leland was in our future.

What services/products do you offer?

We have both a Hallmark card and gift store and our boutique in the same store. Our products include cards for any reason or season, gifts to suit nearly everyone, like purses and accessories, and a little jewelry and clothing.

What separates you from the competition?

The fact that we’re more than just a card shop and more than just a boutique: we’re both. We have both under one roof, which gives us a broader range of customers who can find what they need here. Another thing that separates us is how active I am in buying new and unique items for our shop. I attend four big trade shows a year and find some of our best product lines there, so I’d say that a well-curated selection is certainly a factor that separates us from the rest.

What has been your biggest success so far?

No doubt the response to our opening. Old customers and new are telling us how glad they are that we’re here now.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Starting from an empty shell. We haven’t built a new store from scratch in 20 years — everything has been remodels or renovations of our own or another store — so we forgot about all of the little things that crop up while you’re putting together something like a retail store. In addition to all the little details in designing and building out the store were the details that Leland looks at for building permits. It was all a lot to take in for a while, but now that it’s behind us, we’ve settled into our new space quite well.

When did you open?

At the end of October 2013.

How many employees do you have?

We have eight at the Leland store and 55 in total across our six stores. We are lucky to have an amazing and knowledgable staff at all of our locations, allowing us to grow and diversify as needed.

In & Out Pizza & Subs

1735 Reed Rd. NE, Unit 6, Leland (910) 371-2611
facebook.com/pages/InOut-PizzaSubs/1423523481204271
Owner: Anwar Rayai

When you’re looking for a place to open a pizza and sub shop, you look for where the people are. Anwar Rayai found the ideal spot in Leland for In & Out Pizza & Subs, locating it just off Mt. Misery Road near the Leland Industrial Park and a
number of still-growing developments.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

We had a business in downtown Wilmington but wanted to open a place in Brunswick County to take advantage of the great opportunities here.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

Leland is growing, and we wanted to be part of that growth. Our location is perfect for us because we’re six or seven miles from another shopping center, which makes us a convenient dining option for local customers. The value we found in Leland was a big part of opening here. In Leland, your money goes a long way. Property is less expensive, taxes are very reasonable and a hungry customer base means we’re busy.

What services/products do you offer?

We make pizza and subs as well as wings, salads and a few other small dishes. Our pizzas are New York style and toppings vary from the plain cheese pizza to the traditional pepperoni pizza to wilder things like Buffalo chicken pizza. You can buy by the slice or the pie, your choice.

What separates you from the competition?

There are other restaurants, but no pizza place in the immediate area that compares to what we’re doing, so just by doing New York pizza the right way we’ve separated ourselves from the chain pizza places nearby.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Seeing the response from our customers, many of whom are now regulars.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

The same problem many businesses have: getting the word out. Letting people know where we are, when we’re open and what we’re doing is hard work, especially when you’re working full time in your business.

When did you open?

November 1, 2013

How many employees do you have?

We’re a family business, so there are just five of us in here right now.

Brunswick Surf and Skate

503 Olde Waterford Way, Leland (910) 371-3252
facebook.com/brunswicksurfandskate
Owner: Daniel Galusha

A longtime surfer and skateboarder, Daniel Galusha worked for much of the 1990s in a Wilmington surf and skate shop, making, as he put it, “money for someone else.” He opened his own shop for a couple of years before life took him to Florida for a decade. In the early 2000s, he moved back to the area, relocating to Leland. After working for someone else for several more years, the entrepreneurial bug bit him and he decided to open Brunswick Surf and Skate as a way to serve his board-loving brethren in Brunswick County.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

I finally got tired enough of having to cross the bridge into Wilmington to get a bar of [surf] wax and decided that Leland needed a surf and skate shop.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

I live here, and it’s a growing area. A surprising number of people here surf, skate and live a water- or board-oriented lifestyle. Those people need a place to shop and get quality goods to support their passions. Now they, like me, don’t have to make a half-day trip into Wilmington to buy a bar of surf wax or new wheels for their skateboard.

What services/products do you offer?

We’re a full-service surf and skate shop, so we have boards, fins, leashes, skate decks, trucks, wheels, helmets and everything you need to get started or upgrade what you currently have. We also sell skate and surf clothing as well as some of the Salt Life gear that supports the coastal lifestyle. As for brands we carry, we have Lost, Hurly, Salt Life, Alpine Stars and a number of other manufacturers.

What separates you from the competition?

The number of products we carry that were made by local folks. Many of our surfboards were made by people not too far from our shop.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Getting the doors open and the shop fully stocked.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Getting the doors open and the shop fully stocked. It was a challenge at times. The permitting paperwork seemed endless, then dealing with vendors to get enough product in the store to open was tough.

When did you open?

November 1, 2013

How many employees do you have?

Just me. For now.

Luxe Home Interiors

270 Olde Regent Way, Leland (910) 371-0464
luxewilmington.com
facebook.com/pages/LUXE-Waterford/575623299119381
Owner: Lynn Leake

With Leland’s booming neighborhoods drawing in new residents every month, it seems a fine-home furnishings store and design studio would find the perfect home here. Luxe Home Interiors thought so, and that’s why they’ve opened a storefront and design studio right beside Harris Teeter in Waterford. The response has been overwhelming to say the least, with several new clients finding Luxe and a number of very happy returning clients glad to have Luxe as new neighbors.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

Because the neighborhoods are still booming in Brunswick County. We’ve been looking at Leland for a while, and after we opened a red-tag clearance store, the response was far greater than we thought it would be. After that, we knew this was a move we had to make, so we watched and waited and the opportunity presented itself.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

The continued growth of new residents in this area.

What services/products do you offer?

We’re a design studio and fine furniture store. We take a lot of pride in being able to work with clients to settle on a fabulous style and design that suits their lifestyle. Our designers have the skills and our suppliers have the selections to allow us to do that.

What separates you from the competition?

All of our designers have a design degree, so they know what works from a range of aesthetic viewpoints. Everyone here has an eye for the soft, coastal, comfy look our customers want.

What has been your biggest success so far?

The incredible response. In the first month of the store being opened, we’ve completed three home plans for new Leland residents. One of the things that struck all of us was a couple who came in not long after we opened. They were looking at chairs and we told them that we had two versions of a particular chair in our Mayfaire store if they’d like to see more options. They were puzzled. They’d never heard of Mayfaire. That’s when we learned that this couple had just moved to Leland the week before. We keep finding these new arrivals, or they keep finding us, and to be able to help them put their new home together quickly is great for us and them.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

The typical challenges: logistics, planning, that sort of thing. We tend to be very well organized — we have to be when we’re shipping and coordinating furniture installs and design features for our clients — so the move went as smoothly as it could have. Once we were opened, it was the typical settling-in process.

When did you open?

Around November 1

How many employees do you have?

We have three to four designers in Leland on a given day and another six or seven employees in Mayfaire. In total, we have around 10 full-time folks between our designers and office personnel.

Talay Thai and Sushi

497 Olde Waterford Way, Leland In the second row of shops (910) 399-2071
facebook.com/pages/Talay-Thai-and-Sushi/348107401972587
Owner: Oy Siharat

A decade ago, there weren’t many places to eat in Leland, and there certainly wasn’t a place you could get Pad Thai or sushi. Now, Talay Thai and Sushi serves both seven days a week, and the crowds couldn’t be happier.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

It was a risky time, but I wanted to get out of my military contracting job and into something that was friendlier to my family. With all the growth here, we saw an opportunity to introduce a new cuisine, so we did.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

We live in Leland, so it’s close to home. Aside from that, the growth and opportunity here is hard to beat.

What services/products do you offer?

Thai cuisine and a large sushi menu.

What separates you from the competition?

For a long time, the thing that separated us was that we were the only Thai or sushi restaurant in the area. We always focused on flavor, so now that the restaurant scene has expanded, we’re known for our great flavors and fresh ingredients.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Our loyal patrons. Our fans really took to us. Groups from Magnolia Greens, Waterford and Brunswick Forest dine here regularly, as do the Newcomer groups. Being able to serve them the food they love is a pleasure. It’s good to have them, too, because they’re not afraid to make great suggestions about our restaurant. Thanks to their demand, we’re now open seven days a week.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Getting folks here to know where we are. Being in the second row of shops here, we’re a little bit out of the way for some customers, so letting folks know exactly where we are was a major hurdle.

When did you open?

January 2013.

How many employees do you have?

We have 13 employees.

Village Commons

117 East Village Rd., Leland (910) 399-7940
lelandvillagecommons.com
facebook.com/LelandVillageCommons
Owner: Dennis Walsh

Dennis Walsh looked at Leland and saw something. Or rather, he didn’t see something. Leland was missing a space where groups could gather for meetings, parties, receptions, celebrations and more. So he opened Village Commons as a way to provide the people of Brunswick County with a first-class space to come together.

 Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

Opportunity. We opened the restaurant, Charlie Macgrooders, first, but we always wanted to expand and have an event space that helped support our catering. Another company was next door, in the space we envisioned as Village Commons, and when they left in early 2013 we took the plunge.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

Our family has been vacationing here for around 20 years, so we’ve known what a great place Brunswick County is for a long time. We owned a restaurant when our kids were small, but we got out of the business as they were growing up. We kept the passion alive, though, and, once the kids were all in college, we decided to open a restaurant again. Leland was such a growing marketplace that we thought it would be ideal for a restaurant that offered Northern flair with Southern hospitality.

What services/products do you offer?

Village Commons accommodates parties from 20 to 120 with no problem. We’re ideal for business meetings, club meetings, speakers or church and civic group events. With the restaurant right next door, catering is easy.

What separates you from the competition?

The on-site catering. That allows us to reduce the cost of the room and easily supply our guests with quality food and service.

What has been your biggest success so far?

Developing a loyal following to the restaurant that has spilled over into Village Commons.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Getting the word out. We’re not quite big enough for a big wedding, and some showers are a little small for our room, so finding that sweet spot and getting the message to them has been a challenge.

When did you open?

We opened Charlie Macgrooders in 2008 and Village Commons in April 2013.

How many employees do you have?

Just me at Village Commons, but 20 more at Charlie Magrooders, and they help out as caterers and staff as necessary.

Cape Fear Pediatrics

1035 Grandiflora Dr., Suite 2, Leland, NC (910) 371-3212
capefearpediatrics.com
facebook.com/pages/Cape-Fear-Pediatrics/32562036952
Owners: Thomas Blackstone, MD, FAAP; David L. Hill, MD, FAAP; Hoke Ward Pollock, MD, FAAP; Rajesh B. Solanki, MD, MBA, FAAP

No one enjoys going to the doctor, especially not our kids. Cape Fear Pediatrics hopes to change that. In their safe, kid-friendly office, they provide top-quality care that meets the health needs of young patients while ensuring that their visit to the doctor is a positive experience.

Why was 2013 the right time to open your business?

Honestly, we had been exploring options in Brunswick County for years, but in 2013 we finally found what we felt would be the ideal location. We already serve a large number of patients in the area, and we embraced this opportunity to provide them with more convenient care.

What made Leland the ideal location for you?

Our mission is to serve families, and Leland has seen an explosive growth in the number of young families who have chosen to make this area their home. From solid schools to affordable real estate to wholesome recreation, it’s obvious why Leland is a great community for children and parents alike.

What services/products do you offer?

As pediatricians, we are specially trained to provide care to anyone who is growing. Of course this population includes newborns, babies and young children, but adolescent medicine is also an important part of pediatrics. We welcome kids up to college age for care that includes sports physicals and basic mental health services such as the management of ADHD. Our practice also serves a large population of special-needs children, including former premature infants and children with complex chronic illnesses.

What separates you from the competition?

Every one of us at Cape Fear Pediatrics looks to our mission statement, “It’s about love,” to guide our actions. Being about love means understanding each child not just as someone who might be ill, but also as a member of a family and a community. It means striving daily to ensure that we provide the most up-to-date care possible using the best tools available. It means treating our patients, their families and each other like family.

What has been your biggest success so far?

In pediatrics, every day is made up of a series of big successes. Every time we can help a child feel better or help a family ensure that their kids reach their full potential, we can walk away feeling like we’ve done one of the most important things anyone can do.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Just as with the successes, the challenges come at us every day. Addressing the very specific needs of each child and each family fully and completely requires an ongoing effort from each of us every day; fortunately, it’s an effort we all enjoy.

When did you open?

December 2013

How many employees do you have?

Cape Fear Pediatrics employs around 50 people in our three offices combined. The Leland office will usually have around three staff members and one provider, at least to start.

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