#ShineOnLocal | Jailhouse Provisions

Shine on Local ferries to Bald Head Island! Join us at Jailhouse Provisions at 251 Edward Teach Extension Wednesday, April 20th, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. for a beer or wine compliments of Intracoastal Realty. The owners of the newest island establishment, Harper & Plunkett Peterson, are long-time islanders. We sat down with them to learn what makes Jailhouse Provisions special.

What is your background?

The Harpers have been property owners and business owners on the island for forty years. They love the island and enjoy coming up with new creative business ideas that help serve the community and its guests and owners. Other businesses have included Island Passage, Delphina Cantina, Riverside Adventure Company, Will O’ the Wisp, Sandpiper Coffee & Ice Cream, The Sail Shop, East Beach Surf Shop, and an assortment of recreational activities like Ghost Walks and Sunset Socials. On each venture they strive to enhance the island experience.

What makes Jailhouse Provisions stand out from other island restaurants?

When the Petersons purchased the former Bald Head Island police station, it came with history, a central location, and without a jail. The building has since morphed into an outdoor and indoor coffee house, bar, and restaurant. Fittingly the old police department now has a jail, “Jailhouse Provisions.” They are the only full-service indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar located in the middle of the island.  Executive Chef Carlos Rojas and his talented kitchen staff prepare fresh foods daily.

Suggestion for first time island visitors?

Bring your own or rent a bike and explore, is Harper’s advice. Soaking up the environment, listening to nature, find the spot that speaks to you the most and create a personal connection.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

Harper carefully considered the options and settled on the fresh oysters which are done in a light batter.  

Shine On Local Event

Join us on Wednesday, April 20 at Jailhouse Provisions 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. for a complimentary beer or wine on Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @jailhousebhi on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit!

Ferries depart for Bald Head Island on the hour from Deep Point Marina at 1301 Ferry Road in Southport, NC. Ferries leave the island on the half-hour. Ferry tickets may be purchased at the Deep Point Marina. Should you need a tram ride to Jailhouse Provisions and Midway Coffee, you may reserve a ride online at https://baldheadislandferry.com/tram or by calling 910-457-5003. Ferry passage is $23 per adult, $12 per child ages 3-12, and no charge for children ages two and younger.

#ShineOnLocal | Matter More Coffee

Rise and Shine with us at Matter More Coffee a local and family-owned coffee shop in Hampstead Friday, March 18, 9 am – 11 am for a FREE medium hot or iced latte of your choice compliments of Intracoastal Realty!

We spoke with owners Pete and Whitney Smith about what made them start Matter More Coffee and how they standout from other coffee shops around town.

What is your background?

Whitney, our two boys, and I moved from Arlington, VA in 2018. Whitney is an Elementary Reading Specialist with almost twenty years experience. I’m originally from New York, but spent eighteen years in northern VA prior to moving here. In addition to owning the coffee shop, I speak at conferences throughout the country.

How did Matter More Coffee get started?

We saw a need and decided to go for it. Being someone who works from home, I wanted a place to do some work, meet up with friends, and drink a good cup of coffee. Though Whitney and I had exactly zero experience working in a coffee shop, we had a simple focus: provide a great product, hire the best people we can find, and provide fantastic customer service.

What makes Matter More Coffee different than other coffee shops?

I think most coffee shops, in general, share a similar focus of being community or people-oriented. One of the things we’re most proud of is the amount of comments we get about our staff. It does not matter what day of the week or time of day you visit Matter More, customers often share their positive experience about our baristas. For us, it’s about connections. It’s about keeping customer interactions relational, not transactional. Customers experience this going through our drive thru. Customers often comment about how we ask for and utilize someone’s name. We’re focused on names because we believe the use of a name helps to build a connection. We want our customers to know who we are and we’re interested in knowing who they are. Ultimately, we try to align our actions with what we believe: You Matter. Our job is to remind our customers that they matter and encourage them to go out into the world and Matter More.

What’s one of your most popular drinks to order: Definitely the Matter More Mocha. hot, iced, or frozen, people love this drink. Other than the standard Vanilla Latte, the Hawaiian Salted Caramel and Coconut Latte was one of last year’s most requested drinks, too.

What’s your favorite drink: This may be somewhat embarrassing to admit but I drink black coffee. Seems hard to imagine considering all the choices we have but, honestly, I’m pretty simple. Whitney goes through phases but is mostly a hot latte fanatic. She may change up Almond milk or Oat milk but her drinks are almost always hot, even when it’s 100 degrees outside.

Shine On Local Event Details:

Stop by Matter More Coffee in Hampstead on Friday, March 18, 9 am – 11 am for a FREE medium hot or iced latte compliments of Intracoastal Realty! Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @mattermorecoffee on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit! Which latte will you pick hot or iced? Show us in your photo.

#ShineOnLocal | Spilt Milk Ice Cream & Donut Shop

Hot, fresh, delicious donuts. Sounds amazing right? Pop into Split Milk Ice Cream & Donut Shop in Ocean Isle Beach on Thursday, February 24, 8 am – 10 am for a FREE donut of your choice compliments of Intracoastal Realty! This one-of-a-kind sweet shop offers more than just delicious donuts; don’t miss their hand-dipped ice cream, fresh brewed signature coffee, or try one of their old-fashioned, thick creamy milkshakes!

We caught up with owner James Lane to learn more about how he got started in the restaurant business and what makes this tasty shop stand out.

What is your background?

Lane didn’t plan to be a restaurateur. He grew up in Lexington, NC, and wanted to be a teacher, a career his two older sisters pursued. However, after three semesters at Wingate University in Charlotte, he decided teaching golf was where he belonged. He received certification as a golf pro and took a job at the former Baytree Golf Plantation in Little River. When he added an evening job at a Broadway at the Beach restaurant in Myrtle Beach, the owner there believed he could succeed in the restaurant industry. James now owns four different establishments in Brunswick County including Angelo’s Pizzeria and Bistro in Shallotte, Macie and Ethel’s Kitchen in Holden Beach, Maria’s Pizzeria, and Split Milk both located in Ocean Isle Beach.

What makes Spilt Milk Ice Cream and Donut Shop stand out from other shops?

Everything at Split Milk is made in-house from scratch. Trained bakers make the dough and trained workers mix the ingredients for the ice cream and coffee. When you come here, you’ll know the donuts are fresh and made daily. Our selections go beyond traditional glazed and sugar donuts; you’ll find Bavarian cream-filled Bismarck, strawberry fritter, praline, pistachio, and more!

Favorite Donut: Glazed. It’s light and delicious with our homemade glaze.

Shine On Local Event Details:

Stop into Spilt Milk Ice Cream & Donut Shop located at 120 Causeway Drive in Ocean Isle Beach from 8 am – 10 am on Thursday, February 24 for a FREE donut compliments of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @spiltmilkoib on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit. Let’s see which donut you picked!

*Limited to one free donut per person

#ShineOnLocal | Breakthrough Nutrition

Are you beginning the New Year with a healthy start? Then don’t miss our next #ShineOnLocal at Breakthrough Nutrition on Friday, January 28, 8 am – 10 am for a FREE nutritional shake on us. Breakthrough Nutrition serves a variety of tasty nutritional shakes and smoothies with over a 100 flavors to choose from!

We spoke with Breakthrough Nutrition owners Nick and Blair Lacik to learn more about why they started their business and their passion for what they do.

What is your background?

We were Division 1 Athletes at Liberty University. After studying and being around sports and nutrition our entire lives, we wanted to create a career that reflected our passions.

What inspired you both to open Breakthrough Nutrition?

After we graduated college, we moved back home to Wilmington to start our career in corporate America. After a few years, we decided we wanted to branch out to make more of a day to day impact on our community. Our goal was to create a place in the community where we were able to share awesome nutrition with others. Years later, the awesome nutrition that changed our lives personally has greatly impacted friends and family from all over the world. We are soon to celebrate our 4 year anniversary at Breakthrough Nutrition and couldn’t imagine our life any other way!

What makes Breakthrough Nutrition so unique?

We offer more than just “shakes” and “smoothies”. We proudly offer our community nutritious and delicious meal replacements with over 100 flavors to choose from! All meal replacement shake flavors are well balanced meals that have high protein but low sugar, fat, and carbs.

What flavor shake would you recommend to those first trying Breakthrough Nutrition: Fried Oreo

What is your favorite flavor: Nick’s favorite is French Toast Crunch and Blair’s favorite is Carrot Cake

Shine On Local Event Details:

Pop into Breakthrough Nutrition located at 7213 Market Street in Wilmington from 8 am – 10 am on Friday, January 28 for a FREE nutritional shake compliments of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @breakthroughnutritionnc on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit. Let’s see which flavor shake you picked!

*Limited to one free shake per person

#ShineOnLocal | Boombalatti’s

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so to get us in the holiday spirit we’re having our next #ShineOnLocal event at Boombalatti’s! Not only do they serve incredible homemade ice cream year-round, in December they feature their signature Christmas flavors like gingerbread, peppermint stick, and hot coco. Stop in on Thursday, December 16, 6 pm – 8 pm at their Forum location for a FREE scoop of ice cream on us!

We caught up with owner Wes Bechtel to learn more about how he and his wife created this local favorite and got some pro tips on what to try when you visit!

What inspired you to open Boombalatti’s and how did you come up with the name?

Wes Bechtel: My wife Kristen and I were both working desk jobs and felt there was more to life than conference calls and emails. Ice cream has been my favorite food for my entire life and so when I thought about what job would make me truly happy the obvious answer was a homemade ice cream shop. Boombalatti’s was just a name that was made up that sounded fun and whimsical. We’ve since discovered that it’s very hard to spell!

What is your background?

Wes Bechtel: I learned how to make ice cream after watching an episode of Good Eats in college and started coming up with fun flavors for my friends and neighbors. Meanwhile I spent 12 years working for a major cell phone carrier. In 2011 I went back to school to get my MBA and decided it was time to quit my job and take a chance at ice cream. Six years later it remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What makes Boombalatti’s stand out from other shops?

Wes Bechtel: We aim to provide our customers the very best ice cream, served by the very best employees in the very best environment. We are super focused on quality and creating a positive experience for every customer that walks in our doors. As for the ice cream, we make every single batch we scoop at our three shops in our kitchen located in our Military Cutoff store. We use grass-fed NC dairy, stay away from artificial flavors and colors, and scoop cones and sundaes and milkshakes the old-fashioned way.

What flavor would you recommend to those first visiting Boombalatti’s?

Wes Bechtel: We are really proud of all of our flavors and we have all the classics like Cookie Dough, Double Cookies & Cream, Chocolate and Strawberry, but if you only came to Boombalatti’s one time I’d recommend our Cinnamon Caramel Oatmeal Cookie. It’s probably the flavor we’re most known for and it’s absolutely delicious.

What’s your favorite flavor you serve year-round and your favorite seasonal flavor?

Wes Bechtel: A staff favorite is our Mocha Oreo which is basically a cross between my two favorite flavors as a kid: Cookies & Cream and Coffee. What could be better? And during the holidays our Peppermint Stick deservedly gets a ton of love, but our Gingerbread Cold Brew Coffee Shake is one of the combos I look forward to all year long!

Shine On Local Event Details: Pop into Boombalatti’s at their Forum location for a FREE scoop of ice cream compliments of Intracoastal Realty on Thursday, December 16, 6 pm – 8 pm. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @boombalattis on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit!

#ShineOnLocal | Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar

Kick-off your long holiday weekend back with a FREE hot or iced coffee from Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar on Monday, November 29, 8:30 am – 10:30 am in Wrightsville Beach!

Adapt Kitchen & Juice Bar is owned by husband and wife team Chris and Elie Curry. We caught up with both of them to see what makes this beloved shop stand out from other offerings around and learn more about their passion and continued efforts for keeping the beautiful coastal town of Wrightsville Beach clean with the idea of sustainability in mind.

What is your and Elie’s background?

Chris Curry: Elie and I, bring unique coastal perspectives to our health food and beverage concept design. Being an athlete and native of Wrightsville Beach, I possesses unique knowledge of this locale both in and out of the water. Elie, a native of Ocean City, Maryland, delivers a creative vision that combines modern and rustic home artistry. We were both raised in surfing families which gave us a deep sense of respect for our own health and nutrition as well as the ocean and land that surround us. I graduated from UNCW’s Cameron School of Business with a concentration in Marketing and Elie graduated from Salisbury University with a concentration in Fine Art & Photography.

What inspired you both to open Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar?

Chris Curry: We wanted to be the first sustainable brand in Wrightsville Beach and in the greater Wilmington locale focused on serving its guests with healthy food and beverage products and curated retail goods that support well-balanced lifestyles. Our vision was to focus on enhancing the coastal, southern North Carolina community in which they live while supporting a more thoughtful and sustainable culture.

What sets Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar apart from others?

Chris Curry: We implemented a waste diversion program the day we opened to be more thoughtful (sustainable) in our direct local environmental impact. We divert 400-750 lbs. of organic waste a week which enriches our soil and local farmer’s crops. We do not use single-use plastics (cups, lids, straws, bowls, bags, or retail bottled beverages) and only utilize biodegradable, compostable, and/or recyclable materials to significantly curb pollution in our local waterways and landfills. We can say with absolute certainty that the food and beverages we make will be served in products that help us drastically lower our waste footprint compared to other local and non-local businesses like ours.

Much of our food and beverage ingredients are organic, non-gmo, fair-trade, and/or sourced responsibly (locally when available). We aim to deliver a convenient high-quality product as well as keeping as much money in the local economy as possible.

Item(s) that we would recommend to new guests of Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar: Nutty Acai Bowl, Hawaiian Poke Bowl, Plant-based Cauli Bowl, So Fresh n’ So Green Adaptogenic Superfood Smoothie, Vanilla Oat Milk Latte (VOML), and Matcha Latte.

What is our favorite item we sell: Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar branded 16oz Cold pressed juice bottles – all the flavor profiles!

Must do while in Wrightsville Beach: get breakfast or lunch at Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar and head straight to the beach to enjoy it all! Nothing beats enjoying a healthy food and beverage experience in one of the most beautiful places in NC.

Shine on Local Event Details:

Stop into Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar located at 32 North Lumina Avenue, Wrightsville Beach 28480 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am on Monday, November 29 for a FREE small hot or iced coffee compliments of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @adaptkitchenjuicebar on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit!

*Limited to one free small coffee per person

#ShineOnLocal | Salty Turtle Beer Company

Craving a craft beer? Have one on us at our next Shine On Local event at the Salty Turtle Beer Company! Stop by the Salty Turtle on Thursday, October 21, 5 pm – 7pm for a complimentary craft beer. This veteran owned and operated brewery is a local favorite and serves up some of the best craft beer around.

Salty Turtle Beer Company is owned by Daniel Callender, Dean Kelley, and Zachary White. We spoke with Daniel to learn how this incredible brewery got started, what makes it so unique, and a few things to do while you’re in town.

What inspired you to open Salty Turtle Beer Company?

One of my goals in my 20s was to own a small business, and at the time being an avid homebrewer I thought wouldn’t it be cool to open a small brewery for folks to taste some of my recipes? Coming from San Diego where breweries are a dime a dozen, I was surprised that we did not have a local brewery and thought to myself, I need to fill that void! I met Dean Kelley coincidentally at a neighborhood yard sale, found out he was also a former Marine and avid homebrewer, 5 years later here we are!

What makes Salty Turtle Beer Company unique from other breweries?

The local vibe, family-friendly atmosphere, and of course the quality of our beer! At any given time you will often see us the owners around the brewery and I truly think that makes a difference when running a business. It’s one thing to have a great staff, but I think having full operator/owner involvement is what ensures you are in touch with your business and daily operations. 

Which beer do you recommend for those first visiting?

I recommend getting a flight! You can pick any 4 of the 10 beers that are on tap! But our two most popular beers are Hey Zay NEIPA and Coastline Kölsch. 

Which beer is your favorite?

This is a tough question, so hard to choose just one as we constantly rotate throughout the season. But if I had to pick it would be the Swingbridge Breakfast Stout! 

Those new to the Topsail area, anything you recommend as a must do?

Visit the turtle hospital! They are remarkable people who are passionate about the safety and well being of sea turtles. 

Favorite restaurant in Topsail or Surf City?

We have a few really great places as of late, but you can’t go wrong with Shaka Taco! 

Shine On Local Event Details

Join us at Salty Turtle Beer Company located at 103 Triton Lane Surf City, NC from 5 pm – 7 pm on Thursday, October 21 for a complimentary pint of craft beer from Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @saltyturtlebeer on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit!

*Limited to one beer per person, must be of legal drinking age 21 and up.

#ShineOnLocal | Burney’s Sweets & More

Hot. Fresh. Glazed croissants. Sounds amazing right? Stop into Burney’s Sweets & More in Mayfaire on Thursday, September 30, 9 am – 11 am for a FREE croissant compliments of Intracoastal Realty! This one-of-a-kind sweet shop offers more than just delicious croissants; they have a variety of made from scratch treats from donuts to cakes.

We caught up with Burney’s Sweets & More owner Anthony West to learn more about how this location got started and what makes this tasty shop stand out.

What is your background?

Anthony West:  For the past 24 years my background has been in the cosmetic arts field. I was a hair stylist for close to 17 years and a Salon Consultant for 7 years.

What inspired you to open a Burney’s Sweets & More?

Anthony West: What inspired me to open my own bakery was one of our clients who used to bring me a dozen croissants every time she came to the salon. Then I found myself driving 45 minutes one way to buy them for my family and friends. Cooking has always been something I’ve enjoyed and a great stress reliever.

What makes Burney’s Sweets & More so unique?

Anthony West: We are unique because we have our own recipes that are exclusive to the Burney’s franchise from our famous croissants to our 15 layer chocolate and caramel cakes. We also make 90% of our items in house and fresh daily such as donuts, cream horns, apple fritters, sticky buns, and cinnamon rolls. We also have New York inspired sweets like Lobster tails, crumb cake, and black and white cookies.

What croissant would you recommend for anyone new to Burney’s Sweets & More?

Anthony West: I would have to say try the Smores filled with chocolate fudge and topped with marshmallow fluff and graham crackers.

What’s your favorite sweet you sell?

Anthony West: Aside from our famous croissants, I would have to say the cream cheese cinnamon rolls would have to be what I lean toward the most.

Favorite Beach: I’m blessed to have two great beaches! Wrightsville Beach and Carolina beach.

Must Do: God’s work is on full display at Mason Inlet. The tropical-like water during the day and the sunset in the afternoon are absolutely gorgeous.

Favorite Restaurant: True Blue Butcher and Table hands down.

Shine On Local Event Details

Join us at Burney’s Sweets & More located at 6800-100 Parker Farm Dr. Wilmington, NC 28405 from 9 am – 11 am on Thursday, September 30 for a FREE croissant complimentary of Intracoastal Realty. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @burneysofwilmington on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit! Let’s see which flavor croissant you choose.

#ShineOnLocal | Bridgewater Wines + Dines

Wine down with us on Wednesday, August 25, 5 pm – 7 pm at the new Bridgewater Wines + Dines in Leland! Attendees will receive a complimentary glass of wine courtesy of Intracoastal Realty. This unique wine shop offers wines from around the world, a range of food to savor from small plates to main courses all in an inviting atmosphere.

We spoke with Bridgewater Wines + Dines owner Susan Zucker to learn how she and her husband Doug Zucker came to open their two wine shops and what brought them to beautiful Southeastern NC.

What is Doug’s and your background?

Doug and I are the perfect pairing, Doug is the “wines” and I am the “dines.” Doug left the world famous food and wine emporium Stew Leonard’s after 31 years where he was the Director of Operations, opening and running all nine wine shops in New York and Connecticut. I taught culinary classes at the university and high school level for years in New York. 

What inspired you both to open Bridgewater Wines + Dines?

We were looking to get out of the north and focused on the Southeast coast of NC where we could bring both of our extensive skill sets and passions. We were able to open a retail wine shop and a wine bar blending both of our expertise. 

What makes your wine shop stand out?

There are quite a few things that make the wine shop and wine bar stand out from others. First and foremost, is the relationship that we build with each and every guest. People walk in as guests and leave as family, not just with Doug and I, but the team members as well. 

The wine knowledge is incomparable. During Doug’s tenure at Stew Leonard’s, he was fortunate to travel internationally and personally build relationships with wine makers from around the world. We continue to travel and have relationships with most of the wine producers in our shop. 

We offer a full menu, but are known for our beautiful, handcrafted charcuterie boards. A lot of our cheeses are local North Carolina cheeses. We also carry local beer! We have eight Wilmington beers on tap and even more North Carolina beers on the shelf. We have a wine club with more than 500 “wine explorers” and we also do custom gift baskets.

What wine would you recommend for anyone new to Bridgewater Wines + Dines?

We have so many great wines from around the world at all price points. Our slogan is, “Explore the World, One Wine at a Time!” We love helping guests discover new hidden gems and introducing them to what would become new favorites. We recommend that anyone new to Bridgewater Wines+ Dines come into any of our FREE tastings to sample wines to learn what they like, they are offered three days a week. We have our monthly 15 under $15 wines. These wines are great hidden gems that chief wine explorer Doug has discovered, and I approved! These wines drink more like a $30-$40 bottle. 

You are both new to the area, any advice for those looking to move to Southeastern NC?

Just do it! We should have made the move years ago. We absolutely love living in Southeastern, NC. There’s so much to do and we can be outside year-round. It’s a much better quality of life, almost like a permanent vacation. And the BEST part, no more snow!

Favorite Beach: This is a tough one, the beaches on the NC coast are all beautifully different. Our closest beach is Oak Island, but we love trying new beaches whenever we can. We are partial to Bald Head Island. Even a day trip to Bald Head Island is like being on vacation, beautiful and remote. It’s a must visit if you haven’t already!

Favorite Restaurant: There are many favorite restaurants that come to our foodie minds, but Circa 1922 stands out. We are fortunate to live by Wilmington with a great food and wine scene and so many great restaurants to choose from.

Shine On Local Event Details

Join us at Bridgewater Wines + Dines located at 1132 New Pointe Blvd. #5 Leland, NC 28451 from 5 pm – 7 pm on Wednesday, August 25 for a complimentary glass of wine. Make sure to follow @intracoastalrealty and @bridgewaterwines on Instagram and use the hashtag #ShineOnLocal when you visit!

*Must be 21 or older to receive item

#ShineOnLocal | The Plant Outpost

If you’ve been to the Cargo District in downtown Wilmington, you probably noticed an eye-catching shop called The Plant Outpost. Owner Sarah Mertz started her plant business as a pop-up shop to now a booming store front and community favorite.

When did The Plant Outpost open? Tell us a little history about the shop:

Sarah Mertz: The Plant Outpost started as a curated plant pop-up under the name “Mother Plants Co.” I didn’t have long term plans at this point, I was just having fun doing something I loved on top of my full-time job. When Covid started I lost my job and childcare for my daughter so I switched from pop-ups to free local plant delivery. I never expected it to take off the way that it did, but I was making over 30 deliveries on the weekends with my daughter! One of my friends was joining the Cargo District as it was getting started and I randomly said “how cool would a shipping container plant shop be?!” again not really thinking much would come of it but ended up looking at a few spaces for fun. The biggest issue was light so I suggested having a container but with all glass windows if that was possible and a few weeks later they found the most perfect container. So I decided to take a leap of faith and sign a lease to a 20ft shipping container.

Sarah Mertz: I knew nothing about owning a business or what the future held, I just knew I would regret the opportunity if I passed it up. From there I rebranded to “The Plant Outpost.” Designing the space inside of the 20 ft. shipping container was so tough but so rewarding. I was always having to readjust and make the tiny space work for the volume of plants that were being sold. I knew I needed more space, I just didn’t want to leave the Cargo District because of the community that was created there. After 10 months in the container I landed my new store front right across the street! We opened the doors there in March and have almost 4x the space I had before. I am so thankful for the growth! 

What’s your background?

Sarah Mertz: I grew up mostly in Florida but my step-dad is in the military so I ended up moving around a bit, but landed here in Wilmington. I have the coolest five year old daughter who you probably see running around the shop or helping at the counter. I never imagined myself as an entrepreneur or business owner so it feels kind of wild to be here. I always worked in administration and human resource rolls or when I got lucky to land a marketing position as a creative outlet, but didn’t think my love for houseplants would carry over into something I genuinely love doing every day. I have had to teach myself a lot and reach out to other business owners to learn the ropes. 

Any unique facts most people wouldn’t know about the store or what makes you all standout?

Sarah Mertz: I think the most special thing about The Plant Outpost is the community that has formed around myself and the shop since opening. I have made so many genuinely good connections and met some of my now best friends. I love the support that we all give each other. I like to think that my shop is a safe space for people to come in and be themselves. I want everyone to feel welcomed, seen, appreciated, and valued. 

When visiting The Plant Outpost make sure you check out:

Sarah Mertz: All of the rad businesses in the area! The Cargo District is really growing and it’s a lot of fun to just roam around. 

Some items and plants you’ll find at the store:

Sarah Mertz: The store is full of houseplants. Ranging from low-light, cacti, rare plants, so a little something for everyone. We also carry a selection of curated goods. You’ll find local pottery, candles, plant care, soil, stickers and more. 

Follow The Plant Outpost on Social