Talking Shop

By Sarah Fetters

Do you want to #ShopSeahawk? Support local businesses? Simply cheer on UNCW alumni in their professional careers?

The Alumni-Owned Business Directory is one way the UNCW Alumni Association connects the Seahawk family and makes it easier to support each other across town, throughout the country and around the globe. Relaunched in the summer of 2022, the directory allows users to search by industry or state. It now contains more than 150 entries (feel free to add your own!).

“The UNCW Alumni-Owned Business Directory was initially published in fall 2020 as a way to support alumni and their businesses, as well as encourage people to #ShopSeahawk for Small Business Saturday,” Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement Samantha Cleary ’15 said. “During the past few months, our team has updated the directory and featured alumni-owned businesses in the Cape Fear region as part of our Seahawk Showcase. We’ve highlighted Social Coffee & Supply Co., The Barkington, N. Sea Oyster Company and Coastal Pines Dental. We are looking forward to featuring more each year and showing Seahawk spirit in entrepreneurship.”

Rachel ’14 and Giovanni Ellzey ’15 are the owners of Wilmington’s Social Coffee & Supply Co., which opened its second location in April 2022.

“We wanted to be close to campus because we remembered how much we loved being in coffee shops as students,” Rachel said. “We want to serve that same community.”

Alumni-owned businesses cover event services, retail, surfing lessons, construction and much more, including Wilmington’s first luxury dog hotel.

“The Barkington experience mimics home for a dog,” said Lourdes Perez-Montes ’15, ’20M, co-owner of The Barkington. “The dogs are completely spoiled, like they should be. Owners feel completely settled, like they should. It works out for everybody.”

Whether it’s supporting Small Business Saturday, looking for a Seahawk date night restaurant or wanting another way to connect with UNCW, the Alumni-Owned Business Directory is the place to start!

Read more in the Fall 2022 issue of UNCW Magazine