On this episode of the omega sports, the Head of Marketing Del Scheitler hosts today’s show with an exceptional guest Megan Nichols from NC Eat & Play, to discuss her passion for helping the locals connect with businesses to find great food and adventure. Megan answered some questions and shared some of her recent hiking and mountain adventures on the screen; you can’t miss this! We are pleased to welcome Megan to the show to share all about her passion and success in her brand with our audience.
The team at Omega Sports was first introduced to Megan through her Instagram as she was beginning to grow her brand. Noting the excellent work that she was doing, the team at Omega Sports knew they had to share her unique passion for local foods, which has inspired many people. Megan’s passion is genuinely evident in her daily inputs to her vision, which has attracted followers and businesses who seek out her captivating adventurous photography and stories, making her one of the most embellished females emerging from North Carolina.
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Meet Megan Nichols from NC Eat & Play
Megan Nichols is mom and wife. She was born and raised in North Carolina. Megan started the NC Eat & Play after returning following a brief stay out of the state. In those few years away from home, Megan and her husband, Harrison, discovered their passion for local foods that they had grown with, which they missed while away. So after completing his education, they came back with a new mission, to take advantage of everything that North Carolina offers. But just like any other young couple, they have faced financial struggles. But this didn’t hinder them from following their vision.
Megan believes there is so much to explore in North Carolina, and we don’t have to cross oceans or have a lot of money to make discoveries about what the state has for us. Instead, Megan suggests starting where you are; start with your local bakery, catch the sunrise at the beach with friends or hike the mountains to live every moment. Wishing that you were in another place will make you miss great opportunities as there is so much to explore in your backyard. Megan says that her goal is to influence people to learn about their community and support local small businesses; it’s what she enjoys doing.
With NC Eat & Play, Megan posts her food adventures and photography from local restaurants to capture authentic local food discoveries that people can enjoy. Megan enjoys local food and adventures with her husband, Harrison, and her growing family. She captures stories of the people that are behind the local eateries on her social media platforms to help them grow. This has attracted a wide audience of followers on her Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and website from individuals to big brands seeking authentic input from local food discoveries.
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How Megan Journey as Local Wanderlusters Started
Megan says that they started as wanderlusters with a minimal budget; as a young couple with a small child at home, they didn’t have the money to start eating at big organized resorts. So they started from their home eateries, at the local bakery and breweries, by finding what people like and trying it out. Megan confessed to doing some research before trying out a restaurant to find out the story behind it, and this made the food and the adventure more meaningful and fulfilling.
Being a mother and a brand owner, Megan agrees that love and passion is the motivation that keeps her going out and finding fun foods and activities to share with her audience. Food is the easiest content to create, but Megan also features their adventurous activities and captivating success stories of small businesses in North Carolina. She believes that you don’t have to have a lot of money or do great things to start as a local wanderlust; it is all about taking every opportunity to support new businesses and small local businesses.
The first time the Omega Sports team connected with Megan, she had only her Instagram social media page, but her brand and passion have set her up for success. Her brand now helps more than 280,000 locals find great food and adventures. Megan says this is her mission, and she loves connecting with people and connecting locals to local places.
Megan Fears and Success During Covid
As a creator, Megan has experienced massive growth of her brand during the pandemic, and one thing that she stressed as the primary source of success is the nature of her brand. Her brand kept people learning and motivated during the quarantine period since they had a lot of time to dedicate to learning on social media.
At the same time, Megan expresses her fear for small businesses, and she tried supporting them behind the scenes by letting people know when they were open. Megan says that she received a positive response from the local restaurants; they’ve adjusted their making and remaking food techniques, retrained their staff, and employed more staff to offer more distinctive foods and services to the locals. Megan’s passion and goal are to support these businesses and see them grow along with her brand.
Growing Her Brand
Megan thinks North Carolina (NC) has everything that people are looking for to feel happy and feel at home: it has the best beaches, mountains, cities, towns, and great small towns as well. NC is a great place for adventurous and active living, and there are so many cultural foods and adventurous places that everyone will love.
NC Eat & Play has been a fascinating project with real tangible content and guides that help people stay rooted in their community. They also have a channel called “The Real-Tour Experience,” which helps newcomers moving to North Carolina by empowering them to fall in love with their homes. NC Eat & Play also provides new ideas for weekends and holidays with her weekly newsletter.
NC Eat & Play’s Megan Answers Viewer Questions
Q: What are your go-to places in the Outer Banks?
“Tortugas Lie Restaurant is my favorite in Outer Banks. Donutz on a stick is incredible for dessert, and Barrier Island Bagel is a convenient place to make a delicious stop. But when it comes to seafood, Captain Georges is my top preference.”
Megan has a whole guide on go-to places in Outer Banks for you.
Q: Where is your favorite BBQ Restaurant?
“North Carolina is a BBQ paradise, but everybody needs a different version when they talk about BBQ Recipes. There are two versions: Eastern BBQ and Lexington BBQ. My favorite is Eastern BBQ, and it runs through my family from my great grandfather, who had an Eastern BBQ restaurant (Hill’s restaurant).”
The best restaurants to get Eastern BBQ are the Skylight and Aiden. For Lexington, BBQ Megan recommends Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro. Megan says the color of the slaw is what will tell whether you are eating Lexington or Eastern BBQ. If the slaw is red, it’s Lexington, and if the slaw is white, it’s Eastern.
Q: How did you learn photography?
“Most of it’s self-taught, no course, no classes, or any special training, I learned through trial and error. You can do a lot of fun photography with your phone or camera, and the most important thing is having good light and learning how to make your food look delicious.”
Megan has iPhone foodie tips all in one place on her website to help you escape the trial and error method and make your food photos look as delicious as possible.
Q: Any plans to come to Charlotte for a food tour?
“I’m actually planning to come to Charlotte very soon,” she says. Charlotte is, after all, known as the Queen City for a genuine reason. It has some of the best food in the states!