Working for a Living for Nov. 1, 2012

For Weekly SurgeOctober 30, 2012 

Nick Paul:

Eat, Drink and Be Manly

Nick Paul and wife Abigail Paul moved to Myrtle Beach more than a year ago from Winston-Salem, N.C. The pair had been vacationing here all of their lives. “You’ve got the beach, nice weather, and there’s always something going on,” says Paul.

He studied hotel management at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, and remained there for a year after graduating before returning to Winston-Salem. “Charleston is a beautiful city, and I couldn’t imagine a better environment to go to school than where I was.”

In Charleston, he worked for a property management company at a Hilton Property, and for Hilton in Winston-Salem. He is now housekeeping supervisor at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, a position he secured before heading to Myrtle Beach. “I [oversee] housekeeping and make sure the hotel is clean and well-maintained – and make sure the staff is doing what they are supposed to be doing.”

But he is also a Man Cave Guide.

“Man Cave is the first home party company for men,” he says. “It’s like Mary Kay on Steroids.”

At first we thought of a store with the same name at Broadway at the Beach, but this is a different animal. A quick look at Paul’s Web site [ www.nickpaul.mancaveworldwide.com] gave us a better idea. “We get guys together for home parties called MEATings where they eat meat, drink beer, and experience fun products/games like hammerschlagen at a friends house all of which is provided by us.”

Paul elaborates for us: “It’s about getting guys together to have a good time – experiencing 32 flavors of award-winning Brats and grilling accessories – getting guys together to have a great time.”

The thrust of this business starts with the brats Paul mentioned – in flavors including Bacon Cheeseburger Brat, Mushroom and Swiss Chicken Brat, Apple Brat – and, well, 29 more. There are pork loins, mini brats, and Bloody Gary mix – jerky, nuts, spices, sauces and rubs. All very manly – enough to cause Tim Allen to make that guttural sound in approval.

Non-food items for sale include things such as a Beer Pager, which is essentially a beer coozie with a remote device, enabling a guy to search for lost beer from up to 60 feet away. There are also games including Man Blocks [sort of like Jenga, but played with 54 wood blocks made from two-by-threes], and Hammerschlagen.

“Hammerschlagen is an old German drinking game with a hammer, nails and a stump,” he says. And how about a Giant Spatula – 22 inches long with a 9-and-a-half-by-10-inch spatula surface.

This business model works much like other proven home-party enterprises.

“I find a host – and that person invites their friends and acquaintances over,” he says. We try to get 12-18 guys – a good range, and I come over to your house. I bring five different flavors of brats, a sampling of our flavored peanuts, a bottle of Bloody Gary mix, the Hammerschlagen and man blocks.”

The home party showcases the wares of Man Cave, as well as the business opportunity – all the while getting in some manly bonding and giveaways. But Paul says this party could be for anybody. “Man Cave MEATings [and tournaments] are open to women too,” he says.

Paul became involved with Man Cave because his wife was getting into the home party business, which she now does full time with an organization called Origami Owl. “I wanted to find something that I could do too – and be able to both be doing something on the side and make a little extra money.”

The Pauls enjoy the beach or the pool when the weather is nice, and can sometimes be spotted at Dirty Don’s Oyster Bar on the Boardwalk. They have a three-year-old daughter named Lily. “We go to Ripley’s Aquarium and about every playground there is.”

And they have no plans to move. “We love it here,” he says. “We plan on staying.”

Know of a local with an interesting job or career that should be given the Working 4 A Living treatment? Contact Roger Yale at rgyale@gmail.com.

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