Written by Austin J Hill

Here’s your brief introduction to the Shad Queen of Pitt County, the newbie to NASCAR, and the manager of Great Outdoor Provision Co. Greenville.

Meet Michaela Langley. A Greenville native, Michaela stuck around to attend ECU and earned her degree in Recreation and Park Management with a minor in Criminal Justice. She started working at GOPC as a retail sales associate while in college and worked her way up to her current role as store manager. She’s the youngest of the Great Outdoor managers (under 30), but her wisdom and wit is beyond her years. Unlike most retail managers, there’s no hard line dividing Michaela the manager and Michaela the person. You’ll get the same personality if you’re with her in the store or on the boat. She wears a ring resembling a wave and fingernails so pink they would be the envy of Molly Ringwald (she’s probably changed her nail polish since this was published). Her sun-kissed skin shines on the drabbest of winter days; it reflects her home that’s closer to the beach than the mountains. Her music choices range from classic rock to today’s country to whatever the hell plays on the shop radio; she’s down to jam.

Being a native helps her with customers. Local shops require local people. That might seem obvious, but when a customer asks her the best places to eat, where to launch a kayak, or what fly to throw in the Tar River, Michaela will provide knowledge rivaling the most seasoned of Pitt County natives. Her experiences hiking, paddling, and fishing, among other outdoor pursuits, qualifies her for the role of manager. She may be a deep-rooted Eastern Carolina girl, but her adventures have taken her all across the country. Whether she’s hiking a North Carolina State Park in the mountains or paddling in the Piedmont, Langley knows the ins and outs of the gear needed to do so. She’s also familiar with the local shop to buy said gear…

To keep in theme with Michaela being a total badass, here are some more badass facts that the people need to know:

-She has access to a fleet of classic automobiles including a ’65 Mustang, 80s model Wagoneer, CJ-5 Jeep, and International Scout. Driving stick is impressive for a Millennial…

-She worked for a month in Key Largo at the Ocean Reef Club as the activities and recreation coordinator for kids aged 5 to 10.

-She interned at a window factory in the middle of nowhere Missouri for a summer.

-She replies to something cool by saying ‘righteous’ in the same tone as Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

-She shares a common disdain for the corporate outdoor retail enemies and their schemes to snuff out the little guy.

Pretty cool, huh?

During COVID, Langley got really into NASCAR. “I thought NASCAR was 4 left turns,” she says. It’s obviously more than 4 left turns considering she’s been on the circuit following the cars around the southeast. As her love deepens for the sport so does her checkered flag apparel.

Her next adventure: fly fishing her way through the Bahamas and the Adirondacks. Although these two places are night and day, they both have fish and a fish is a fish and Michaela wants to catch fish (preferably big ones). And her adventure buddy? The one and only border collie mix named Tonka (i.e., her dog).

So when you call GOPC Greenville on the phone and are lucky enough for Michaela to answer, her southern vocal cords will radiate the sounds of eastern NC. She’ll be able to relay how the “outdoors is medicine” and exemplify what superb customer service Great Outdoor Provision Co. offers. Stop by the shop and have a conversation with the Shad Queen and ask her how she was awarded that title. She’s one of those folks that is just worth knowing.