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Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar Appoints Previous Director of Franchise Operations as New Chief Operating Officer

Sarah Meriam brings over a decade of leadership experience in the food franchise industry, having served as director of franchise operations for Shuckin’ Shack and, previously, Port City Java.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 4:16PM 02/27/24

Wilmington, NC – Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, the laid-back full-service seafood restaurant franchise with 19 units across the country, announced that Sarah Meriam has been promoted to chief operating officer. The promotion, announced on Wednesday, fills the role vacated in late 2022 due to the retirement of the previous COO.

"I am beyond stoked to be given such a great opportunity by stepping into this new role. I was a fan of the Shack brand long before I worked here and feel blessed to be part of this team,” Meriam said. 

Aided by her operational acumen, Meriam has already driven impressive growth and development for the national seafood franchise empire.

“Sarah’s operational background and desire to see our strategic franchise partners succeed makes this move a no-brainer for us,” said Jonathan Weathington, CEO. “Sarah, since joining our team two years ago, has made tremendous progress on the operational capacity and prowess of our restaurants at both the corporate and franchise level.”

Prior to being promoted, Meriam served as director of franchise operations for the brand. She previously held the same title with another successful Wilmington-based concept, Port City Java. Meriam started her career with Port City Java in July 2002 and spent 10 years working as both a barista and café manager for several locations around Wilmington. Later, as a training manager, she helped onboard new franchisees and franchise managers, assisting in numerous initial training programs and ongoing/supplemental training for franchise managers. 

Meriam joined Port City Java’s corporate team in May 2012 as a franchise business consultant and was promoted to director of franchise operations in August 2016. Not long after, in February 2018, Meriam received her Certified Franchise Executive designation from the International Franchise Association.

Meriam looks forward to approaching her new role with a strong history in franchise business coaching, product development and procurement, supply chain management and hospitality operations. The promotion marks a pivotal moment in the emerging oyster bar franchise’s journey towards explosive growth on a national level.

“From home office to franchise partners, all those working with Shuckin’ Shack are truly some of the most authentic humans I’ve had the privilege of working alongside,” said Meriam. “I am ready to keep building and growing with this amazing brand. Let’s Shuckin’ Go!”


Offering a “lifestyle experience,” Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar creates an environment that encourages guests to grab a seat, relax and take their taste buds on a trip to the coast; after all, life is too short for bland drinks and boring bars! The original Carolina Beach, NC Shack, which was just 900-square-feet, was launched in 2007 with a plan to become the go-to local hangout for people of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy fresh, delicious meals, cold beer, and craft cocktails in an environment that exudes fun and relaxation, Shuckin’ Shack offers exceptional seafood and creative drinks that will make guests question why they ever settled for ordinary bar offerings. 

Thanks to its bold flavors and impeccable vibes, Shuckin’ Shack has continued to grow. In 2014, the brand began franchising and has since expanded to 18 units across six states. To learn more about Shuckin’ Shack, visit