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Semifinalists Revealed for “Coolest Thing Made in NC” Competition

| Manufacturing

NC Chamber’s statewide contest champions
manufacturing community’s impact and innovation

RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, the NC Chamber announced the 31 semifinalists—15 for the medium-to-large business category and 16 for the small business category—for its annual “Coolest Thing Made in NC” online competition, which began with 80 nominees. In the first round of voting, 20,000 votes were cast.

New for 2022, the contest will recognize two winners as opposed to one: one for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and one for businesses with 100+ employees.

This is the third year that the NC Chamber has held the popular, public-driven contest, which spotlights North Carolina’s cutting-edge manufacturing industry—an industry that generates more than 17% of the gross state product and employs more than 10% of the state’s workforce.

“This year’s products really run the gamut—including wire Christmas trees, dog food, jets, drywall, and much more,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “Our manufacturing community is the backbone of our state’s economy, and we are so excited to congratulate this list of semifinalists! As we always say at the NC Chamber: what’s made in North Carolina makes North Carolina.”

“These 31 impressive semifinalists show that innovation is thriving in every corner of the state, and we look forward to a strong competition in the next round,” said North Carolina Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding.

The North Carolina Farm Bureau is serving as the Presenting Sponsor of the online competition, and Business North Carolina is this year’s Media Partner. As the exclusive North Carolina affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the NC Chamber knows that a strong manufacturing industry is crucial to the state’s economic and competitive success. The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) is collaborating on the annual contest as a Supporting Organization.

How to Vote:

Go to to vote for the coolest thing made in NC. The field of candidates will narrow with each round of voting, and the winning product will be revealed on Thursday, October 6, the day before National Manufacturing (MFG) Day. October is Manufacturing Month, and MFG Day, organized nationally by the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute, highlights the rewarding career opportunities of modern manufacturing.


Join the contest’s social media campaign by following #CoolestThingMadeinNC. In addition to receiving a trophy, the victorious company and product will be featured in NC Chamber and Business North Carolina publications, podcasts, social and digital media, among additional statewide publicity efforts. Information on last year’s winner and runners-up can be found here.

“The Coolest Thing Made in NC Nominees (in alphabetical order by manufacturing location):

Medium-to-Large Business Category
Manufacturing Location Semifinalist
Durham Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide
Elizabeth City TCOM Aerostats
Greensboro HondaJet EliteS
Henderson NUTRO Dog Food
Kernersville John Deere’s 470 P-Tier Excavator
Mebane Morinaga Hi-CHEW Candy
Mount Holly and Wilmington National Gypsum’s PURPLE XP Drywall
Mount Olive Mt. Olive Pickles
Pine Hall Wieland Finned Tubes
Salisbury Cheerwine
Sanford Caterpillar’s Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader
Shelby HURST Jaws of Life Rescue tool system
Stony Point T-Rex Brute Force tape
Troutman C.R. Onsrud’s 5-Axis C-Series Router
Winston-Salem Cook Medical’s Hemospray Device



Small Business Category
City Semifinalist
Asheboro LipLidz Cocktail Glasses
Asheboro and Asheville

(Hand-sewn in these locations)

The Shibumi Shade
Benson Shiners Stash Bloody Mary Beef Jerky
Denver WaterDog Adventure Gear’s WAG Boarding Steps
Graham Benevolence Farm Healing Salve
Greensboro BeachBUB Umbrella System
Chapel Hill and Pittsboro Eclipse Magnetically Sealed CPAP mask, by BleepSleep
Hendersonville Byer’s Precision Fabricated Panels
Holly Springs SOLOCART
King’s Mountain Appalachian Gear Company’s All-Paca Hoodie
Nashville George’s BBQ Sauce
Raleigh Benny T’s Vesta Dry Hot Sauce
Sanford Old Glory 1350 Handcrafted American Flags
Smyrna Crab Pot wire Christmas Trees by Fisherman’s Creations
Weaverville A-B Emblem’s Official NASA Patch
Wilson Artisan Leaf Handcrafted Tobacco Leaf Tables and Surfaces



About the NC Chamber
The NC Chamber works to research, develop, advocate, and communicate for solutions and policies that produce a nationally competitive business climate in North Carolina. For more information, visit

About North Carolina Farm Bureau
North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation was formed in 1936 as a non-profit general farm organization to serve farmers and provide a unified voice for the interests and needs of the farming community.  For more information, visit