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2022 “Coolest Thing Made in NC” Winners Named

| Manufacturing

Caterpillar and beachBub win statewide competition;
a total of 46,000 votes were cast throughout course of competition

RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, the day before National Manufacturing Day (#MFGDay22), the NC Chamber revealed this year’s winners for this year’s ‘Coolest Thing Made in NC’ competition: Caterpillar Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader (medium-to-large business category) and beachBub® All-In-One Umbrella System (small business category).

New for 2022, this contest recognized two winners as opposed to one: one for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and one for businesses with 100+ employees. Caterpillar’s product is manufactured in Sanford, N.C., while beachBub’s is manufactured in Greensboro.

Caterpillar Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader

The online contest began with 80 nominees and after three rounds of public voting totaling 46,000 votes, the Caterpillar Cat® track loader and beachBub umbrella system earned the top spots, earning 6,397 and 5,436 votes respectively.

beachBub® All-In-One Umbrella System

Now an annual tradition, the NC Chamber launched the competition in 2020 to honor North Carolina’s manufacturers and raise awareness about the rewarding careers in modern manufacturing. As the exclusive state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the NC Chamber knows that a strong manufacturing sector is central to North Carolina’s economic and competitive success. The state’s innovative manufacturing industry is the largest workforce in the Southeast with more than 450,000 North Carolinians employed by 10,250 NC manufacturers.

2022 “The Coolest Thing Made in NC” Finalists (in place order):

Medium-to-Large Business Category
Place Finalist Manufacturing Location
Winner Caterpillar Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader Sanford
2nd place HondaJet Elite S Greensboro
3rd place Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide Durham
4th Place Cook Medical Hemospray Winston-Salem
5th Place Wieland Copper Products Finned Tubes Pine Hall


Small Business Category
Place Finalist Manufacturing Location
Winner beachBUB® All-In-One Umbrella System Greensboro
2nd place CrabPot Christmas Trees by Fisherman Creations Smyrna
3rd place George’s BBQ Sauce Nashville
4th Place SOLOCART Holly Springs
5th Place Artisan Leaf Tables and Bartops Wilson

“Congratulations to Caterpillar and beachBub for winning the 2022 ‘Coolest Thing Made in NC’ title,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “Tomorrow is National Manufacturing Day, and we would like to thank our entire manufacturing community for developing important and also lifesaving products for our state, country, and world. Our manufacturers are vital to both the health of our people and our economy.”

MFG Day, organized nationally by the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute, champions the next generation of creators, and kicks off a campaign to change perceptions of manufacturing, highlight the exciting careers in modern manufacturing, and close the widening skills gap. MFG Day coincides with North Carolina’s Manufacturing Week.

The North Carolina Farm Bureau served as this year’s Presenting Sponsor for the online competition, and Business North Carolina was this year’s Media Partner.

Join the contest’s social media campaign by following #CoolestThingMadeinNC. In addition to receiving a trophy, this year’s winnings products 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.


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