RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC Chamber announced the 30 semifinalists—15 for the medium-to-large business category and 15 for the small business category—for its annual “Coolest Thing Made in NC” online competition, which began with 130 nominees.

One of the businesses, The Sweet Potato Crunch BonBon by Jenni’s Ugly Chocolates, is from Greenville and is in the small business category. Three others are also from Eastern North Carolina, one in the medium-to-large category (TCOM Aerostats in Elizabeth City) while the other two are in the small business category (Atlantic Beach Sea Salt, in Atlantic Beach and George’s BBQ Sauce in Nashville).

This is the fourth 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 vaccines, food products, bagpipes, jets, and much more,” said NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido. “We are so grateful to the entire manufacturing community – the backbone of our state’s economy for more than a century. 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.”

Baxter 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 coolestthingmadeinnc.com 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 5, 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.

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

Medium-to-Large Business Category
Manufacturing LocationSemifinalist
CofieldSteel Plate by Nucor
DurhamWolfspeed Silicon Carbide
DurhamHumacyte Human Acellular Vessel
Elizabeth CityTCOM Aerostats
GreensboroHondaJet Elite II
Holly SpringsFlucelvax Quadrivalent by CSL Seqirus
HuntersvilleThe Atom Switch by Atom Power
Old FortPureBond Formaldehyde-Free Hardwood Plywood
SalisburyAMREP Garbage Trucks
SmithfieldBrightleaf Hotdogs
Stony PointDuck Tape by Shurtape
TroutmanC.R. Onsrud’s Q-Series 5-Axis CNC Machine
Wilmington, Concord, Hickory, Newton, and Winston-SalemCorning Optical Fiber and Cable
Winston-SalemTexas Pete Hot Sauce
Small Business Category
Atlantic BeachAtlantic Beach Sea Salt
Bear CreekSouthern Supreme Nutty Fruitcake
BurlingtonFjord Static Rope Edge Protection
Chapel HillSilverQuicken Education’s Quest Club Kits
CharlottePiedmont Pennies
GreenvilleThe Sweet Potato Crunch BonBon by Jenni’s Ugly Chocolates
MadisonGia Distillery’s FJW Solera Style American Whiskey
Morganton, Nebo, and BurlingtonCarolina’s Textile District’s Marigold Beanie – a collaboration between Material Return, Fonta Flora Brewery, Solid State Clothing, and Opportunity Threads
Mt. AiryAndrew Pearson Premium Glassworks Fuzion Glass
NashvilleGeorge’s BBQ Sauce
ReidsvilleFogwood Farm’s Ghost Pepper Jam
RockinghamCold War Concealment Holsters
SmyrnaCrab Pot Christmas Trees by Fisherman’s Creations
WaynesvilleWaynesville Soda Jerks Bottled Sodas
ZebulonMacLellan Bagpipes