To celebrate innovation, creativity, and the importance of North Carolina’s manufacturers, the NC Chamber is hosting a the statewide “Coolest Thing Made in NC” contest.

“It’s past time to shine the spotlight on one of this state’s most vital industries,” the NC Chamber announced on a website, where you can now vote.

After a public nomination and voting process, the NC Chamber will announce which product manufactured in the Old North State is truly the “coolest thing made in NC.”

The finalists are (listed alphabetically):

  • Artisan Leaf Handcrafted Tobacco Leaf Tables and Surfaces–Wilson
  • Benevolence Farm Chamomile & Lavender Healing Salve–Graham
  • Big Spoon Roasters Nut Butter–Durham
  • Bosch Stainless Steel Dishwasher SHX88PZ55N–New Bern
  • Cat® 299D3 XE Compact Track Loader (CTL)–Sanford
  • Cree | Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide–Durham
  • George’s BBQ Sauce – NashvilleHondaJet Elite–Greensboro
  • Mt. Olive Pickles–Mt. Olive
  • Nugget Kids Couch–Hillsborough
  • Pepsi- Born in New Bern–Bottled throughout North Carolina
  • Smithfield Bacon–Various production locations
  • Southern Supreme Fruitcakes–Bear Creek
  • Thermador Double Wall Oven PODS302W–New Bern
  • Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner® C2 Jouley™ electric bus–High Point

New Bern has three nominees (but Hatteras/Cabo Yachts is not among them? Or Moen? Or Wheatstone? But the Post digresses).

Durham has two nominees. All others have one nominee.

New Bern’s nominees are:

Thermador Double Wall Oven PODS302W: Made in New Bern, this double oven pairs a Steam and Convection Oven (upper oven) with a Full Convection Oven (lower oven). Cooking and experimenting with freshly baked bread (from the Steam and Convection Oven), mastering a new chicken recipe on the rotisserie (lower oven), or baking 4 racks of cookies to share with the neighbors – the possibilities are endless. Steam & convection cooking is effortless and reduces the risk of over-cooking, over-boiling, or dried out food. Clean-up is also a breeze due to the self-clean mode that cleans interior walls and rack supports in as little as 2 hours. Like this? Vote for it.


Pepsi: Pepsi-Cola has been a North Carolina staple for over 125 years. Born in New Bern in 1893 by drugstore owner Caleb Bradham, the beverage was originally called “Brad’s Drink” until renamed Pepsi-Cola in 1898. Over the course of a century, the drink exploded into an American favorite. North Carolina is also home to Pepsi Bottling Ventures, the largest privately-held producer, seller, and distributor of Pepsi-Cola, operating 18 bottling and distribution facilities and serving over 8 million people.  Like this? Vote for it.


Bosch Stainless Steel Dishwasher– Made in New Bern, this ENERGY STAR qualified Bosch Dishwasher is so quiet you will hardly know when it’s running. It’s so quiet, it has a light-beam to display the remaining cycle time on the floor. The dishwasher is easy to load with the convenient adjustable racks, plus a third rack that can hold large utensils, measuring cups, and even cereal bowls. A popular feature is that not only does it wash dishes, it also dries them – even plastics with patented CrystalDry  technology. Like this? Vote for it.

The Coolest Thing Made in NC is a celebration of the state’s manufacturing community, spearheaded by the NC Chamber. Its mission is to research, develop, advocate, and communicate for solutions and policies that produce a nationally competitive business climate in North Carolina. As the state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers, the NC Chamber understands that a strong manufacturing industry is the backbone of our state’s economy and critical to our competitiveness. From consumer goods like furniture, tape, textiles, and food to pharmaceuticals, construction and vehicle equipment, steel, and more, the products created by manufacturers fuel everything that happens in our state. Read more about how the NC Chamber serves as the voice for our state’s manufacturers.

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