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'Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin' nominations are open until September 3rd

Coolest thing Made in WI
Posted at 11:12 AM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 12:12:41-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe’s sea salt caramel pecan kringle was named 'The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin in 2018.

“Orders just kept coming in more and faster and faster," recalled Mary Vande Walle, owner. "The phone was ringing off the hook. We had to update our website. It was just amazing.”

Vande Walle's husband Mike passed away in December of last year. His reaction to winning the award was priceless, she said.

“His head just swelled up when he won," she said. "It was like the best thing, and he was bound and determined he was going to win the Coolest Thing in Wisconsin. You go up against lot of big companies, and then we have a little company. So he was just in seven heaven. He was just the happiest guy. It was really cool.”

Other previous winners range from an all-weather rifle made in Rice Lake to a joint-light tactical vehicle made in Oshkosh.

“A lot of different products have won," said Nick Novak, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. "A very diverse industry is what we have here in Wisconsin."

One in six people in Wisconsin work in the manufacturing industry, he said. The goal of this contest is to highlight the work they do and give them a platform to talk about their openings.

“Wou can't make products while working at home," said Novak. "And manufacturing workers all across Wisconsin have continued to go into the shop floor, every single day, to make those products that are so needed. Whether it be healthcare products or food products, or everything in between, manufacturing workers here in Wisconsin deserve so much praise for the things that they have done over the last year and a half. We honestly can't say thank you enough.”

You can nominate any cool thing that’s made here in Wisconsin up until September 3rd. The first round of voting then starts on September 15th. You can vote once per day, per device: smartphone, tablet computer, etc. The winner will be announced on October 14th.

You can nominate a cool thing here.