Coolest Thing Made in Kansas

The Kansas Manufacturing Council’s (KMC) Coolest Thing Made in Kansas competition highlights the state’s manufacturing industry, which employs one out of 11 Kansas workers. Any product made in Kansas qualifies for the competition.

The nomination period opens in August. Products receiving the most nominations will be admitted into a “tournament” and compete in weekly head-to-head matchups on the way to winning the ultimate prize — being named the 2021 Coolest Thing Made in Kansas.

Presented by BKD CPAs & Advisors, this competition is a great way to learn about the many products made in Kansas. It’s a wonderful opportunity for Kansas manufacturers to show their best stuff and prove they have what it takes to be the Coolest Thing Made in Kansas.

The reigning Coolest Thing Made in Kansas is Hometown Pie Company (2021) made in New Strawn, KS.

From humble beginnings in 2011 Wanda Chaiffin and her husband Chad have expanded their handmade pie operation to a larger scale manufactured process in New Strawn.  Hometown Pie Company is the second Coolest Thing winner to come from Coffey County, KS.  How cool is that?


Who Can Make a Nomination?

All are encouraged to nominate their favorite Kansas-made products. There is no limit to the number of product nominations per person.

How Many Products Can a Company Have in the Competition?

Companies may only have one product featured in the top eight, so only one product nomination per company is encouraged.

How Often Can a Company or Product Win Coolest Thing Made in Kansas?

Winning companies are prohibited from participating in the contest for one year, while each winning product is indefinitely prohibited from being nominated again.

How Will a Company Know I Nominated Something It Makes?

Companies with products nominated for Coolest Thing Made in Kansas will be notified by the Kansas Manufacturing Council.

What Qualifies
as a Kansas-Made Product?

Products nominated for the Coolest Thing Made in Kansas can be from any sector of the state’s manufacturing industry.

The company that makes the product does not have to be headquartered in Kansas, but the product must be manufactured in Kansas.

Products must be made using a manufacturing process.

The Kansas Manufacturing Council will review each nomination to ensure these requirements are met. If for any reason the nomination does not meet these requirements, the nominator will be notified.

How Does Voting Work?

  • Voting is open to the public. A voter may vote once per matchup per round.
  • The top 32 nominated products will set the tournament-style bracket.
  • Products will compete in weekly head-to-head match ups.
  • Products receiving the highest number of votes during their head-to-head competition will advance rounds to top 16, eight, and four. The number of votes received will be reset at the beginning of each round.
  • New in 2021: The top four products will compete for the most votes in the final round of voting.
  • The winner will be announced at the Kansas Manufacturing Summit in October.


Stay Tuned for future Contest News!

About Us


The Kansas Manufacturing Council (KMC) is the leading advocacy organization for Kansas manufacturers and companies serving manufacturers, representing small and large manufacturers across the state.

The mission of KMC is to provide knowledge, resources and support in order to create a stronger and more prosperous manufacturing sector.

Through the Kansas Chamber, KMC has a powerful voice for the state’s manufacturing community to advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across Kansas.

Our outstanding staff of policy experts provides unmatched access and information on the key issues affecting your business and bottom line. We are on the front lines of a wide range of policy battles from immigration reform and labor relations to energy and the environment to trade policy and taxes. At every turn, we are working on behalf of manufacturers in Kansas to advance policies that help manufacturers do what they do best: create economic strength and jobs.

Contact the KMC staff at to learn more.


The Coolest Thing Made in Kansas competition provides incredible marketing opportunities for growing companies all across Kansas. There are various levels of investment, so you can pick the package that works best for you. Click here to view all of the options.

 The presenting sponsor of the 2021 Coolest Thing Made in Kansas contest is BKD CPAs & Advisors. BKD is a national CPA and advisory firm that can help you reach your goals with expertise well beyond the standard accounting services to include risk management, technology, wealth management, and forensic and valuation services. Its clients represent a wide range of industries, and the company is part of an alliance of firms that offer global reach.

Contact the KMC staff at or (785) 357-6321 to learn more.