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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Homegrown

Posted June 4, 2008 7:54 a.m. EDT

What nationally known products and industries have North Carolina roots? I will begin the discussion with the ones I can think of but I am sure there are plenty more. While we go over the list we will keep open the game we started yesterday. Check out Tuesday's blog and let your creative juices flow for a chance to win a prize.

Winston-Salem has a strong entrepreneurial history. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, RJ Reynolds Tobacco, Texas Pete and the former Piedmont Airlines all have roots in the Twin City. Wachovia Bank got its start in Winston-Salem before heading to Charlotte which is also home to Nationsbank. The Charlotte area can also boast as the birthplace of Bojangles, Nascar, Harris-Teeter, Hudson-Belk and S&W Cafeterias. Salisbury is the home of both Food Lion and Cheerwine. New Bern is where Pepsi gots its start. North Carolina was also the genesis of BC and Goody's headache powders. BC was formulated in Durham. The Bull City is home to Burt's Bees products. Software sensation SAS has roots in Cary. Cannon Mills came out of Cabarrus County. Furniture giants Broyhill, Henredon and Drexel all started in the Foothills of NC. Don't forget Hardees. The original home of the Husky got its start in Rocky Mount and Greenville.

Surry County native Ken Lowe, a classmate of mine at UNC and former radio colleague, is credited with creating both HGTV and the Food Channel. My niece's brother-in-law Lex Alexander was the brains behind Wellspring Grocery Stores which were bought out by Whole Foods. Lex lives in Chapel Hill. The famous Kudzu cartoon series was the brainchild of the late Doug Marlette who worked for the Charlotte Observer and won a Pulitzer Prize.

What other products and businesses grew out of the Carolina clay?