Brownstown spice maker competing in chamber contest

A longtime Brownstown spice maker is part of the 54-company field competing in the second Coolest Thing Made in Indiana contest that started Thursday and ends Nov. 30.

Marion-Kay Spices has been making spices, breading, extract and custom blending for 100 years for home kitchen and the food service industry. In the early 1960, Bill Summers agreed to blend a special chicken seasoning in bulk packaging for Col. Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The competition is sponsored by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. For information about the contest, visit

“One of the really great things about this tournament is that it draws some really big companies that make some very-well known products who compete right alongside some emergent ones that are just starting to make their mark,” President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brinegar said.

“We expect to see some David vs. Goliath matchups, and you just never know how these contests will turn out,” he said. “We encourage all entrants to get the word out to their staff, families, customers, partners and on their social media accounts to rally support for their product.”

Besides Brownstown, the field is comprised of manufacturers from Angola, Auburn, Batesville, Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Decatur, DeMotte, Elkhart, Evansville, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Garrett, Gary, Goshen, Greens Fork, Greenfield, Greensburg, Greenwood, Indianapolis, Jasper, Kingsford Heights, Lafayette, Leesburg, Logansport, Markleville, Merrillville, Muncie, Nappanee, Plymouth, St. Meinrad, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rochester, Sellersburg, Syracuse, South Bend, Upland, Walcott, Wawaka, Westfield and Zionsville.

Each entrant includes a photo and product description to aid in voting. A voter may vote once per matchup per round. The number of votes received will be reset at the beginning of each round. Voters must vote for all matchups in each round, including the ones with byes.

The first round of voting ended Monday. Here are the times of each voting round.

Round 2: 9 a.m. today through 10 p.m. Thursday

Round 3: 8 a.m. Friday through 10 p.m. Nov. 15

Round 4: 8 a.m. Nov. 16 through 10 p.m. Nov. 18

Semifinals: 8 a.m. Nov. 21 to 10 p.m. Nov. 23

Finals: 9 a.m. Nov. 28 to 9 p.m. Nov. 30

The champion will be announced Dec. 14 during the Indiana Chamber’s Best IN Manufacturing Luncheon, which also features the first honorees in the Indiana Best Places to Work in Manufacturing program.

Coolest Thing Made in Indiana sponsors are spirit sponsor Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership; gold sponsor Gibson; and silver sponsors Evonik Corporation, Insperity, Nucor Steel Indiana, SMC Corporation of America and The Horton Group.

Entry in the contest is free. To participate, a company did not need to be headquartered in Indiana, but the product entered must be manufactured in the state. Companies are limited to having one product nominated for entry.