durham feature image

As Durham emerges from its blue-collar past of tobacco and textiles, it is becoming a haven for high-tech entrepreneurs, culinary geniuses, and artistic inventors woven into its ever-evolving fabric. Following is a list of just a few of the exciting products made in Durham – don’t miss tasty treats and cutting-edge creations made by locals in the Bull City like these, and more! Stay on top of all the excitement happening in Durham at www.durham-nc.com.


Photos courtesy of bigspoonroasters.com.

Big Spoon Roasters got its name from owner Mark Overbay’s father, who often ate a “big spoon” full of peanut butter and called it a snack. Nut butter fans have rejoiced over Big Spoon favorites like Mission Almond Butter, Chai Spice Nut Butter, and Almond Brazil Butter, which are all made with wildflower honey to enhance flavor and prevent spoilage. Next time you’re in the mood for a snack, you can try any of these spreads on a traditional sandwich, or simply grab a big spoon and dig in. • bigspoonroasters.com

Sold at: Whole Foods and other fine food retailers across the country.

Photos courtesy of carpedurham.com.

Photos courtesy of carpedurham.com.

Pepsi isn’t the only soda company sprouting from North Carolina — Durham’s Brood Soda offers unique, high-end, handcrafted carbonated beverages. The company has seven main drink options and also produces limited edition and seasonal flavors throughout the year. How many drinks in your refrigerator have natural key ingredients like natural roots and barks, peppermint extract, or real ginger and ginseng? Brood strives for “quality beyond corn syrup” and boasts top-notch ingredients. It’s unlike any other soda on the market – and if you ask us, that’s a good thing. • broodsoda.com

Sold at: High-end restaurants, bottle shops and gourmet grocers along the East Coast. 

Photos courtesy of brothersvilgalys.com.

Photos courtesy of brothersvilgalys.com.

The Brothers Vilgalys Spirits combines the traditional Lithuanian Krupnikas recipe with North Carolina wildflower honey. This 80-proof liqueur is made from a precise fusion of sweet honey, warm spices, and neutral pure grain alcohol. The flavor is smooth enough to sip alone or to mix in a cocktail. The brewery offers weekly tours with complimentary tastings. • brothersvilgalys.com 

Sold at: N.C. ABC stores and in Chicago, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington D.C.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/BullCityDesigns

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/BullCityDesigns.

Break free from cookie-cutter furniture stores and check out a one-of-a-kind table or desk built by Bull City Designs. Each piece of their furniture is customized and tailored for the customer with a focus on wood, stainless steel, and vintage bases. No matter the custom size or stain you select, one thing will always remain certain: This furniture is built to last. • bullcitydesigns.com

Sold at: The Bull City Designs store and online

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/burtsbees.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/burtsbees.

The Burt’s Bees headquarters in Durham is always buzzing. The company, which started as a candle company in 1984, is now a powerhouse for natural health and beauty products. Looking for lip balm made from beeswax or soothing face wash made from cucumber and sage? Burt’s Bees has you covered. Your purchase may also help this earth-friendly company in their efforts to protect honeybees worldwide. • burtsbees.com

Sold at: Target, Mast General Stores, online, and drugstores nation-wide.

Photos courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/firsthandfoods.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/firsthandfoods.

Firsthand Foods takes farm-to-fork further by providing Durhamites the option to (m)eat locally. This Durham company connects local farmers with retailers and restaurants to provide customers with antibiotic-free, hormone-free, humanely raised meat. Their pasture-raised pork and beef provides a flavorful, healthier meat option to many happy customers. • firsthandfoods.com

Sold at: Loaf, Wine Authorities and other non-Durham locations across the state.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/drinkmati.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/drinkmati.

Mati Healthy Energy asks, “What if energy drinks were good for you?” Tatiana Birgisson came up with the idea for a delicious, natural caffeine option in her Duke University dorm room. She spent time perfecting a drink recipe made with guayusa leaves that offers an energy kick equivalent to 1½ cups of coffee with only 45 calories. Today her canned drinks are giving a natural boost to happy customers across the state. • matienergy.com

Sold at: Triangle Whole Foods, Rose’s Meat Market & Sweet Shop, Southern Season, American Underground and other locations across the state. 

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/pages/Mill-Bird.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/pages/Mill-Bird.

No frills, zippers, or gimmicks. Mill & Bird bags were the brainchild of owner and purse lover Krissy Anderson. Using traditional leather sewing techniques and classic patterns, each bag uses top quality leather in a timeless design. Mill & Bird bags showcase the natural beauty of leather, scars and all, without trying to hide the material with studs or designs. • millandbirdbags.com

Sold at: Vert & Vogue in Durham, online, and other stores worldwide.  

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/mysticbourbonliqueur,

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/mysticbourbonliqueur.

Mystic Bourbon is the creation of lawyer Jonathan Blitz and engineer Mike Sinclair, who both had a passion for spirits and a desire to try something never done before. Mystic combines traditional bourbon with a Southern blend of honey and spices. Bourbon lovers and skeptics can delight in its sweet and spicy smooth flavor. • whatismystic.com

Sold at: Triangle ABC stores.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/organictransit.

Photos courtesy of facebook.com/organictransit.

It’s just like riding a bike…and driving a car at the same time. ELF, the bike-car from Organic Transit, is a solar and pedal powered hybrid vehicle that can reach up to 30 mph. Although the ELF has no doors, it is equipped with a roof, turn signals, lights and optional radio to offer its owners the amenities of a car combined with the eco-friendliness of a bike. And weighing only 150 lbs., it can get the equivalent of 1,800 mpg. • organictransit.com

Sold at: their online store.  


Presented by

durham cvbDurham is a canvas covered in a unique cultural identity and history that is truly exceptional.

There is a culture of art and creativity expressed visually, culinarily, and through performances. There are many festivals, art places, historic sites, sports venues, nightlife, shopping, nature areas, and more that offer both residents and visitors a variety of choices.

Plan your visit online at www.durham-nc.com, check out all the exciting events here at www.durhameventcalendar.com, and join our conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mydurham, as well as on Twitter at www.twitter.com/durhamnc.

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.