CNBC Anchors and Reporters

Mike Hegedus

CNBC Special Features Reporter


  • It's a classic case of what's in a name -- and it's the "name" of the game in the $22 billion wine industry.Napa, Sonoma, Willamette Valley, Lodi -- all AVA, or appellations. There are 236 in the United States: federally designated "unique" viticulture regions. If you get one, you put it on your label, and the price on that bottle of Pinot Noir goes up by a couple of bucks.The newest "appellation" in the wine business is the Snake River Valley -- in Idaho!

  • "Memorial Day..."It was 36 years ago that I covered my first Memorial Day for television: the placing of the individual American flags on the graves of veterans in a National Cemetery in Colorado.

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    It's the way NASCAR began: dirt roads, fast cars and illegal booze.Running moonshine, 'corn liquor,' to outrun the law was the training ground for most of the early NASCAR drivers: the Richard Petty's, the Junior Johnson's.Now it's all come full circle. Junior Johnson is helping sell legal moonshine.

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    Chocolate cake. Macaroni and cheese. Crab cakes. Tomato sandwich. And they have in common?My stomach and mayonnaise. Duke's Mayonnaise. Mauldin, South Carolina is the home of Duke's Mayonnaise -- here in the South, it's not mayonnaise if it's not Duke's. It all started 90 years ago in the kitchen of Eugenia Duke in Greenville, South Carolina. Ninety years later, Duke's is one of the signature brands of C.F. Sauer, the spice and food company based in Richmond, Virginia.

  • You've heard of the coffee wars, but have you noticed the 'revolution' in tea?They have at Revolution Tea in Phoenix Arizona, a company at the nexus of marketing the exploding tea category.Coffee -- what with Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, McDonalds and the like 'slurping' it out in the public markets -- has been the focus, but tea, both hot and cold, has gone through a similar metamorphosis.

  • It sits there in front of you: a plate filled to the overflow point with chili -- and under it, two cheeseburger patties, fried potatoes and one egg, over easy.What are you about to do?

  • Watch every level of football or baseball in the U.S. and there's a name you're seeing without likely knowing it: Schutt.One of the oldest facemask and helmet companies in America, they make football helmets, batting helmets for boys and girls and, early in the last century, they invented the facemask for football.They sell to trainers, teams, university and professional leagues -- and they give the product to their players. They've flown under the radar for years, but are making a push now for a little name recognition and a bigger share of the market.Interesting setting -- a small town in rural America -- for an All-American product, worn by All-Americans!!

  • It's been ten years since you've seen her on television, but now she's back. She plans on taking market share and kicking proverbial 'butt' in the category in which she's best known: syrup. Pancake syrup.

  • Eight seconds... a two-thousand-pound bull... a 150-pound human... and millions of dollars in a spectacular payoff -- what is it? The PBR, the Professional Bull Riders tour, one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the United States.It's growing so fast that it drew the attention of the Spire private equity firm of New York City, which, just a few weeks ago, bought a majority stake in this 15-year-old sports franchise. The unannounced majority buy-in is worth millions to the original 'stock' holders in the PBR. And that's where the American Dream meets a stadium full of dirt.

  • There you sit... goop on your head... wrapped in a hot towel and a young lady with electric -- yes, electric -- gloves is massaging your neck... Whoa, what is this?It's the Hair Club for Men salon/treatment center in West Palm Beach -- the last stop on this week's travels with 'Mike On America'.Hair Club is the leading revenue center for the Regis Corporation and is a 30 year old plus company founded on one truism -- men will lose their hair, no matter how many hats they wear. (Women too -- but until recently that was a whole different business.)Since its founder was not only the CEO... 'but a customer too' -- this is a company on a growth pattern (no pun intended) over the last few years in large measure thanks to its new 31 year old CEO and president.