The Importance of American Made

We’ve been seeing a lot about the Made in America movement over the past week, and have even been in on some of the conversations that have surrounded it. But what does being American Made really mean? Why is it good for our country? Why should you be worrying where your plates and other goods are made? We talked to a couple of family members of The Homer Laughlin China Co. to break it down for you.

First off, we’d like to take a minute to brag about ourselves (that’s okay, right?). The Homer Laughlin China Co. has been making dishes since 1871, and every dish with an HLC backstamp is American made. That’s over 145 years of American dishes! We began making Fiesta Dinnerware in 1936, and similarly, every dish with a Fiesta backstamp is  Made in America. We’re pretty proud of that.

Katie Bricker and Pete Wicks show off Homer Laughlin dinnerware in the White House.

 

So, after all these years, why have we stayed at our Newell, West Virginia factory while so many of our competitors have moved their business over seas for cheaper labor? Easy. It’s because we are completely committed to our community. We talked with Katie Bricker, Marketing Manager at Homer Laughlin China and member of the team that attended Monday’s Made in America Product Showcase at the White House, who agreed emphatically.

“Homer Laughlin is one of the largest employers in our area and the loss of jobs would be catastrophic to a community already suffering from loss of industry. Our dedicated local employees have supported Homer Laughlin for over 145 years, it only makes sense to offer them the same commitment.”

Our President, Liz McIlvain, is equally enthusiastic about keeping our dishes in West Virginia, even though she’s been given plenty of chances to move the company over the years.

“The Wells family, owners of  The Homer Laughlin China Co., has been approached throughout the decades to sell the company to many different entities,” says McIlvain. “For example, other dinnerware companies, other tabletop companies, capital investors, etc.  It has been important to keep our dinnerware manufacturing jobs here in USA to provide employment for those living in the Upper Ohio Valley and contributing to the economy.  Our commitment to our workers and their families has kept us operating in the state of West Virginia.”

A view of our Newell, West Virginia factory.

It’s more than just a commitment to our community that keeps us in America, though. We’ve made a promise to our customers to keep manufacturing in the country, and we don’t intend on breaking that promise.

“To me, there is no other option than continuing to produce our dishes in America,” says Bricker. “Betraying the trust of our customers that we’ve worked so hard to build over many, many years is not an option. Manufacturing in America is such a large part of what Homer Laughlin is, we’d be betraying ourselves as well.”

By now, you might be wondering what producing goods in America has to do with you, the consumer. Why should consumers buy American made products instead of going for the cheaper alternative? How does buying American Made impact Americans?

“Buying American is essential for supporting industry in the United States,” says Bricker. Buying American made products allows companies to stay on American soil and offer high quality goods to American consumers. If you want to support the American economy and create American jobs, the choice is easy, buy American goods!”

Liz McIlvain, President of Homer Laughlin China Co.

 

“The more that people buy American made products, the more jobs that will be maintained, or created, in the U.S.A. We Americans have to support ourselves,” agrees McIlvain.

As you can tell, there is a certain pride and purpose that goes into creating our American made dinnerware. We do it for our community, our customers, and our economy. So the next time you’re deciding whether to go with a high quality American made product or not, remember to go with USA.

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Fiesta Rainbow Foods

As you’ve probably already guessed, we love color here at Fiesta Dinnerware! So it only makes sense that after we’ve set our table with our rainbow of dinnerware, we’d include a rainbow of foods to go with it! We thought we’d share with you our favorite foods that really get us in the Fiesta spirit. Think radiant red strawberries and peppers, and bright blueberries and blackberries. The best part about these festive fares? They include tons of fruits and veggies!

We’re kicking this colorful feast off with a healthy smoothie bowl. We love testing out different smoothie flavors, but find ourselves reaching for berries and bananas (and even a handful of spinach!) most often for a pretty purple hue. Our Small Bistro Bowl from the 3pc Bistro Set is the ideal size for this snack. Top with a spectrum of fruits for a beautiful breakfast treat!

Next, it’s appetizer time with our Rainbow Salsa! Chop up tomatoes, orange and yellow peppers, jalapeños, cilantro, and red onion. Add black beans, corn, lime juice, and your favorite spices and you’re ready to enjoy. We like serving this salsa up in our Lapis Signature Bowl. Shout out to Gimme Some Oven for this idea!

Finally, the main course: pizza! We piled on peppers, onions and broccoli to make this masterpiece. Store bought pizza crust makes this meal easy to throw together and enjoy in a pinch, and our Baking/Pizza Tray is the perfect size to hold it, not to mention oven proof up to 500 degrees!

What are your favorite foods for Fiesta? Let us know on Facebook and share your rainbow photos with us on Instagram by tagging @fiestadinnerware.

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Gingerbread Blondies

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We’ve taken a holiday classic and made it even merrier with these irresistible gingerbread blondies. Soft and chewy blondies are infused with a trio of the season’s quintessential spices: cinnamon, clove, and ginger. Molasses pulls it all together and lends that deep flavor inherent to gingerbread.

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This recipe comes together as quickly as drop cookies and yields enough spiced blondies for a crowd. Serve the festive squares on our Square Tray with Handles, Large Oval Platter, or pile them high on our 3-Tier Serving Tray.

Gingerbread Blondies
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Ingredients
  1. Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  2. 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  5. 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. 2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  9. 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  10. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  11. 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  12. 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  13. 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  14. 10 oz white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Spray a 17” x 12” rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Then place a sheet of parchment paper in the bottom of the baking sheet allowing the ends to overhang slightly.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat together butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, molasses, and spices.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in white chocolate.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared baking sheet, taking time to spread the dough evenly. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the edges are just turning golden.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan set on top of a wire rack. Cut into squares.
  7. The blondies can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

 

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