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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The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, or perhaps a “Friendsgiving” this year? Planning, delegating and cooking can be quite stressful! Something that’s often neglected in the midst of all the Thanksgiving prep is how to set your buffet table.

Well, we have your back with a “Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table” that is pretty, colorful and provides a simple flow as your guests load up their plates.

It all starts with the buffet table itself. We used a basic six-foot folding table covered with a tablecloth that complemented our color scheme. To add visual interest and height to the dishes toward the back of the table, we placed two boxes underneath the tablecloth. This not only looks more pleasing to the eye, but it makes it easier for people to reach the food that isn’t right up front.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Next, we outlined our menu and pulled the serving pieces we’d be using for each dish.

We started with a stack of dinner plates in a variety of seasonal colors: (from top to bottom) Poppy, Turquoise, Sunflower, Scarlet, Shamrock, Tangerine, Claret, and Lemongrass. It’s a good idea to place the dinner plates in the front corner where the buffet line will start.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Then we used a 3 Tier Server for rolls and other breads, followed by salad, a side dish and casserole. The salad and side dish will be served in our multipurpose Bistro Bowls in Medium and Large sizes. And the casserole is featured in a traditional 9×13” Rectangular Baker. (PS: All of our dishes can be heated safely in the oven up to 350 degree and bakeware can go up to 500 degrees.)

At the center of the feast is the star of the day: turkey! Depending on how large your bird is, we have a variety of serving platters in sizes Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. We’re planning for a lot of leftovers, so we used the Extra Large Oval Platter.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Condiments like cranberries and butter are next. We used the Individual Casserole for our cranberries and the Extra Large Covered Butter for the butter.

Napkins and flatware are best placed at the end of the line so your guests aren’t juggling them while piling up their plates.

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

Finally, it’s time for dessert. Yum! We made room for a pie and a cake. For the pie, we used the Deep Dish Pie Baker. For the cake, we spiced it up with a little Fiesta hack to create a “plate stand.” We turned a Hostess Serving Bowl upside down and placed a Baking/Pizza Tray on top. To serve dessert, a stack of Salad Plates finishes off the assortment of dishes.

Fiesta Dinnerware Hostess Bowl in Turquoise

http://www.fiestafactorydirect.com/c-72-hostess-serving-bowl.aspx

We sprinkled in some mini pumpkins, flowers and greenery to decorate and soften the tablescape. With the buffet table set, we’re ready for full bellies and naps!

The Fiesta Guide to Setting a Thanksgiving Buffet Table

We’d love to see how you like to set your buffet and dining tables for Thanksgiving. On Facebook, feel free to send us pictures or post them in the comments.

Fiesta Dinnerware wishes you and your your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you take this opportunity to count your blessings. We certainly are thankful for you!

 

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