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Local Sourcing: We’re All in This Together


by Katie Bricker, foodservice and general marketing manager for HLC

A friend took me to a favorite bistro not long ago, and it struck me how committed the place was to locally sourcing as many ingredients as possible. There were signs hanging in the dining room, notes on the menu, and even a few pictures of the farms and fields where the ingredients came from. Everything tasted fresh and fantastic!

This has obviously been a trend in dining for a while, but it got me to thinking—what about locally sourcing the plates and bowls, too?

The thought makes perfect sense. If you’re going to give your customers a farm-to-table experience, shouldn’t it be served on dinnerware that’s “earth-to-table?” Dinnerware made from clay from the banks of an American river by local workers who know their communities and work hard to deliver a quality product.

Many of us are making the effort to buy local and support independent businesses in our communities. I believe that “local” has an even greater reach: that it extends to buying from independent businesses all over our country. It’s the right thing to do.

Local sourcing shows pride in American workers and promotes the passion they bring to their work. It solidifies meaningful relationships with suppliers who are dedicated to their trades, in their communities and all over the USA. It supports the economy through taxes, payroll, and supply purchases. It also means faster shipping with no overseas transportation charges built in. It seems like an idea we can all get behind.

There’s something about quality dinnerware that you can just feel from your fingertips up. Something in the sturdiness, the weight, and the attention to detail that reflects the honesty with which it was made. The heft, beauty, and uniformity all tell the story, and it’s a most American of stories—a story of experienced people doing only one thing and doing it better than anyone else.

When every aspect of production is locally controlled, the end results will not be denied. From design to manufacturing, from an endless palette of creative color glazes to scores of patterns, from custom embossments to hand-applied decorations, nothing can top dinnerware made right here at home.

As my friend and I finished our meal at that funky little bistro, bellies were full, taste buds were dancing, and ideas were flowing. Isn’t it time to bring “local” to the tabletop?