Could you boil it down and tell us specifically what is happening? 

There are really only four big things you need to know.

  1. We have sold our foodservice division, as well as the names The Homer Laughlin China Company and The Hall China Company, to Steelite. As part of the sale agreement, we no longer make or market products for foodservice customers. 
  2. Our famous Fiesta® product line is NOT part of the sale. We will continue to manufacture Fiesta for both retail and commercial customers. Commercial customers can purchase Fiesta through Steelite, who will distribute Fiesta to foodservice audiences moving forward. 
  3. Since we have sold the Homer Laughlin China Company to be continued as a foodservice brand under the Steelite umbrella of brands, we need a new corporate name. Effective immediately, we will be known as The Fiesta Tableware Company. 
  4. We’ll keep making Fiesta here at our local plant, and market it to retail customers. We will also keep making any other pattern, style and shape as demand allows, but, again, for retail customers only. 

Why did you decide to sell the foodservice division? 

Competing in a foodservice space dominated by less-expensive foreign products was no longer sustainable. We made the difficult decision to sell this part of our business so that we could focus on making quality, American-made dinnerware for our retail customers. 

Will jobs be affected? 

We are proud to be America’s largest dinnerware manufacturer and will remain so. That responsibility will not change. We are protecting that claim and hundreds of jobs by making this transition. 

Unfortunately, we will need to make adjustments as foodservice manufacturing (minus Fiesta) shifts to Steelite, but no staffing decisions have been made. For at least 90-days we will remain Steelite’s manufacturer of all things Homer Laughlin and Hall China, so for right now, our plants will continue working business as usual.

When is the sale final? 

The sale was effective March 24, 2020. We wish we could have said more and shared earlier, but in matters like this, companies are legally bound by confidentiality agreements. 

Will Steelite continue to use existing Homer Laughlin and Hall China plants to make foodservice products? 

For a brief transition period, yes. After that, it will be the sole decision of Steelite where they manufacture their foodservice dinnerware. Steelite will have the exclusive foodservice distribution rights for our famous Fiesta® dinnerware. We will remain the sole manufacturer of the Fiesta® line and will continue to sell to the retail market. We can also continue to manufacture and sell our other dinnerware lines previously only available to foodservice to at-home audiences. We will continue, as has long been our commitment, to make our dinnerware here in the Ohio Valley. 

What product lines will Steelite manufacture? 

According to the sale agreement, Steelite has the right to manufacture any product—except Fiesta®—that was previously manufactured by our foodservice division and by The Hall China Company. Which products they continue to make available to the market — both in the short and long term—will be Steelite’s decision.