Pottery Closes that Made Mugs for Starbucks

NEW WATERFORD, Ohio – American Pioneer MFG LLC closed its pottery plant here Wednesday, ending a three-year venture that counted Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. as its marquee customer (READ STORY).

The pottery was co-founded by Ulrich Honighausen, a resident of Sonoma, Calif., who also operates Hausenware, a company that imports ceramics. Honighausen, CEO of American Pioneer, partnered with Kayo Toki, a Japanese ceramics manufacturer, to launch American Pioneer MFG in 2012.

Twenty workers lost their jobs with the closing, according to published reports.

American Pioneer MFG produced Starbucks state-themed mugs as part of the coffee company’s “Create Jobs in the USA” campaign.

The pottery, 3672 Silliman St., once housed Bel-Terr China, a producer of high-end ceramic tableware that closed in the 1990s.

The company’s startup story and Starbucks’ role supporting it was reported nationwide, an achievement promoted on American Pioneer’s website as “made in Ohio media coverage.”

“I felt that the opportunity was here,” Honighausen told The Business Journal in December 2013. “The industry has sadly gone away, but there are still people and resources we are able to tap into.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.