BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The former Buffalo China has seen its ups and downs, but now is about to get a shot in the arm from an Ohio Company that's ready to move in.
Niagara Ceramics in South Buffalo has 110 employees who still produce about six million pieces of dinnerware every year at the former Buffalo China factory.
President and CEO Bob Lupica said, "You'll see us in Olive Gardens, you'll see us in Carrabbas, you'll see us in J. Alexander Steak Houses, you'll see us at Cracker Barrel, but you'll also see us at UB's campus."
But the factory on Bailey Avenue where Niagara Ceramics operates still has room to spare, so another company is moving in. The Longaberger Company, whose headquarters in Ohio is shaped like a picnic basket, is known for producing high-end baskets.
Longaberger also produces Woven Traditions Dinnerware, but their supplier moved to China, and Longaberger wants to bring production back to America. The Niagara Ceramics factory was a perfect fit.
Longaberger spokesman Brenton Baker said, "So that we didn't have to start from ground zero in building a factory. We were able to lease a facility from them to make our own pottery with the added benefit of the expertise and knowledge."
By August, Longaberger will be firing up a huge kiln that has sat silent for over a year. The Ohio company will be producing one million pieces of dinnerware in the factory.
"What's special about this is we're operating a business that's over a hundred years old, makes its roots in Buffalo, started with the Larkin Soap Company, has ties to the Roycroft Community, Darwin Martin being the first CFO of the Larkin Company. Those are all ties that this building has historically to this place, and the fact that we've been caretaking this facility since 2004 and now we've been able to bring it to the next level, back to the eminence that it once had," Lupica said.
This brings more job security for the employees at Niagara Ceramics and it means 22 new jobs coming this summer. Those interested in applying can contact Niagara Ceramics at 716-821-5600 or here.
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