Entrepreneur Resources - WVBusinessLink.com Search Available Sites and Buildings

A Journey Through Time: The Story of Fiesta in #YesWV

In the world of dinnerware, one name stands out above the rest. From pitchers to platters and everything in between, Fiesta’s vibrant, colorful products have earned it a seat at dinner tables across the country for more than 80 years.

To understand how Fiesta became an iconic American brand located in West Virginia is to understand its rich history. Picture this: It’s the 1930s, and the United States is in the midst of the Great Depression. Spirits are low, the world seems dark, and people are in need of hope. Then, Joseph M. Wells Sr., the president of The Homer Laughlin China Company, had a visionary idea: help people brighten up their tables and their lives. 

Color, he believed, was the answer to the woes of the Depression and, in 1936, Fiesta was born.

It burst onto the scene with solid, bold colors, an Art Deco influence, and a revolutionary mix-and-match philosophy. This new style of dinnerware was a breath of fresh air in an era dominated by traditional floral designs. Fiesta quickly represented a new era of kitchen style, and became a symbol of hope and optimism. 

Homes across America were flooded with saturated shades of Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Ivory. Joseph M. Wells Sr.’s vision proved correct – people did need more color in their lives –  especially during such bleak, difficult times.

In the early 1900s, Fiesta took a significant turn when The Homer Laughlin China Company expanded, and the company moved across the Ohio River to Newell, West Virginia.

Newell was developed to accommodate the expansion, and infrastructure, water and sewer systems, a suspension bridge, and a trolley line were put in place. Fiesta Plant #4, completed in 1906, was the largest pottery plant in the world at the time.

As years passed, Fiesta continued to grow and introduced new products and innovations. The 1950s saw a shift towards producing commercialware for the hotel and restaurant trade. In the mid 1980s, after a brief hiatus, Fiesta was reintroduced to the marketplace as a  lead-free product, denoting the company’s commitment to the health of its customers.

The leadership of the company has passed down through the generations, with each generation contributing to its growth and success. In 2020, the company returned to its roots, focusing exclusively on manufacturing dinnerware for the home. It was renamed The Fiesta Tableware Company, marking a new era for the iconic brand.

Fiesta continues to brighten American tables and has become a symbol of resilience and hope. It has weathered economic storms, witnessed changes in fashion and style, and emerged as a timeless classic. It is a testament to the enduring power of color and the legacy of a brand that brought joy and brightness to America during its darkest days.

Today, The Fiesta Tableware Company continues to produce its signature colorful dinnerware, introducing a new color each year. With more than half a billion pieces produced and a dedicated following of collectors, Fiesta remains a beloved brand in the world of casual tabletop. 

Connect with the West Virginia Department of Economic Development

The West Virginia Department of Economic Development is dedicated to boosting the state’s economy and enhancing its competitive positioning for new investments. The team assists businesses in finding or relocating to new sites, expanding current facilities, exporting goods, and offering employee training.

When working with the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, your company gets personalized attention and support for site location research, data analysis, referrals, site tours and expertise on permitting requirements. A team member will aid in finding business solutions and establishing crucial community connections to enhance your search.

To connect with a West Virginia Department of Economic Development representative, call 1-304-558-2234. 

Sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly updates below.

Thriving Industries

Stay Current!

Our newsletter is free and packed with vital information about the state of West Virginia and its evolving incentives.