Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm Emma Bridgewater signs deal with Starbucks
GLOBAL coffee giant Starbucks has signed an 'exciting' deal to sell thousands of specially-designed mugs made by a Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm.
The 6,000 red, white and blue British-themed mugs have been designed by Emma Bridgewater to tie in with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics
They are being sold at 100 Starbucks outlets in the London area – as well as at the firm's Potteries Shopping Centre cafe.
Now the two companies are hoping to link up for other projects which could also see more jobs created at Emma Bridgewater's Hanley factory.
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News of the deal comes as Starbucks is also reviewing its entire supply chain with a view to buying more products from other Stoke-on-Trent pottery manufacturers.
Each limited-edition mug costs £19.95.
Company owner Emma said: "This deal is for a few thousand mugs initially which is not to be sniffed at, but potentially it could be the start of something bigger.
"I really hope we can pull it off but if Starbucks places an enormous order with another factory in Stoke-on-Trent, such as Dudson, Steelite, or Churchill, that would be the next best thing."
Starbucks UK and Ireland managing director Kris Engskov said: "What I love about Emma is that she is taking something so precious to Stoke-on-Trent and promoting it so passionately. "That was something we could identify with so I called her up, simple as that.
"We've never done anything like this in the UK before, but we saw it as a great opportunity to focus on British craftsmanship at a time when thousands of people from all over the world are going to be coming here."
Mr Engskov, who visited the Emma Bridgewater factory earlier this month, added: "We are also going to be selling Emma's Union Jack mug in our stores, it's a first-time partnership but we hope it will continue.
"Stoke-on-Trent has a great story and we're proud to be part of that."
The mugs for Starbucks's 'flat white' coffee are already made in Sandyford by Churchill China and Mr Engskov said there could be further opportunities for city manufacturers.
He added: "We are looking at our whole supply chain and seeing what else we can do to source local products."
Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt said: "Like Starbucks coffee, 'Made in Stoke on Trent' is a global brand signifying quality and craftsmanship. More and more crockery production is coming back to the Potteries and it is great news that Starbucks is leading the way."
Emma Bridgewater has already sold £3.25 million of Diamond Jubilee ware through stockists including high-end retailers such as Harrods. It is on target to sell more than 50,000 mugs for next week's celebrations.