Mugs and other pottery

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Arks's picture
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Regarding customized mugs and such, does anybody have any thoughts regarding Deneen_Pottery vs. Sunset_Hill?

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In other news, I do like the personalized regular coffee cups too.  See I actually like everything, that is my problem. I can switch everything out all the time, matching with the breakfast china, yes, not matching at all, yes, today we can use my "Hyacinth Bucket Royal Doulton with the hand painted periwinkles" yes I have those too.

 

Elizabeth: Are there any other Greeks coming? 

Hyacinth: Hmmm? Oh, no, dear. They break plates. He may have a tanker in every port, but I'm not sacrificing my Royal Doulton with the hand-painted periwinkles. 
[pause

Hyacinth: There aren't that many left. 

 

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We call our mother Hyacinth. Keeping up appearances is the driving force in her life, and Keeping Up Appearances is her favorite program.

Silverspoon's picture
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Admittedly, I am not interested in the added hassle of buying, storing and selling mugs.  We are too small to make it pay and I don't need the extra work....I would rather just charge enough for the accommodation and keep things simple.  

With that said, here is my take on the Deneen mugs.  I don't care for them. We used them when we were guests at another inn and I thought that they were particularly heavy and "clunky". They were branded but kind of ugly, IMHO.  

Personally we use hand-made mugs (locally made) for our own coffee but for guests we find that an 8 oz embossed glass mug works perfectly.  The size is not too big while the shape of the mug allows for guests to walk around with their early-morning coffee without spilling it all over.  The glass goes with whatever table setting we choose and they are inexpensive.  The embossed glass gives it a dressy feeling that works well for coffee and tea, as well as hot mulled cider and hot chocolate.  I would never drink tea out of those Deneen mugs....just doesn't seem right.  

Granted, they are not special enough for guests to steal  but the coffee stays hot and tastes good.  That is what our guests comment on....good strong coffee!

Ours are smooth, clear, embossed with leaves but here is one similar  in textured glass.www.ecrater.com/p/9727965/textured-clear-glass-mug-coffee  We pay about $2.99 each

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Silverspoon this is why all of our inns are unique, and this is why I always think new innkeepers to make their choices on what they like, they are washing the dang things and dealing with them (for sale or not) 100% of the time. Is it your style? I like the branding of the clay mugs, I like that they are handmade. 

And this is why it is important to stay at a few inns, you see what you like there, sometimes what you like does not equate to more ease on the innkeeper of course, but you can at least get an idea.

So if we had clay there is a guest who won't like them, if we have glass there is a guest who won't like them, if we have cups and saucers, mugs, etc. same same. That is why I say that, do what YOU like it is YOUR INN. Let it reflect how you do things.

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We have for our tea drinkers, several tea for ones and several teapots if if they are using the cups from my sets of dishes. I got two of my sets at the Penny Pincher, a resale shop run by the Mission in the town north of us (a wonderful place to take stuff that does not work here or I no longer want as in the bed frame  I just removed and a headboard & footboard no longer used. I gave the mattress tothe Mission suth of us because they do pick-up.

Back to the subject at hand, I have cups of several sizes with my sets of dishes - the cups withthe china are what I consider a tea cup, and each of the other 3 sets are different sizes. The men guests REALLY liked the clay mugs because they got a CUP of coffee and the handle was big enough for them to get their fingers around without burning them on the hot cup. As with everything else in this business - everyone has their own tastes - and so do the guests.

Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

So if we had clay there is a guest who won't like them, if we have glass there is a guest who won't like them, if we have cups and saucers, mugs, etc. same same. That is why I say that, do what YOU like it is YOUR INN. Let it reflect how you do things.

Very well said.

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I thought who is going to buy mgs - so I ordered 24 from my potter. I figured 12 to use and 12 to try to sell. They flew off the shelf! @ $20 per they flew off the shelf. I gave away a few (and broke a couple) but I have been waiting over 2 years for him to make more for me. He had deaths in the family and then health problems but he tells me he is ready to make my mugs and have them ready by March. Each mug is signed with his name and town, WV. I wish I could afford his face mugs. They are really neat.

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Do people really buy the mugs from you? Do you use the mugs yourselves? We use teacups and china in the dining room. Certainly the mugs would clash with our set. (And encourage people to drink a heck of a lot more coffee.)

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Do people really buy the mugs from you? Do you use the mugs yourselves? We use teacups and china in the dining room. Certainly the mugs would clash with our set. (And encourage people to drink a heck of a lot more coffee.)

We've probably sold 12 mugs out of 288. When we decided to go with branded mugs instead of the mugs that match our tableware, we did select the smallest size we could find- 11 ozs. This time around everyone we spoke with was pushing 15, 16 and 17 oz mugs! I guess they have no idea how difficult it would be to keep enough coffee at the ready! Plus, you definitely couldn't use the Keurig with mugs that size.

So why are we buying new mugs if we've only sold 12? They walk away. Since summer we've lost another 5. We've given away something like 4 dozen. Thank goodness they are not the really pricey Deneen mugs!

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"keep enough coffee"...HOT, that is what I say, big mugs do not keep coffee hot, I know they are clay and all of that, but if people add creamer it is just not hot enough, then they want to dump it somewhere...it is an issue.  That is why I prefer the smaller mugs in the Deneen style. But not everyone like clay mugs, some prefer cup and saucer as a more elegant cup of coffee at the inn, or regular diner style ceramic mug.

 

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Many of the Europeans will ask me for hot milk for their coffee. They don't want their coffee cooled.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Many of the Europeans will ask me for hot milk for their coffee. They don't want their coffee cooled.

I'm weird, I suppose. I'm a coffee drinker, not a coffee sipper, so I never pour more than 1/2 cup of coffee at a time, so the ceramic cup can cool it enough for me to finish it quickly and go back for another cup. I want it hot, but not too hot to drink quickly.

It goes back to what JB said earlier: everybody's different

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Many of the Europeans will ask me for hot milk for their coffee. They don't want their coffee cooled.

I'm weird, I suppose. I'm a coffee drinker, not a coffee sipper, so I never pour more than 1/2 cup of coffee at a time, so the ceramic cup can cool it enough for me to finish it quickly and go back for another cup. I want it hot, but not too hot to drink quickly.

It goes back to what JB said earlier: everybody's different

Drink it black?

Arks's picture
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I absolutely drink it black. I want to taste coffee, not additives.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

I absolutely drink it black. I want to taste coffee, not additives.

I had you pegged.

Had a mother, daughter and grandmother here this morning. I remembered the daugher (from Illinois) drank her coffee black so I asked the grandmother from Pittsburg "Black right?" She said "How did you know?"  I told her, I just do.

Now give me a couple from the UK and I will have 9/10th the cup filled with half and half creamer in one teenie cup of coffee.  I could put the half gallon of creamer out for them!

We have shared before on here the guests who used 15 sweetener packets in one cup and it was un believ able.  Then it happens to another innkeeper and you get an email shot off forum "IT HAPPENED! I WATCHED THEM EMPTY EACH PACKET INTO THE CUP!"

Generic's picture
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I'm more tempted to sell double-wall glass espresso glasses and double-wall glass coffee cups. Like this and this.

When I make latte for guests, I usually use something like this. They are very popular. Doesn't glass, small and easy to clean. 

I don't see how I could make enough coffee for mugs that large.... I go through two pots most mornings... I'd need to go commercial coffee maker if I put that size mug out.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

I'm more tempted to sell double-wall glass espresso glasses and double-wall glass coffee cups. Like this and this.

I've used the Bodum double-wall glasses for years. I love them. Great for both hot and cold drinks.

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Commercial coffee maker here. 64 oz carafe. We go through about 3 regular and 1 decaf on a full house. (Full house would be anywhere from 14 to 18 guests.) 11 oz coffee mug. Generally, one full carafe is emptied before breakfast starts. I think 5 regular carafes is the most we've ever made in a single morning.

We have a microwave in the dining room where several guests have heated their cold coffee after pouring in 6 ozs of creamer.

We also have a 2 liter kettle for those wanting tea.

I know there are mug warmers that can be purchased but there is only so much room in the dining room for stuff. We've thought about using the oven to heat the mugs in advance like we do with the plates but I'd be afraid someone would drop the mug if they picked it up and it was warm.

 

Arks's picture
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Good comments. I was mainly thinking about comparing prices and quality, but "mug collectors" are certainly something else to consider in making a choice. I noticed some inns I'm familiar with among the sample mugs on the Sunset_Hill website, so I guess Deneen doesn't have 100% of the inn business, but surely they have most of it. 

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If anyone is looking for mugs and going to PAII, Deneen will be there and they always have good deals at the trade shows! 

 

NO, I'm not getting a commission.

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I think Deneen Pottery has pretty much cornered the B&B mug market. Guests almost expect them! The key to selling them successfully is buying the gift box. I know it sounds trivial, but that little box is a miracle! We make enough on our mugs to cover the cost of ours we keep here for guests' use and the ones to sell, too.

Deneen also has a nice feature on their website, the mug-finder. It's for collectors of their mugs. Say you're going to Cape May, NJ and (all else being equal), you want to stay at a place that sells the mugs so you can add one to your collection. You can just use their mug-finder to find a B&B that sells the mugs.

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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

I think Deneen Pottery has pretty much cornered the B&B mug market. Guests almost expect them! The key to selling them successfully is buying the gift box. I know it sounds trivial, but that little box is a miracle! 

Not a miracle, just common sense, no one wants to put a clay mug in their suit case.

Joey Camb's picture
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have to admit thats  pretty cool

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Joey Camb's picture
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There is a similar thread on here and Deneen Pottery was very popular don't know about the other brand. Several places sell them as well (the Deneen ones)

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