(Above: Homer Laughlin Company Blue Fish, Boardwalk and Aquamate. All pieces are made in the USA.)
When I go out to dinner or I am traveling, I often admire the substantial dining plates and glasses on my table. I am seldom surprised to see the “Homer Laughlin” name stamped on the bottom. (Yes, you have to be creative and have a good sense of balance to raise your clams linguini up and level to check it out, or look like a fool peering in reverse from under the glass patio table.) It is not hard to find classic non-Fiesta ware HLC designs from the 50s and such in the form of odd and orphaned plates and estate and yard sales, but the local Bed Bath and Beyond doesn’t stock pieces produced for institutions.
When you want an honest, solid, plain ivory set with rolled edges (Exhibit A at left) or even that cute design you saw in Miami, the best place to look is a Hotel Amenities Supplier. They not only carry linens and fixtures for hotels, but for restaurants as well. I found a few patterns on the PeachSuite Hotel Supply, shown above, as well as an honest ivory set free of decals or decoration. I have not seen the ivory set in person to tell you if it is similar to Fiesta Ivory, bit am guessing its more of a true off-white.
HLC develops various patterns for the industry and they are not sold at any traditional retailer. The public is definitely not barred from purchasing items from Hotel Supplies websites, for the most part.
There are two caveats:
1) Not all of the items on the website, china excepted, are available for private purcase. Items, such as kitchen work ranges, and other items not graded for home use are not sold to customers procuring them for home use.
2) You must buy in quantity, but its not bad. The minimum purchase on some places is 12 pieces. If you are buying with the intent of replacing a set, 12 would be a fair sized dining set for a home.
As far as Fiesta Ware, colors are limited. You might prefer purchasing by the piece at a department store or online. If “your” color is among the limited color choices available, compare the prices. If you want 12, it just might be a good deal.