In this highly digitized world, new iterations of the latest gadgets seem to hit the market all the time. As such, consumer demand for the best and cheapest prices for said products don’t always jibe with ethics when it is discovered that the real price for obtaining such fare at times includes child labor, slave labor or unfair wages.
There’s also the conundrum of sending American resources to countries outside of the U.S.A. via outsourced labor and imported raw materials. As such, certain firms are sticking to their homegrown morals and vowing to continue to create quality products at fair prices — all the while providing ethical income levels to their workers and keeping the monies in America, to help the national economy flourish.
One such firm is Liberty Tabletop, found in Sherrill, New York. While the company’s base has been in business since the 1800s, they transformed into Liberty Tabletop after competition from outsourced companies drove Oneida, Ltd., overseas.
Rising from the ashes came Liberty Tabletop, the only remaining firm that makes flatware in the United States. With plenty of history and expert flatware manufacturing knowledge, the flatware maker has been featured on the Today show, the History Channel, and various other news programs.
“Any flatware you see that has USA on the back stamp, it was made in this factory,” said Matt Roberts, President of Sherrill Manufacturing, Inc.
Liberty Tabletop thrives with a lot less labor needed due to the highly advanced technology used to create the stunning flatware. Running at full capacity, Sherrill Manufacturing’s facility is equipped to crank out approximately 400,000 pieces of flatware in one day.
CEO Greg Owens spoke of how small boutique stores can leverage their business by selling Liberty Tabletop flatware in their own shops, and earn a piece of their projected gross revenue, which could hit $3.5 million this year. Many of those sales are made via their online shop, which sells everything from baby spoons to special occasion items to wedding gifts to everyday flatware.
As seen in the ABC video titled “Made in Central New York: A manufacturer with a big history,” Owens describes how salvaging the business was a boon to the economy – and positively affected the lives of real people flourishing from their presence.
“I knew that we could create a niche business that people would want. I also wanted to save jobs — and I knew we could do it,” he said.
The “Made in America” focus is obviously working for the maker of high-quality knives, forks and spoons – as well as other products. With the most highly automated systems in the world – using steel made in Tennessee or Pittsburg, not from imported locations – Liberty Tabletop’s business model is resonating with both consumers and other firms witnessing their patriotic viewpoint. Friendly to the environment and offering ethical pay, Liberty Tabletop also offers an internship program to young people who may be interested in learning the business.