A little more than a year ago, it was announced that East Liverpool-based American Mug and Stein Co. had struck a partnership with coffee giant Starbucks.
At the time, that news was both surprising and exciting.
Today, we continue to be encouraged by the fact that American Mug has increased production and added to its workforce.
"... now we're seeing a little daylight," American Mug owner Clyde McClellan told U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who met recently with McClellan at the Dresden Avenue business.
Brown made a stop in East Liverpool, stressing his "buy American" campaign with McClellan and other city leaders, while also telling the pottery owner "we'll keep working with you."
The two spoke about what's keeping the pottery from expansion, along with ways in which it could be accomplished. It appears the conversation was a positive one.
Also positive is American Mug's recent progress - McClellan notes his business now includes 21 employees (up from a low of four) with production "seven times the volume we were doing four years ago."
And that 20,000-piece order from Starbucks a year ago has led to other significant dealings, namely one with legendary director/actor Ron Howard and one with A&E and its popular program "Duck Dynasty."
It's not been all positive news for businesses in East Liverpool, as at least three downtown buildings closed their doors this summer.
But when a once struggling company shows a future with much promise, as American Mug has done, it shows us - and other local business owners - what can be accomplished with patience and perseverance.
Here's to continued success.