We have finished the first round of our expansion. This includes a second kiln and other equipment so that our production capacity is more or less doubled. We will soon begin another expansion project that will both improve the quality of our finished pieces as well as boost production even more. This next phase will be done by April/May 2013 and will also include a third kiln.
The net benefit for our customers in the US is that we will be continuously improving stock levels between now and summer 2013. The rate of out-of-stock items will decrease each month and the wait before restock arrives will be shorter as well. For our European and Middle East customers, the expansion will allow us to ship your orders usually within a week or two.
Soup/Cereal Bowl: We have increased the size of our Soup/Cereal Bowl. The bowl we've made for 15 years was 5 inches in diameter (13cm). Our new moulde is 15cm, so about 6". We are making the new 6" bowl now, though some of you may still get the 5" until we run out of the old stock.
Serving Tagine: We have changed the shape of our Serving Tagine. We used to make them 10" with the angled side, but so many of you have commented about the great new shape of our Cookable Tagine, we are now making the Serving Tagine in that exact same shape. The diameter is about 12" (30cm) and the Serving Tagine will have the deeper, rounded bottom just like our Cookable Tagine. Please note that each tagine (serving and cookable) will have the back stamp indicating which kind it of tagine it is.
Poultry Platter: We are making a new shape for use as a poultry/turkey platter. It will be 18 x 11 inches and have a 2" side. We will introduce this shape in all our current designs in May 2013.
Spice Bowl/Ice Cream Dish: We are making a new small bowl with the same silhouette as our Soup/Cereal Bowl, but it will be 4" in diameter (10 cm) and about 2.5" tall (6cm) for use as an ice cream dish or spice bowl. The artwork will be painted on the outside so as to be different from our 4" Round Sauce Dishes. We will introduce this new shape in May 2013 in all our current designs.
Clay Diffuser: We are making a new item for use with our Cookable Tagines and our Cookable Stew Pot. We are taking a disc of our refractory clay and firing it without glaze into a clay diffuser. You will put this diffuser directly on your stovetop (gas or electric) and then put our tagine or stew pot right on this diffuser. The diffuser will better protect your tagine or stew pot and allow you to go up to medium heat for cooking. Starting in April 2013, we will include one diffuser with each tagine or stew pot at no charge. Eventually the diffuser will crack but even when it splits, you can simply assemble those two or three pieces on the burner and keep using it that way, or purchase a new clay diffuser. They will only cost about $5 each. The diffuser is too abrasive for use on a glass or ceramic stovetop though. We are filing a patent for the clay diffuser.
New Designs and Colors:
Turquoise: We will introduce a solid turquoise Cookable Tagine and Cookable Stew Pot in March at Chicago Housewares.
Purple: We will also introduce a solid purple Cookable Tagine and Cookable Stew Pot in March at Chicago Housewares.
New Designs: We will introduce a new design in NY in August at the Gift/Gourmet Show.