When you’re the proprietor of a small business, you have to wear a lot of hats. The daily operation of your shop begins with you and the buck stops with you, too. One of the many decisions that you might have to make is how to serve your goods to customers. Stoneware mugs and steins are a high-quality, unique, and customizable option for your business

If you own a coffee shop, brewpub, or brewery, you’ll need to settle on a mug or vessel to serve your beer or hand-crafted coffee beverages every day. You will also want to consider offering branded merchandise for sale as a way to increase your brand awareness. Making your loyal customers into brand ambassadors is the best marketing strategy out there!

Proprietors of many other businesses with retail gift shops or a retail assortment also need to consider what to offer customers when they want to take a piece of your establishment home with them. Branded merchandise is another way to let your customers start a conversation about your business with their friends and neighbors. 

What is Stoneware?

Stoneware is a kiln-fired ceramic crafted from clay. Porcelain is often called china, and earthenware is another type of ceramics. Stoneware is fired between 2000 and 2300 degrees. This high-temperature firing creates a robust and non-porous product that is similar to stone, hence the name. Even without glaze, stoneware is perfectly suited for serving food and drink. 

Porcelain is created using different clay that results in a smoother and, often, a lighter colored or white product. Earthenware is similar to stoneware in that it can have a more rustic appearance than porcelain or bone china. Earthenware is not as durable or long-lasting as stoneware, however, due to a lower firing temperature and duration, making it less suited for foodservice and less likely to stand the test of time with daily use.

How is Stoneware Right For Your Business?

Custom stoneware mugs or steins are a great way to incorporate a personalized, one-of-a-kind, and handmade object into your merchandising or serving strategy. When you work with the artisans at Grey Fox Pottery in Minneapolis, you’re working with people who understand the needs of small business owners because Grey Fox is a small, locally-owned company as well. 


Stoneware steins and mugs will last day in and day out, whether in your kitchen or your customers’ homes. Choosing a quality product tells your patrons and fans that you’re invested in your business for the long haul. Selling custom stoneware merchandise with your branding rather than cheaper, mass-produced items ensures your logo won’t flake away with repeated washings, an impression of lower-quality that may well rub off on your brand

Logo Design

Using the scrimshaw engraving technique, artists will translate your logo, whether bold lines or more detailed and intricate design, into a clay medallion that will become a part of your custom stoneware mug or stein. Logo medallions turn your brand into a part of the stoneware that can’t be washed or rubbed away. 

Custom Design

Taking advantage of our more than one hundred combinations of glaze colors and color combinations to customize your stoneware mug, stein or tankard allows you to create a piece of merchandise to sell or use in your shop that will stand out and represent your brand identity.

Showcasing Your Brand with Custom Stoneware

Whether you’re operating a coffee shop or cafe, a brewery with a taproom, a retail shop as part of a resort, or anything in between, this guide to stoneware can help you choose the right pieces for your dining experience or retail shelves.

Consider the Details

Grey Fox Pottery’s stoneware mugs and steins come in various sizes with our coffee mugs holding 10 to 16 ounces and our beer steins holding 16 to 24 ounces. Ordering more than one size with a similar silhouette can create consistency when you’re crafting extra-large lattes or a small drip coffee. Different mug styles are held in the hand differently as well, and a beverage meant to be enjoyed hot such as hot chocolate or tea can be held easily to keep fingers cozy!

Different beers often call for different styles of serving vessels. If you’re brewing German lagers or lighter, more effervescent sour beers, or a seasonal assortment of beers, you want to present your beer to patrons under ideal conditions. Certain steins are built to create a lot of contact with the air or to encourage swirling, just as certain brews are meant to be swirled before sipping. Explore the options to see which best suits your beer.

Ordering Made Easy

Working with Grey Fox couldn’t be easier. Take a look at all the options available, including colors and glaze styles, shapes and sizes, and some examples of logo medallions. Our artists will work with you to get your logo just right. The minimum order is only forty-eight pieces, so you can dip a toe before you dive in, or you can order different customized mugs or steins for all the other beverages you serve. Contact us today to find out more.

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