Dunoon is a thriving family business which began
manufacturing the highest quality mugs in 1974 when the
company was formed by two former executives of
Staffordshire Potteries Ltd, Gordon Smith and Bill Harvey,
both of whom were committed to the concept of producing
quality ranges of stoneware mugs, filling a gap in the market
with user friendly, beautifully designed original mugs.
After receiving backing from the Industrial and Commercial
Finance Corporation and The Highlands and Islands
Development Board, Dunoon in Argyll, Scotland was
selected as the ideal location of the first factory and
Dunoon Ceramics Ltd was born!
The first firing of the new kiln was of 72 mugs for displaying
at the Highland Trade Fair in Scotland. The gamble paid off
as orders started to flow in, skilled operatives were
recruited and production began. Dunoon was soon selling
mugs globaly to quality retailers worldwide.
In 1982 a new factory in Stone, Staffordshire, the heart of
the ceramic industry was opened and under Gordon’s
management Dunoon developed a policy of working with
numerous designers and artists to constantly update its
ranges with new designs and unique mug shapes in both
Stoneware and Fine Bone China.
Dunoon uses slip casting instead of the more conventional
‘jollying’ machine-made technique employed by other mug
manufacturers to guarantee a fine, lightweight mug; a
method still used today.
As Dunoon’s popularity expanded so did the product ranges
with the inclusion of kitchenware and teapots whilst the
family input and dedication to the business was strengthened
with Gordon’s sons, Peter and Alan taking roles within the
company. The Smiths took sole control of Dunoon in 1989
when their business partner was bought out.
Export markets expanded to include continental
Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, and Asian markets
such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Dunoon is currently
mugs to over 60 countries around the world.
Production was consolidated to Stone, though a shop still
remains in Scotland and Dunoon is very loyal to its Scottish
roots producing ranges dedicated to Scottish themes and
customers. The growth in popularity of speciality coffee and
teas has led to increasing sales and demand for both finer
quality and unusual mug design which is Dunoon’s strength.
The Smith family tradition of work within the pottery
industry, which has spanned over 100 years continues
with the introduction of Harriet and Andrew,
Alan’s children into the business.