If you've been at our bakery counter at all you've probably seen our mugs that look like this:

Aside from looking cool and being hand-thrown, there's a neat story behind these guys. 

Mike & Karin Nabors have long been entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry; in 1989 they opened a bed & breakfast on Gaither Mountain called Mountain Pines Cabin. The cabin was actually a pre-civil war barn structure that was taken down piece by piece, moved to a new site and reconstructed into a cabin by Mike Nabors, Mike Beuterbal and a crew of men. In the early 90's it was one of the most sought-after B&B's in the area and they were booked almost year round. In the fall of 1989, Mike & Karin went to an inn-keeper's convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico and met Peter Deneen from Deneen Pottery. They were still a fairly new pottery studio out of St. Paul, Minnesota and were at the convention to find new businesses. Mike & Karin loved the look and feel of these hand-crafted mugs and put in an order. In fact, they were one of Deneen's very first clients!

Here's a look at the original mug from Mountain Pines Cabin made by Deneen Pottery in 1990. 

Fast forward 15 years as Neighbor's Mill grew. At a restaurant convention in Chicago Mike & Karin once again ran into Deneen Pottery (in fact, it was Peter's son Niles they met this time who reminded the Nabors that they were an original customer of Deneen's) and rekindled their business relationship. They placed a new order for mugs with the Neighbor's Mill logo and the hand-crafted, uniquely shaped and brightly colored mugs became an instant hit with our customers. 

We've been seeing Deneen Pottery mugs all over this area lately at different restaurants and coffee shops and it's been awesome to watch this amazing company grow and expand their reach across the nation. It's neat to think that the Nabors' family has been a small part of their history.

Next time you're in the store, be sure to look at the mugs we have featured. They're always for sale, each piece is hand-crafted, and they make excellent gifts! You can visit their website and learn more about their story here: http://deneenpottery.com/