Local company East Fork Pottery is set to add 50 high-paying jobs in Buncombe County. On July 13, Commissioners approved $40,000 of economic incentives for the pottery business $2.38 million capital investment. East Fork Pottery states the expansion will create 50 new jobs paying an average of $22.46 per hour and will be intentional about hiring from disadvantaged populations as defined in the Buncombe County Economic Development Policy (e.g., STEP Program, justice-involved individuals). Those new positions include work in various areas such as production, research, marketing, management, and administrative positions. Starting pay for all jobs at East Fork begins at $20 per hour.
Helping local businesses with growth while providing more job opportunities is a major part of the County’s 2025 Strategic Plan to increase average wages, employment opportunities, and equity. “East Fork Pottery reflects the deep roots of craftsmanship and industry here in the mountains,” said Brownie Newman, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “We are proud to celebrate the homegrown success of the company and its long-standing commitment to hiring practices that expand economic mobility for all Buncombe County residents.”
Overall, East Fork Pottery’s expansion is projected to have a $3.9 million effect on the community via job creation, capital investment, business-to-business transactions, and other peripheral economic benefits. The one-time $40,000 economic incentive is dependent on East Fork Pottery meeting goals concerning its capital investment and job creation and will be paid out over the course of two years starting in 2022. You can read more about this economic incentive and East Fork Pottery here.
About East Fork Pottery
Based in Asheville, East Fork Pottery designs, manufactures, and sells thoughtful, durable ceramic dishware. Trained in formal ceramic apprenticeships, the founders spent thousands of hours making hundreds of the same form at a time on a potter’s wheel before they began utilizing industrial forming techniques. They make their dinnerware with dynamic, iron-rich clays dug from the American Southeast and colored with glazes formulated and mixed in-house. East Fork sits at a unique and challenging intersection of small-scale artisan workshop and large-scale industrial ceramic production. As a dedicated employer-of-choice, East Fork writes workplace and job policies that take into consideration the inevitable socio-economic imbalances that exist in the local workforce. They write policies that center and support the health and wellness of every team member. As a young startup, they have grown rapidly from 10 employees to over 100 in less than 5 years.