And never really left at all.
Thanks to local philanthropist + investor, Brook Smith, the historic ceramic company Hadley Pottery will stay a Louisville staple.
The history behind the deal
Earlier this year, Butchertown’s Hadley Pottery (located at 1570 Story Ave.) announced it would be closing near the end of 2022 after more than 80 years in business.
The company was founded in 1939 when local artist + businesswoman Mary Alice Hadley was given the circa 1848 building — formerly a wool mill, candle factory, and cordage mill — as a birthday gift by her husband, George.
It grew to become a local staple for hand-painted stoneware and ceramics — like the address plaques you undoubtedly see on houses when you walk around the Butchertown neighborhood. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any Louisvillian who doesn’t have a Hadley-made coffee mug or plate in their house.
The last owners, father-son duo Jerry and Josh Day, have sold the company to Brook Smith, who has frequented the pottery shop since he was five years old with his mother.
Jerry had worked at the pottery store since 1974 and his father, Tom, worked in the factory with Mary Alice Hadley in the early days of the business.
Introducing Brook Smith
Brook has been investing in local businesses + supporting nonprofits for decades — like Castle & Key Distillery, AMPED, Somewhere Appalachia, Party Horses NFTs, and more. He believes his undisclosed investment can help secure the future and keep the legacy of Hadley Pottery alive.
The future of Hadley Pottery
All of Hadley’s current employees will be retained with a few additional hires coming on board to expand production — which Josh Day will be leading.
The facility will be renovated + equipment repaired and replaced to improve the production process. Hadley will continue to be open on a limited basis until improvements are complete sometime in mid-2023.