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“An American tradgedy”

Williamsburg Pottery
Ranked #41 of 47 Shopping in Williamsburg
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Owner description: The NEW Williamsburg Pottery is a set of 3 beautiful, European-boutique-style Marketplaces: Gourmet Kitchen, Home Essentials, and Outdoor Living. We offer thousands of items both International and USA-made. We support local growers and small business with our Virginia's Finest, Award-Winning Custom Frame Shop, and handmade reproduction Salt Glaze Pottery. We are also home to a huge award-winning wine shop, hand-arranged custom silk flowers, and much more! We offer a huge variety of fine items at great values. From our "Best New Business in Williamsburg" Au Bon Pain restaurant, to summer Entertainment in the Courtyard, plus lots of new events and departments coming soon in 2013, The Pottery has so much new to discover!
Reviewed July 20, 2013

When I was in my early teens (over 60 now) my Mom would drive from Baltimore to Williamsburg every year to go to the pottery. Sure we did the colonial area but the pottery was the highlight. In the early days you could watch a potter working at his wheel. My first road trip as a new teenage driver was to the pottery. So many wonderful memories. We saw the pottery grow to many warehouses chock full of things you could use or give as gifts. It was THE shopping trip you HAD to make every year.

Alas, these things are now only memories. The pottery is gone, replaced by an upscale strip shopping center. Oh, the names of some of the stores invoke some memories but the reality is stark, modern, sterile and barren. The parking lot which used to be packed with shoppers holds only employees cars. Few visitors. Sadly, there is a break in the strip center where you can look back across the railroad tracks and see one of the old, now empty, warehouses with Williamsburg Pottery in large letters across its side. An American treasure has been lost.

We were there on a Saturday around 1pm. Drove in, asked questions and left brokenhearted at the devastation. We never set foot in a store. When we stopped at a fast food place for a cold drink we asked the manager (someone around our age who had been there a while) what happened. He said the owner died and the family decided to move it upscale. He said it was overpriced and everyone's business was down. I can believe it. We were going to Captain George's Seafood Buffet for dinner (a fantastic place..in Virginia Beach too) but turned around and went home instead.

I sat up for hours thinking about what happened. I am still dumbfounded at the complete and utter failure in business judgement. Perhaps those who have never been there will find it appealing but that is a whole new customer base that will have to be built up over many years. Those of us who remember the "old" pottery have no reason to return.

12  Thank mrb2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg P, Marketing at Williamsburg Pottery, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

We are sorry that you did not get a chance to actually go inside our Marketplaces and see all the wonderful things in store. We offer over 1/2 mile of shopping; there is a lot to see! We hope that you decide to give the Pottery a chance. Please feel free to explore our website. We have a new Google tour available to take a peek of all the wonders inside our doors!

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306 - 310 of 517 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2013

Like so many others, I used to spend a day of our triennial trip to Williamsburg at the Pottery Factory. This year fifteen minutes was enough to confirm there is nothing there worth even looking at much less buying. Years before I had seen a nice fountain I always wanted for my garden. They had dozens if not hundreds back then. Today the selection is better and cheaper at Home Depot. So sad. Nothing left of the place I used to love

11  Thank CapHillLawyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg P, Marketing at Williamsburg Pottery, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

It sounds like there was a fountain you were looking for. Please feel free to contact us- we'd love to try and get that item ordered for you! We have a variety of merchandise coming in all the time and we may have what you are looking for. We are sorry you could not find it during your visit but we'd love the chance to take care of your shopping needs! Thanks!

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Reviewed July 18, 2013

Open letter to owner and marketing of the pottery. If you really read the review you should know the new themes kill the pottery business. It does not work. If you don't believe it, go count how many car in the parking lot.
I drive a few hour from NJ (almost every 2 year) to look for unique shopping experience like the old pottery factory that you can find your suprise and bargain. However, all we found is the same item that I can found from any mall and overprice product. Marketing people always said we will match it. Let me ask you, do you think all this customer come here with all the advistment (for price match) just to buy from your shop?
If you really considered our opinions, bring the old factory back, use the new buildings for cafe, entertainment or office. New buildings and cheap import is not a way to bring your businesses into competition, is a way to drive you out.
Don't wait till too late. Please bring the old factory back, we will come back to support it.

6  Thank Thomass7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg P, Marketing at Williamsburg Pottery, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

We are definitely more than just great values and lowest prices on our merchandise, though that is certainly a nice feature! We don't just import; we have thousands of items that are made in USA and we are a proud retailer of Virginia's Finest, locally grown and manufactured foods, and our local Farmer's Market! We do currently have two cafes and we occasionally have live Entertainment as well! While the old buildings have been closed, our new buildings, though different in appearance on the outside, offer much of the same items we have always carried.

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Reviewed July 14, 2013

I have been going to the pottery factory for 20 years. I had not been there for a few years, we are from NJ, but went back for the 75 year anniversary celebration. What a joke. We went on a weekend and maybe there were 30 cars there. I remember the days when you could not find a place to park. The charm and historic feeling of the old factory were replaced by new buildings with no charm. Most of the pottery had made in china labels. I went there for pottery made in the USA at the factory. There were some pieces made there, but not many. The garden center is a joke, no pottery there and half dead plants. I would not surprised if this factory is gone in a few years when we return. Who ever made the decision to change from the old factory settings to this should be fired. I can stay home in NJ and go to the mall and find the same items. We will not be going back.

9  Thank J C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg P, Marketing at Williamsburg Pottery, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

In regards to your comment: we do have many Pottery-homemade salt glaze pieces that you can order if you did not find the specific pieces you were looking for during your visit; our catalog is available on our website for your convenience.
James Maloney, the founder of the Pottery, made the decision to change to our new facility before he passed away. Our loyal team have dedicated themselves to honoring his memory. We are sorry that you dislike the new exterior.

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Reviewed July 11, 2013

I went to the Williamsburg Pottery Factory, sorry, now called Williamsburg Pottery on the 7th. It’s been over 6 years since I visited last. Until my wife became ill we went every year. To say I was shocked at the changes would be an understatement. I went to get a new bird bath and hopefully to find certain plants for my yard. Instead of the rambling old buildings and tons of hand made pottery, wicker items and all kinds of other items, I found a strip mall with a fraction of those things. They used to have a huge nursery and their own cement foundry. The plant selection is a joke, half of the few plants they had were dried up and dying. They did not have any one piece cement bird baths and only had the base of the two piece type. It would be August before the got more in. Don’t get me wrong. I did find some things to buy and with a 30 percent off sale I did ok. The only positive change was the parking was closer to the buildings. The whole expanse of old and newer buildings is blocked off. They advertise a European Marketplace experience. I don’t know what that is. What I saw was a modern strip mall like any other nearer to home. This is a 1 hour trip each way for me. It was unique the way it used to be. The train tract split the property and there was pedestrian tunnel under the tracts. It was bad enough when the Pecan outlet closed and they built a large solar building. They used to have a factory outlet section and handcraft venders. Would I recommend this place to others? No. If you live near by give it a try but don’t make a special trip.

6  Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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