President promises to buy flatware made in Sherrill

Published Nov 29, 2017 at 4:00pm

SHERRILL — Central New York manufacturing will be represented at President Donald J. Trump’s dinner table thanks to the persistence of Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-22.

Trump promised Tenney he would buy flatware from Sherrill Manufacturing’s Liberty Tabletop brand, after a brief meeting between Trump, Tenney and the company — the last manufacturer of flatware in the United States.

“We had attended manufacturer’s week in Washington in July, and Claudia Tenney spent the time allotted to her asking the president to buy our products. He said he would buy the flatware, because he did not want it given to him. He promised to buy a set of flatware for his personal use after she persisted,” Liberty Flatware President Matthew A. Roberts said.

Tenney’s audience with the president, Roberts said, are part of an ongoing pattern of her supporting the Liberty Tabletop and other local manufacturers.

“Claudia is very persistent,” Roberts said. “She has done a good job representing us, as has Chuck Schumer.”

The flatware will be for Trump’s personal use. Roberts is not sure how many units of the unique knives, fork and spoons will be ordered.

“We will be in contact with one of the president’s representatives regarding what they need,” Roberts said.

Liberty Tabletop is the brand name of products made at Sherrill Manufacturing. Roberts and company CEO Gregory Owens rebuilt the company from the former Oneida Limited.

The company sells about 500,000 units a year to American military bases. Maintaining and growing a successful business that caters to the government remains the company’s top priority.

“We know Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. Some people love him and some people hate him,” Roberts said. “But we are an apolitical organization. Our goal is to make flatware and provide jobs. If Barack Obama, or Trump, or Tenney or Schumer want our product we provide it to them.”

The company has 42 employees in Sherrill and is looking to hire three more.