Collectible Restaurant Ware Tepco Pottery Beach


Which one of those words don’t belong? Which one of those words don’t quite fit? You guessed it Sherlock, the word Beach is what I was looking for.
Have you ever been sitting at your desk and said to yourself, “Okay, I’ve had enough of this. I need a breather.” Today was that day.
Creepy E mentioned on Thursday that low tide would be at 9:45 this morning, Friday. So, with buckets and gloves in tow, we made our way (it took 6 minutes to get there) to Point Isabel. Or more commonly known as Tepco Beach.
Wachu talkin’ ’bout Willis? I’m talking about Tepco Beach. The place where a local China Ware company over 50 years ago would dump all their imperfect or damaged plates, platters, mugs, bowls and whatever else needed to go. Tepco’s deal was they made heavy duty restaurant ware and put fancy patterns on it. They even made china for our armed forces. So, the variantions are immense and fun and very collectible. Well, at least their collectible when they aren’t in a million little pieces.
Wanna come play at the beach?



Point Isabel is a peninsula just east of San Francisco. Look the right, where you can’t see it, is the golden gate bridge. We parked out near the dog park and hiked around south a bit. The area that these shards are spread goes for probably a quarter mile or so. This gives one time to scrounge under rocks, play with baby crabs, dodge the fleas and basically get muddy looking for anything that might catch your eye. These would be mug rings (broken mugs with nothing left but the finger handle), colored shards, shards with designs, partial platters with same colors and designs or maybe a cool lookin’ stick.

Here was my first find, look hard and see if you can find the mug. Yup, there it is. While it was whole, it had a bit of cracking, barnacles, brown stuff, green stuff and a lot of mud thrown in for good measure.

I think it’s kinda pretty this way.

Here’s Creepy’s collection that spans a few weeks worth of rooting around. I left the image a bit large, so if you click on it you can get a decent idea as to what he’s found. Western Traveler patterns, The Burger Pit dinner platter, Tad’s Steaks, air-brushed wagon wheel and many more.
Here’s what I found, sigh.

Not very exciting, but at least they say Tepco and I think they’re pretty. What are we going to do with shards, mug rings and sticks? I dunno, I put some in my potted plants at home. And it’s kinda fun to see the patterns first hand. If you do a search on ebay for Tepco, you can get pictures and prices. But I’m not going to fork out 75+ dollars for a plate, sorry. So, it’s fun to see for free what all the fuss is about.
To sum it all up, this was a nice breather from work and a much needed clearing of ones mind and it took less than an hour. How could this possibly be wrong?
Biggles
ps – If you’re interested in knowing a bunch more about Tepco please visit: Tepco History

19 thoughts on “Collectible Restaurant Ware Tepco Pottery Beach

  1. Bigg-les, you did it again! You amazed me!
    I love this venture of frolic and fun.
    It is precisely what is missing from my life of overspill from paperwork, micromanagement and downright “Blahhhhhhhhh” of the everyday work scene.
    Wonderful adventure. Thanks so much for this fresh-air deep breather getaway!
    Hugs!

  2. What a swell adventure, so close to home! And who knew? There’s something mysteriously fascinating about shards and bits of former possessions, no? I remember walking on my grandpparents’ land after the garden was plowed in the spring, looking for chunks of old pottery and glass that had been turned up, and later collecting sea glass everywhere I went near the ocean. Thanks for the tale about your afternoon.

  3. Way kewl Dr.B. That looks like more fun than digging through Urban Ore’s backyard. Don’t know what to do with the stuff but it’s fun.

  4. Hi!
    Yeah, nothing quite so pretty, yet. I have my outdoor cooking area’s potted plants and such adorned with it. And a cute Mexican clay pot filled with shards. I’m getting there!
    Biggles

  5. I read your article on Tepco and tried to find it today. I parked in the lot at Point Isabel and headed north, I think. Which way do I go from the parking lot? Toward the left and the Bay Bridge or to the right? And, does it have to be low tide and is there a place where there aren’t so many huge rocks next to the waterline? I have sold some pieces of Tepco on eBay and love to find it at yard sales. Would love some shards to make a mosaic. Kathleen from Lafayette.

  6. Hey Deb,
    There is still stuff to find, but it isn’t easy. You need to bring a little garden trowel, some good gloves and a plastic bucket.
    OOOO, found a map! http://www.e-z-smith.com/map.html
    I like to go at low tide so I can get more to see. But the all-time master of finding things there likes it between. That way he can run down and wash off what he’s found.
    In any case, it’d be a fun trip and there’s plenty of places down here to go have lunch afterwards. Cheers!
    Biggles

  7. I have a dinner plate by Tepco the has red air brushing and a standing red fox that covers much of the surface. Can anyone identify the origin of this plate and/or what restaurant or cafe’ it was made for? All info is appreciated.

  8. Hey Linda,
    I got no idea, but most of the information I’ve found for the Tepco pottery has come from ebay. At some point, one like it will show up and you’ll probably get some information about it.
    Biggles

  9. I collected a couple of bins worth of pottery remnants from this beach for a “shipwreck” birthday party 3 yrs ago. Getting set to return for more, to do mosaics when we concrete over our yard in a few months! Found some beautiful and strange pieces — hope for more!!

    • It’s nice to read articles that inform us of the history of companies imigrants began and succeeded in and all the hard work involved by the whole family.
      And the products still used today in my kitchen.
      So it’s not just stuff no one knows what to do with,or the price value some place on it,it’s the history and integrity,family,craftsmanship that we hardly see today,got that?

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