In celebration of 40 years operating in Santa Barbara, the Italian Pottery Outlet will host an open house with live music on April 1 at 929 State St. The event will take place 11am – 8pm.

To toast the occasion, refreshments will include antipasti and Prosecco. Also, the shop is offering a 25% storewide sale and a gift-with-purchase giveaway.

“We’re really thrilled to achieve this milestone; to work together as a family and accomplish something lasting,” said Julie Spalluto, who is a daughter, sister, and partner in the company.

Spalluto’s parents Ben and Carol Spalluto started importing together in the Los Angeles area before they retired to Santa Barbara.

Ben, a native of Castellana Grotte, Italy, came to the states in the 1950s and married Carol, who was from Santa Barbara. They found they both shared a love for fine Italian ceramics, and it was their dream to bring the high-quality, handmade, hand-decorated ceramics to the attention of the U.S. market.

These pottery items are made in the smaller Italian factories by artisans and their families, using techniques handed down from generation to generation.

In the following years, while learning the retail market and finding suppliers in Italy, the Spallutos hoped their children could be involved sometime in the future.

In 1996, daughter Julie joined the business, followed soon after by her sister Adele. A few years later, their son Joe joined the business.

The company began as Arte D’Italia Imports, a wholesale operation, which was originally located in Tujunga, California.

After moving to Helena Avenue near Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, the Italian Pottery Outlet was born. In 2008 the business relocated to State Street in the city’s downtown shopping district.

Italian Pottery Outlet’s website was launched in 1998 and has helped reach a wider audience beyond Santa Barbara.

The Spalluto family extends gratitude to all the loyal customers and employees who have shared a love of Italian ceramics with them throughout the years.