Small business that sells portion-measuring plates say it's overwhelmed by orders

Plating can make a difference when it comes to portion control and one business found its lighthearted take on dinnerware to highlight portion controls had those who took offense and also an increase in orders tripling their online sales. Photo illustration by Metro Newspaper Service

After Macy's pulled novelty plates that measure food portions by jean size, the small business that designed them has been overwhelmed by online orders.

The retailer pulled the item from its flagship New York City store on Sunday, just hours after a Twitter poster blasted the plate's food amount designations for "skinny jeans," "favorite jeans" and "mom jeans."

Since then, online orders have tripled, said Mary Cassidy, who co-owns Bedford Hills, New York-based Pourtions with her husband Dan Cassidy. She said their business, which was founded a year ago, has been overwhelmed with positive feedback.

"As a small business just starting out, we are startled about what has happened to say the least," Cassidy said in an emailed statement to The Washington Post. "As parents of two teens, we realize the power of social media and are surprised to be the center of something like this."

While critics read the plate's message as body-shaming, supporters saw it as a humorous take on being mindful of portion size during meals.


Pourtions specializes in labeled glassware and dinnerware labeled with the mission of promoting healthy eating and drinking.

"We feel badly if what was meant to be a lighthearted take on the important issue of portion control was hurtful to anyone," Mary Cassidy said. "Everyone who has appreciated Pourtions knows that it can be tough sometimes to be as mindful and moderate in our eating and drinking as we'd like, but that a gentle reminder can make a difference. That was all we ever meant to encourage."

Pourtions started selling wholesale in small specialty stores in various states before it launched its website to sell directly to customers, Cassidy said. Their products include dinner plates, pasta bowls, appetizer plates, whiskey glasses, wine glasses, and even a wedding collection (the line on the glass jumps from "I do" to "I DID?!?").

The Cassidys design the glassware, which is manufactured by Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Glass. The tableware is made of Polish porcelain, decorated in the Czech Republic, and stored and delivered from Maryland.

The brand, peppered with smiley faces, provides the following mission statement on its website:

"Walk down any street today and one thing becomes immediately clear: we have really let ourselves go. Waistlines are exploding like the national debt. Arteries are jammed like Grand Central Station at rush hour. And there are plenty of helpings of blame to go around - fast food, slow metabolism, excessive elbow-bending. POURTIONS was created to help you take back the power and counter this unhealthy trend."

What To Read Next
Get Local