Paul Kiesow retired eight years ago when it seemed Lenox China and Oxford were a permanent match, but that marriage will end next April.
"I had put a whole lot into building that plant and getting it started and very clearly, I'm disappointed it's leaving. [There's] no question about it," he said.
Oxford's loss is Kinston's gain. The Lenox plant there will add 30 jobs to boost production of bone china. Ivory china giftware has not sold as well, and Lenox will depend on cheaper labor overseas.
"It's a very efficient plant and it's one of the more profitable plants, but the fact that you can get this labor-intensive product overseas is probably the financial reason," said Leon Turner, Granville County director of economic development.
Lenox China is owned by Brown-Forman Corp., based out of Kentucky.