A tisket, a tasket - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

A tisket, a tasket

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Over the past 40 years, you've no doubt seen a few, probably owned a couple, wished you one still had one, but soon there will be no more.

It's a fond farewell to the Del Mar company that's losing its noodles.

Along the languid river that backsides the racetrack, John Laver's life has become a basket case.

“We take a handful of noodles and sort of stick them up in position,” explained John.

His legacy entwined in the mud, clay and DNA that have turned his life from ironic to iconic.

For the last 40 years, John has transformed his factory into Eucalyptus Stoneware and after a few early missteps learned how to build a better bread basket.

“They are stoneware clay. You can heat them in the oven, so they'll keep your bread warm,” said John.

Orders started flying in from trade shows around the country.

“I think we have made between a million and a million and a half, since 1979,” John added. “Most of my business has been from the other side of the Rocky Mountains.”

There Eucalyptus Stoneware has turned a convenience into a necessity.

“Many people have said, ‘it's like paper towels in their stores.' They have to have them. They have them just like they have to have paper towels in a grocery store,” John said.

But the basket maker much prefers the view from here.

“It's one of the lucky parts of my life. I've been here 40 years, doing something that I really love,” John noted.

Steady and simple, just like the river.

But after 40 years of rolling with the river and drifting with the Del Martains, John Laver has noodled enough.

“This will be the last basket made at Eucalyptus Stoneware,” said John.

But the memories of finding his special place will remain as warm as a Del Mar morn and as fresh as baked bread.

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