Mitchell’s Plating was founded by Teddy Mitchell, who previously worked for a company in Cooper Square, New York.
In 1960, he took a 7-year sabbatical from the firm and began to develop a method to refinish sacred vessels onsite and in 24 karat gold, so churches would not be required to send them out for work—as was the norm—but could cause difficulties.
On June 16, 1967, Teddy opened Mitchell’s Plating in Chicago, Illinois, with a small shop across the street from Wrigley Field, where he also lived—the stone building has since been demolished. From this shop, he would travel to Catholic parishes in the Chicago area to work on their vessels.
Neighboring priests eventually heard that Teddy could refinish their tabernacles and candlesticks at their church, and so a few years later, he expanded his services to include 7 neighboring dioceses; eventually this included a monthly work trip to Iowa.
About 15 years later, Teddy was requested to travel to Indiana for some refinishing work, which opened a new chapter in the history of Mitchell’s Plating. After 6 months of traveling from Chicago to Indiana, he met a priest visiting from Kentucky who requested him to perform some work at his church in Lexington.
This same scenario of obtaining jobs via personal contact occurred several more times, so Teddy began to travel to many different parishes, to the point that a group of neighboring parishes would together book and pay for his travel.
By this time, Teddy’s wife, Sally, and son, Steve, would accompany him during these monthly road trips, starting in the north from Madison, Wisconsin and traveling southwards to Nashville, Tennessee as well as any passing states.
Foretelling the future of Mitchell’s Plating, the young Steve grew up on the road while working with his father, until Teddy was able to hire some workers to travel and drive. This situation continued for a couple of years, but Teddy often had issues with the workers who did not take their job as seriously as he deemed necessary. To resolve this problem, Teddy contacted one of his brothers who joined the company and assisted with the road trips.
In 1988, the company was moved from Chicago to Sugarland, Texas due to prevailing warmer weather conditions and to establish a central location in the States.
One of the climaxes of Mitchell's Plating career was when Pope John Paul II used a chalice refinished by Mitchell's Plating during a morning Mass offered in his private chapel on December 9, 1996.
In 1997—thirty years after the company’s founding—Teddy passed on the reins into the well-trained hands of his son, Steve. He took Mitchell’s Plating to a whole new level by offering its services to the entire United States, even traveling to the state of Hawaii to perform work at several parishes.
Continuing Teddy’s great vision for Mitchell’s Plating, the company’s legacy is fulfilled today by these family members:
- Jacob Mitchell
Mitchell’s Plating is a strong family company that takes great pride in its work, customer service, and dedication to the Catholic Church.
May God bless you.
The Mitchell’s Plating Family