With its roots in manufacturing display fixtures for major knife companies throughout the U.S., and creating individual custom displays, Eversharp Kitchen Store located in Minneapolis, MN, is quite familiar with the multitude of cutlery brands available in the marketplace.
However, noted Maddie Jensen, manager of the shop, when it comes to selecting cutlery to carry, the independent gourmet housewares store is keen on selecting brands based on their country of origin. Unlike other categories, when it comes to cutlery, customers are often very particular on where their knives are made.
“People have very strong opinions and they are all good opinions. We found that people are conscious about wanting good quality, and with cutlery, German and Japanese are the countries they think of first,” she said.
For a long time Eversharp only carried German-made Wüsthof knives, however, Jensen slowly started introducing Japanese blades too, based on customer requests.
“In responding to customer needs we added Kikuichi knives made in Japan and found it hit a totally different market and supplemented our German cutlery sales,” she explained. Today, the store also carries Kyocera and Global Cutlery.
And while Eversharp mainly focuses on high-end knives made in Germany or Japan, Jensen said that she definitely has noticed a change and there are other countries that are becoming more known. In addition, Jensen said at this year’s International Home + Housewares Show, she noted some of the newer cutlery manufacturers exhibiting such as Warther Cutlery, based here in the U.S. and TB Groupe, based in France.
And while Jensen stressed the importance of the store keeping its cutlery mix tight, she is on the lookout for other knives that customers may react positively to.
“Being at full capacity in 750 square feet, makes it harder [to bring in new brands]but we usually start small and with an item that is on sale and go from there,” she noted.