Kevin Kent's life is anything but boring

Kevin Kent’s life is anything but boring

What started as a fascination with medieval Japanese tradition and the traditional artwork of forging blades morphed over 15 years into Knifewear, a series of 5 shops promoting distinctive, high-end Japanese cast cutlery and razors. by hand.

Kevin Kent’s life is something however boring.

He does not prefer it in his private life, his politics, and most significantly, his knives.

What started as a fascination with medieval Japanese tradition and the traditional artwork of forging blades morphed over 15 years into Knifewear, a series of 5 shops promoting distinctive, high-end Japanese cast cutlery and razors. by hand.

“There was a renaissance of handmade crafts,” says Kent. “Customers are searching for merchandise which have a chic design and are produced from high quality supplies.”

Lots of the dearer knives that Knifewear sells are handcrafted by Japanese blacksmiths, forging skinny layers of Damascus metal for energy. Costs vary from $60 to $5,000.

“Ferrari are dearer than Toyota,” he explains.

For the one that cooks for themselves, spending various hundred {dollars} for a single knife may appear a bit extreme, however not for the intense skilled chef, in response to Kent.

“Each knife we ​​promote has a cool story,” Kent says. “For instance, in Ottawa we provide Moritaka knives, a household of blacksmiths who’ve been making knives in Japan for 730 years. Their blades final for hundreds of years.

Kent first encountered Japanese knives – the holy grail of kitchen utensils for skilled cooks – when he was sous chef at a elaborate London restaurant in 1999.

It was the start of meals tradition, superstar cooks, and the demand for costly hand-forged Japanese cutlery. A transformed man of types, Kent has lowered his work within the kitchen to promote Japanese knives to his chef buddies from a backpack.

Knives first caught on with cooks after which with bold eaters who establish as foodies.

“It seems that each home has a kitchen, so the demand was there,” Kent says.

Again in Calgary, ostensibly to open his personal restaurant, Kent took the $8,000 he had saved and as a substitute purchased greater and higher knives from Japan, promoting them at an area farmer’s market stand and performing deliveries on his mountain bike.

“I obtained as much as 15 calls a day asking me once I was going to open a retailer,” he remembers.

In 2008 he opened his first Knifewear retailer, a mixture kitchen gun store and funky head store with t-shirts designed and illustrated by Pierre Lameille. Kent’s intention for the shop was fairly informal California, only a cool place to hang around, meet different meals individuals, and purchase a t-shirt. The t-shirt half did not work. The knives, nonetheless, had been so in style that Kent knew he is likely to be onto one thing he may take nationally.

It opened shops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa in 2013. It has since added a line of razors and grooming and conventional shaving equipment which it has named Kent of Inglewood. Every little thing is displayed on the shop’s web site www.knifewear.com

“Ottawa was a pure alternative as a result of it has a robust meals scene,” Kent explains. “Cosmopolitan and Quebecois, the tradition of the capital area is made up of fine tables and worldwide delicacies for an knowledgeable clientele.

It plans to open a brand new retailer in Toronto and a second in Vancouver in 2023 and one in Kyoto in some unspecified time in the future.

Kent’s ardour for all issues Japanese means he goes there twice a yr, has studied the tradition extensively and plans to open a blacksmithing faculty in Japan within the close to future.

Working as a chef, Kent says, was the proper technique to put together for all times as an entrepreneur.

“You’re employed lengthy hours for low pay, you study to function creatively inside a price range, it’s important to create a brand new menu on daily basis and know what’s in style and what will not promote, you make the product, you then hand it off to the supply employees known as the wait employees,” he says. “Then you definately do it once more tomorrow. It is a microcosm of enterprise launch.


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