The Knife Factory at The Shoppes at Mill Creek is a Cut Above

Posted by: Caryn Best in Uncategorized

Knives are simple tools. A well-made knife resonates on a primal level.”  Bob Kramer, ABS Master Bladesmith

Lou Kindelberg is the owner of The Knife Factory in St. Augustine, Florida

Lou Kindelberger is the owner of The Knife Factory in St. Augustine, Florida

After my visit to The Knife Factory on State Road 16 near the St. Augustine Outlets, I vow to never again take my kitchen knives for granted.  Form and function are so elegantly executed in the unassuming knife.  And they make my favorite pastime of eating so much easier! So grateful was I this morning that I have just the right bread knife to evenly and smoothly cut through my bagel and a fine filet knife for slicing perfect slivers of tomato.  Of course you can also acquire a tomato knife for exactly that task. In fact, there seems to be a knife designed for every task in the kitchen, and several outside of the kitchen too.  Lou Kindelberger, owner of The Knife Factory, introduced me to a fantastic array of cutlery. 

IMG_0559Lou Kindelberger started The Knife Factory in 1989 in Orlando.  He opened his first St. Augustine location at the outlet mall and recently moved to the Shoppes at Mill Creek, a shopping center next to Sonny’s Barbecue and across from St. Augustine Harley Davidson on SR 16.  The Knife Factory offers the largest selection of cutlery in Florida, including pocket, sporting, kitchen, tactical and collectible knives.  The store carries Wustof, Shun, Global and Henckels kitchen cutlery.  They are an authorized dealer of Benchmade and W.R. Case products, offering a full line of automatics and W.R. Case collector knives. Lou also has swords in his shop which are so beautiful and exotic that you can certainly understand the appeal for collectors.  The next time I have to drag my son reluctantly to shop for new clothes at the outlets, I will surprise him with a stop at The Knife Factory to ooh and aah over the samurai swords, collectible knives, throwing knives and other unusual cutlery.

For sportsmen, Lou has a wide array of hunting, fishing and diving knives. I made a mental note of the Bear Grylls of Man Vs. Wild fame line of survivor knives by Gerber as a great gift for my brother-in-law.  Some of the W.R. Case collector knives were as beautiful as a piece of jewelry and would make a great man’s gift.  Not only is Lou an expert on knives, he’s a straight talker who gives sound advice without any hint of sales speak.  He explained, “There’s a tendency for some folks to think that products from China or Taiwan are not as well-made as the German brands, but actually some of the new lines like Rock Creek’s hunting and utility knives are extremely well-made and some of the finest swords we see come from China.” The Knife Factory also offers cutlery lines from well-known weapon manufacturers like Smith & Wesson and Colt.  The store has an ongoing special on Smith & Wesson knives that are $14.99 or 4 for $50.For me, The Knife Factory’s kitchen collection was inspiring.  Lou has a strong chef following locally and says that 70% of his professional chef customers prefer Wustof. He explained that forged blades are the key to a knife that will last a lifetime and the new ceramic kitchen knives are absolutely the sharpest. He finds the younger generation of chefs tend to prefer Global, a sleek line of cutlery from Japan.  Lou explained that there’s a trend toward more customized purchasing of cutlery rather than full-sets.  At his store, engaged couples can register for knives that will last a lifetime and choose exactly which they want.  Says Lou, “Everyone used to buy full block sets of knives but they usually would only use a couple of those knives regularly. Now we help couples choose only the knives they need and want.”  Additionally, Kershaw pocket knives have become popular groomsmen gifts for bridal parties.

After my visit to The Knife Factory, I’m still thinking about a particularly well-executed 7” Santoku Knife, preferred by Rachael Ray. It surely will make me a more efficient cook, if not better.  I envision slicing and dicing my way to gourmet feasts. Or at least a casserole or two.

The Knife Factory is located at 2730 SR 16 in St. Augustine, Florida.  Visit their website at www.eknifefactory.com, fan them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/The-Knife-Factory/291442506844, call them at 904-829-5960.


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