Tooting Our Own Horn

We’ve always tries to destroy the classic retail mould and do things differently. We try to maintain a customer focus at all times. Our aim is to make people happier after they have visited us than when they arrived. We do this with our engaging staff and their willingness to engage, entertain and educate. Shopping with us should be a genuine experience.


We believe that retail can be a career. To make this a reality we offer living wages (not minimum wage), profit sharing, bespoke health care, Champagne Saturdays, paid sick leave, long service leave (3 month paid sabbatical after 10 years of service), great parties, staff enrichment funds and basically make our staff happy to be at work. Treating staff well is not a hardship, it is a one of the keys to our success.


Which brings us to Tooting Our Own Horn. 2016 was a great year for awards and acknowledgements. We are proud to prove that you can pay proper wages and succeed in the competitive retail environment.


Alberta Venture Fast Growth 50



#18 on Fast Growth 50

For the third year running we are in the Alberta Venture Fast Growth 50. The Fast Growth 50 tracks the fastest growing businesses in Alberta. This year Knifewear Group placed at number 18 on the list. How exciting! 


#123 on Profit 500

Knifewear Group has also landed at number 123 on the Profit 500, the list of the top 500 fastest growing businesses in Canada. Another way to look at it we were the #12 for retail in Canada, #5 in Calgary.


Foreign Minister’s Award from the Japanese Consul General

Kevin Kent was awarded this commendation for promoting Japanese culture outside of Japan. Generally, fewer than one hundred of these are awarded each year and rarely is it awarded to a non-Japanese citizen. The Consul General, Tamura-san, was impressed by the Springhammer films, the selection in our Knifewear shops and of course our staff’s impressive knowledge of traditional blacksmithing and Japanese culture in general.



Business in Calgary Leaders Award

Kevin Kent was recognized this year as an influential business leader in Calgary. This award goes to leaders in the business community who display leadership, not just within their company, but within the larger community of Calgary. Of special interest was Knifewear Group's modern vision of retail and the fund raising initiative of OffCuts 2016.


It feels good to have our hard work and the happiness of our customers culminate recognized by those organizations that track Alberta and Canadian business. It also feels good to be able to thank you, our customers, for the business that helped us get here. Here's to another excellent year together! 


Kevin Kent

Kevin Kent


Kevin Kent’s fascination with Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. In 2007, he began selling handcrafted Japanese knives out of a backpack on the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef at River Café in Calgary, Canada. Kent is just as obsessed with Japanese knives as when he first held one, and a few times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends, to drink far too much sake, and to learn more about the ancient art of knife-making. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns….but he admits the number is rather high. Follow Kevin on Twitter @knifenerd

Related Posts

  • Kevin in Japan: Squid Fishing
    Kevin in Japan: Squid Fishing

      Kevin Kent, CEO and owner of Knifewear, is currently on a business trip to Japan. He wanted to tell you about some ...

  • Chefly Screen Shots
    Chefly Screen Shots

    Back in 2014 Kevin was asked to participate a project called Chefly Screenshots a collaboration between City Palate M...

  • Announcing Knifewear Waterstones
    Announcing Knifewear Waterstones

    As you may know we have long been knife sharpening nerds. We have opinions and experience. After considerable efforts...