Have you ever wondered how products find their way to the US market? When I was in law school, I remember thinking to myself who was it that discovered Perrier water, and why did he or she think Americans would pay for water. Needless to say, today not having bottled water is unthinkable. This was the beginning of my quest to find a product not sold in the United States that I thought would be popular in this country.
I started my quest by visiting European trade shows in Milan, Italy, Frankfurt, Germany and Basel, Switzerland. I did not find Global knives during my first visits to these trade shows and Global was not the first product for which I was the exclusive US distributor.
In 1989, I was on my way to the Frankfurt shows. In those days, the Frankfurt show was actually two separate shows, the Ambiente and (if my memory is correct) the Premier. On my way to Frankfurt, I stopped in Zurich for a short visit and stopped in a store that I always went to for inspiration. There on the wall in the store were these beautiful kitchen knives that I had never seen before. I immediately became obsessed with these knives and had to find out all about them. I asked to see them and took note of all the markings on the knives. The brand was Global and they were made in Japan.
The next day I was at the Ambiente show, and I always visited the far eastern sections of the show. There in the Japanese trade section was a tiny booth with Global knives displayed with a bunch of other Japanese housewares. I couldn’t believe my good luck. I had a chance to actually cut with the knives and test their performance. I have to be honest, my only reference point were my knives at home which were not the best. I was blown away by how sharp they were. The person working the booth did not speak the best English, but I learned quite a bit about Japanese knife making and the long history behind it.
As soon as I got back to the United States, I placed my first order and the rest is history.