We think every merchant we work with for Provisions is special -- but when we find one with a great story, we'll be featuring them here. Because we want to tell the world about our favorite makers.
Today: Meet the duo behind R. Murphy Knives who make sure their products look and stay sharp.
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As we move from one holiday to the next, we've got our eyes on a certain set of knives. Collections like All About Cookies and Handmade Gifts have us writing our own lists, but like anyone who's experienced the day-to-day of cooking, we adore our kitchen standbys most of all. One kitchen essential that never goes out of season? A good knife.
Mimi Younkins and Mark Furman have headed up R. Murphy Knife Company since 2009, but the company's legacy precedes them by about a century and a half. R. Murphy was founded in Massachusetts 163 years ago (President Millard Fillmore might have carved his Christmas goose with an R. Murphy knife) and Mark and Mimi have more than embraced what's so great about a company with a history -- namely, its methods.
R. Murphy uses up-to-date technology to make sure that their product is the best it can be, but they've resisted the modern pull to become fully automated. All of their knives are still hand-crafted, meaning that every knife has an actual person hand-grinding the blade and making sure that it is ready to chop, slice, and julienne.
Another modern pitfall they have avoided? The rise in stainless steel over carbon steel knives. Stainless steel is popular for its pretty sheen, but carbon steel stays sharper for longer and is easier to re-sharpen, which is why it was a favorite of Julia Child's. (We think that's a good sign.)
R. Murphy Knives has been with Provisions since our second collection. We first loved them for their shellfish knives, and we weren't alone -- their oyster knife was named Best in America by America's Test Kitchen!
We jumped at the chance to partner with them on an exclusive collection of chef's knives made out of sturdy, reclaimed pecan wood, salvaged from the factory floor of an old Chrysler Plant. And in a building of its size, there's a lot of room for natural variation in the pecan wood; which means each knife is unique.
To read more about Mimi and Mark of R. Murphy -- and to see their knives -- head here.