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About Messermeister

Founded in 1981 by Bernd Dressler, Messermeister is a leading manufacturer of premium handcrafted chef's knives, kitchen cutlery and cooking tools, the go-to brand for everyone from professional chefs to at-home cooks. A women-owned, California-based company with German heritage, Messermeister (“messer” meaning knife and “meister” meaning master) is committed to delivering sustainable best-in-class chef knives, kitchen accessories and award-winning culinary tools, sourcing the world to find the very best manufacturing quality at the right price for the market. Located in the heart of Ojai, California, Messermeister is now led by Dressler’s wife Debra and daughters Kirsten and Chelcea, who continue the second generation company’s mission to bring innovation and creativity to kitchens around the world.

1981: Bernd and Debra Dressler begin distribution of German and Japanese products as DAMCO (Dressler American Marketing Company). Bernd hits the road in his campervan with his two dogs while Debra handles all the bookkeeping, finances and shipments.
1984: DAMCO debuts at the Gourmet Housewares Show in San Francisco, California.
1985: DAMCO establishes its first knife line, Messermeister. The knives are full bolster, 20° bevel with a molded handle. The knife line is innovative, featuring a knife handle with a personalization plate. DAMCO integrates Messermeister as the company name. Messermeister, meaning 'knife master' in German is born.
1986: The business moves from Los Angeles to Ojai, California, because of Bernd and Debra's desire to raise their two daughters in a small rural town, similar to Bernd's childhood years in Mudgee, NSW, Australia.
1988: Messermeister patents the first Edge-Guard.
1992: The Meridian and San Moritz Elite knife line are introduced to the US market as the first truly bolsterless heel, cambered chef's knife with the sharpest polished edge and 15° bevel. The entire knife edge can be truly sharpened from heel to tip.
1993: Two stamped knife lines are added to the collection, Park Plaza and Four Seasons.
1995: DAMCO Australia is started by Bernd's brother, Bruen Dressler, in Matcham on the Central Coast of NSW, exclusively distributing the Messermeister range throughout Australia.
1997: The Pro-Touch gadget line is introduced.
1998: The very first serrated peeler debuts on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
2002: Founder Bernd Dressler tragically passes away. Debra is faced with either selling the company or continuing forward in the spirit of her husband.
2004: Chelcea and Kirsten Dressler commit to Messermeister after completing business degrees. Messermeister becomes incorporated.
2006: Messermeister lands an exclusive contract with the highly regarded culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu.
2008: Despite facing a difficult market, Messermeister chooses to introduce an extensive color range to many of its highly rated gadgets and culinary accessories.
2011: With the Japanese Santoku knife style dominating the market Messermeister develops the first 8-inch Stealth Chef's knife, remaining true to the traditional shape of a Chef's knife, but combining it with the thinness of a Santoku blade.
2012: With the desire to create a more natural and organic knife line, Messermeister develops the Oliva Elité, which boasts an exquisite, natural Italian olive wood handle.
2015: Continuing with small batch, artesian craftsmanship the Royale Elité provides the first hand selected, highly figured California Burl Walnut handle with the best German steel, a rare and unique blend of knife.
TODAY: Many companies have moved in different forging processes, but Messermeister remains one of the few companies in the world to produce hot-drop, hammer forged knives the traditional way. Messermeister's unique process and attention to detail make it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike. After more than three decades, the Messermeister brand of knives and culinary accessories continues to win the hearts of cooking enthusiasts worldwide.

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