Richardson Sheffield is re-introducing a range of Sheffield-made kitchen knives as it seeks a return to its glory days in the run up to its 175th anniversary.
The firm, which shot to fame in the early 1980s with its world-beating, innovative range of stay sharp Laser Knives, has seen a radical improvement in its fortunes since being bought by the Dutch-based Amefa group six years ago.
Having ceased production in Sheffield prior to Amefa’s acquisition, the company, which today opens a factory shop at its new Handsworth headquarters, is once again having knives designed and made in the city where it started out in 1839.
The new range – aptly named after the year Richardson Sheffield was founded – reflects historic designs, with a rosewood handle secured with the unobtrusive, small rivets that were traditionally used on Sheffield-made knives.
“We wanted to create something that harked back to what Sheffield was famous for in knife making and to give it a contemporary twist, to make it relevant for the 21st century,” says Amefa(UK) managing director John Horton, who has led the resurgence of Richardson Sheffield in the city.
The 1839 range won’t go on sale until later in the year but has already won the approval of potential retail customers at the Spring Fair in Birmingham and in Frankfurt – the two leading global house ware shows.
“The response has been excellent,” said Mr Horton. “People love it because it is traditional, but also has a shape that is quite modern. The specialist cook shops in the UK are really interested and that was the prime target.”
The new factory shop at Richardson Sheffield’s Lion Works on Orgreave Drive will be open over the holiday period from 10am to 5pm today, on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday.