Cangshan (pronounced Kang-Shan) is the name of a mountain located in southern China and is also the name of a small city where our company founder Henry Liu was born, grew up and married his high school sweetheart Mary.
Eventually Henry started a kitchenware company, after 11 years it grew from 1 to over 800 people and from 5,000 sf2 to 78,000 sf2 as well as 3 manufacturing facilities. It was Henry’s vision and pursuit of excellence without compromise that allowed this amount of growth in such a short time. Business was very good and things were running very smoothly, but Henry was getting restless.
Henry decided he would leave the day to day operations in China and journey to the United States because he likes a challenge. He wanted to pursue the American Dream like all other American Dreamers from The Mayflower to this day.
This new exploration was not as easy as Henry had imagined, even with his business experience. He always dreamed to make functional, beautiful kitchen knives with premier materials crafted by expert bladesmiths. He located the elite material manufacturers from Germany, Sweden, Japan, and the USA, but could not find the right one even after auditing 80+ bladesmiths. It seemed all of them just wanted to handle basic knives like most of the popular brands, there seemed to be no passion to create something unique.
After countless efforts and many factory visits, Henry finally found a knife manufacturer located in Yangjiang China, where cutlery has been a tradition for over 1500 years. After speaking with them he found that they shared his vision and passion to create something truly different. This manufacturer already was making high end cutlery by artisans with years of experience and was selling exceptional quality knives to the European market.
Henry was ecstatic that he found someone with his same vision and spent days hanging around with the factory owner and made a long term joint-venture partnership plan with the factory. This is how Cangshan Cutlery Company was born.
After two years of research, development, samples, molds, and hundreds of hours of design ideas, everything you see now is coming out, one by one from that first talk in that factory in Yangjiang China. From ideas to actual products. As a knife purveyor, Cangshan is unique in offering both Western and Japanese style and performance of products to satisfy the most discriminating members of even the world’s top chefs, while at the same time never sacrificing design.
The world has already recognized the high standard of design and performance by awarding our knives with 9 Red Dot Design Awards, 8 German Design Awards, 3 A’ Design Awards, 5 Housewares Design Awards including Best in Category in 2019, 2 Gourmet Retailer Editor‘s Pick Awards, 2 Gourmet Gold Awards, 1 IDEA Finalist Award and 1 iF Design Award. But the most important award is the reviews and feedback from our thousands of happy customers! Thank you! You have overwhelmed our team and you motivate us to keep going!
In 2018 Cangshan Cutlery and Chef Thomas Keller have come together to begin a new chapter in the world of cutlery. Henry Liu’s uncompromising vision to develop the finest knives in the marketplace and Chef Keller’s continuous drive for innovation have resulted in the multiple award winning Thomas Keller Signature Collection. Cangshan knives are now being utilized at Chef Keller’s critically acclaimed and award winning, Michelin starred restaurants.
By 2020 Cangshan Cutlery could now be found in top retailers like Williams Sonoma and Costco. An exclusive knifeline was launched with Crate&Barrel and we entered into partnerships with factories in Solingen, Germany and Seki, Japan to begin manufacturing German and Japanese made knifelines. We were also chosen for Oprah’s Favorite Things for the second time.
The Cangshan logo was handwritten by Henry’s dad and it is his values and vision passed down to his son that is the real spirit of everything we do at Cangshan Cutlery Company. We always strive for Beautiful Function.