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Knife Company Outgrowing its Hawthorne Home

Zwilling J.A. Henckels, the oldest knife company in the world, has called Westchester County their United States home for more than 50 years. And the global company, which bases their United States headquarters and distribution center on Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne, plans to keep it that way.

"We feel we are a part of Westchester in a way with so many years here and most of my people here at the company are from Westchester so why move the company if everything is running in the right direction?" CEO/President of U.S. Operations Guido Weishaupt said.

Founded in Germany in 1731, the company has recently expanded its products to cookware and kitchen devices. As a result, the current 70,000 sq. ft. United States headquarters in Hawthorne is becoming too small. Moving to a new location may be necessary, yet the company has no intention of leaving Westchester, Weishaupt said.

Weishaupt moved to Westchester from Germany about four years ago and notes that not only would a move from Westchester be a burden for his employees, but also for himself and his family.

"[The transition] was quite a challenge," Weishaupt said. "It was a very bold move for us and I had a lot of support from my family and wife and they enjoy it now and they don't want to leave."

A potential new site for the headquarters could be in Pleasantville, about three miles from the current headquarters. The new 100,000 sq. ft. location would be large enough to accommodate the more than 10 million knives that pass through every year to be distributed nationwide. According to Weishaupt, the move could take place in the next 12-18 months.

Mount Pleasant natives should also be excited about the company choice to stay local. Jeffrey Elliot, director of culinary relations, says the company's annual warehouse sale brings thousands of customers.

"People start lining up around the building about two hours beforehand," Elliot said. "It became so popular that we actually had to build a separate room for the sale,"

This year, the sale that brings prices of up to 70% off is set to take place Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 2-4.

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