It all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility, a sister plant to WR. Case & Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. A lot has happened since then to establish Bear & Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry. After a series of twists and turns, including a time when the firm actually was owned by Swiss ArmyBrands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as President.
His son Matt, who began working in the factory when he was 18, is Vice-President, as is Ken’s wife Sandy, who has played a key role asVice-President of purchasing and premium department. With their supervisors and management team, they bring a combined knife experience of more than 371 years, including positions with Gerber, Case, Parker Edwards and Schrade. They head a skilled team of 91 knife craftsmen.
As Americans become more and more concerned about jobs lost to overseas sources, they resent it when they see the words “Made in China” on a product. And they have less confidence in the qualityand reliability – especially if it’s a knife.
Bear & Son Cutlery meets the test because 100% of their high-quality knives are made in their state-of-the-art Jacksonville, Alabama plant, where they do all their own tooling, pressing, heat-treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly. “Our fundamental position is clear and absolute: we make high-quality knives, and we make them all right here in the U.S.A.,” said Ken Griffey.
“And when we say Made in America, we mean everything. We’re a family company, and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.”
With a wide range of knives – from big Bowies to popular Butterflies– Bear & Son covers almost every knife need. Their Bear OPS Division, launched in 2011, features a growing line of rugged tactical/survival knives. While the Bear company began in 1991, for Ken Griffey you could say it actually began in 1976, when he went to work for Parker Cutlery, then a Tennessee knife distributor; or in 1986 when Parker USA started producing Damascus and stainless steel blades in Jacksonville.
Matt says he’s been around knives as long as he can remember. From the time he was 4 until he was 10, his mother Sandy engraved blades in their home. And he began working in the factory while still in school.
Clearly, a family business that insists on top quality knives and is dedicated to America.