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Community Blog / The Sharpest Cut in Town.

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In the world of entrepreneurship there are many avenues, one of them is the family business and it is often the case that abstract values of entrepreneurism are replaced with homestyle, familiar and cozy family values. Marty Petlicki of Northwestern Cutlery brings those family values to his business which in his words has been “family owned forever.”


In this edition of Startup Spotlight we’ll take a unique look at Petlicki and Northwestern Cutlery to explore his entrepreneurial situation.


Knives have been around for thousands of years, early humans used sharp stones for cutting meat all the way to contemporary times where there is a knife for every type of utility. Experienced chefs know that their greatest tool is a well made knife, and there are a couple of choices in commercial cutlery. One could go online or order from an infomercial a cheap knife made abroad which often miss over crucial and small details of a knife’s functionality or one could consider a specialty store, like Northwestern Cutlery, to grab knives made for the chef.

The knowledge of a thousand chefs and more have passed through Petlicki’s Cutlery. The challenges of his entrepreneurial experience have been less about the business but in the same vein as many other entrepreneurs: exposure and location. Located in Downtown Chicago some challenges have arisen, for instance, being located under the CTA is a little rough, but in all these years Petlicki has seen Chicago grow around his family’s store and seen Chicago prosper.

His business and experience has created a need for adaptation and Northwestern Cutlery now has a robust eCommerce solution. Northwestern Cutlery can now reach any chef, student or interested individual across the world.


The family aspect of the brick and mortar store still remains. Petlicki likes to think that Northwestern Cutlery is the ‘Cheers of Cutlery,’ and you need not take his word for it, the reviews across the internet are in agreeance. The type of advice and expertise that Petlicki and his staff have gained over all the years isn’t just for sales, but it is a habitual vestige of those family values his business has provided and continues to provide.

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