Knife Sharpening Returns to Honest Weight

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Have you ever tried to cut a tomato with a blunt knife, only to have it glance off and miss your finger? Summer’s here. Time to get your knives sharpened!

May 10, 2017 was the day that professional knife sharpening returned to Honest Weight! I’m Chaz Martel, the Delmar Sharpener, and I’m back at the Co-op, sharpening knives for our customers. My return may give reason for new customers to shop at the Co-op and old ones to return, specifically for this service.  All we have to do is get the word out!

I first began sharpening knives at the old store in 2009, after sending an email to the Co-op, informing them of my professional services. I was invited to make a presentation to the Management Team, and the Board voted to allow me to practice my trade at the store, even though there were two other people sharpening knives, for free, to earn member hours.

Because of family and personal issues, it took a while for me to build a business share, but by the time we moved into the new store and I settled into a location that worked well to attract customers, I was doing a robust business sharpening at least 30 knives (including scissors and garden tools) every Wednesday afternoon at the Co-op.  Business was so good that I asked the Leadership Team what I could do to expand my hours to Thursdays in addition to Wednesdays.

During the Co-op’s challenges and difficulties around 2015, I was asked to suspend my service for a while. Although I wasn’t allowed to continue my sharpening business at the Co-op at that point in time, I maintained a presence at the Co-op by remaining on the Communications Committee, and eventually becoming co-chair of it with Nickleson Cook.

Now, I’m back sharpening knives on our property. CCO Rick Mausert has agreed to let me set up shop outdoors between the plant department and the loading dock. You can see my blue pop-up tent there on Wednesdays. I’m generally ready for people by 2:30 PM and I begin breaking down my set-up around 6:30 PM. When I’m not sharpening, you’ll see me about the entryway to the store, passing out reminder slips.  I’ll only be there on days when the weather is suitable (no storms or cold weather days).

I’m hoping to be able to reach out to all our customers, attract new ones, and restore relationships with my old customers. So, bring your knives in for sharpening at the Co-op on Wednesdays between 2:30 PM and 6:30 PM.  I can also be found sharpening knives, scissors, and garden tools at the Delmar Farmers Market on Saturdays, from 9 AM to 1 PM, and at the Niskayuna Co-op on Tuesdays from 2 PM  to 7 PM.

Be sure to get your knives done sooner rather than later.  One of my regular customers put off sharpening her knives until the week before Thanksgiving last year, and was not able to get them to me in time. Unfortunately, she shredded her turkey! The good news is that she was able to get them done the week after Thanksgiving, and her holiday roast in December was neatly sliced paper thin with her freshly sharpened knives.

I anticipate that, with regular weather patterns now expected, I’ll be sharpening at the Co-op this year to some time in October.  I’m at Niskayuna year-round. The Delmar Farmers Market closes the Saturday before the Christmas holiday.

I also sharpen and adjust reel mowers in the Capital District.  This is usually a house call, so travel is factored into the charge.  Some people even drop off their mowers to my home in Glenmont and pick them up after they’ve been sharpened.

Keep a sharp eye out as future articles will be forthcoming about how to care for, store, and purchase new knives.

My phone’s voicemail box is perpetually full, but don’t worry, I’ll call you back if I can see your number. My e-mail address is Delmarsharpener [AT] aol.com.

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Chaz is a resident of Glenmont. He launched his career as a Cutler at the Honest Weight Food Co-op in 2009. Chaz is very grateful for the support of the Co-op over the years, as his work has miraculously enabled him to pay his bills in full every month. Chaz is a believer and worships regularly at the First United Methodist Church in Delmar, leads several study groups, and sings in the choir. Chaz is a single dad of a lovely young woman seeking to launch her acting career in New York City. He has lunch regularly with his mother, and regularly mows her lawn.