The Grohmann Story

Grohmann: \'grow man\ Through the horrors of war, the journey to Canada and a father's dream of establishing a knife factory known the world over.

Grohmann Knives Limited is a small family business with a big reputation.

It is an Old World story that began before the second World War, when a commercial buyer from Quebec traveled once a year to a factory in Sudetenland, then a German region of Czechoslovakia, to buy pocket knives. Every year the buyer would urge Rudolph Grohmann the production manager at a plant in Mikulasovice (Nixdorf), to come to Canada , promising him help to get started. Mr. Grohmann would always decline as he was happy in his own country, but after the war, the political situation grew desperate and in 1949 Rudolph Grohmann accepted the offer. Rudolph's daughter Berta married Michael Babinec Sr who was from Rudno nad Hrohom. Within a year, Grohmann and his family arrived in Nova Scotia at the invitation of the provincial government-funded Pictou Cutlery.

Here they worked along with approximately 30 other people. While Pictou Cutlery was in operation, an Arkansas knife company CASE was hired to assist with one large order of 200,000 pcs of folders. However, the Nova Scotia government closed the business after three years and sold off all the machinery. Mr Grohmann and Mr Babinec Sr then went to work at Trenton Steel making Canon shells for the Korean War and then to Fairy Aviation in Shearwater machining airplane parts amongst other jobs. Mr. Grohmann however was determined in his trade to make knives, and built a garage workshop to begin producing and engraving folding knives designed by himself.

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Mike Babinec Sr & Rudolph Grohmann making knives in the garage workshop

 oldRudolph Grohmann showing his many creations

babinec family small  The Babinec's: son Norman, father Mike Sr, son Mike Jr, son Roland,and mother Berta (Grohmann) Babinec

smallmikemichelleCurrently running Grohmann Knives: Michael Babinec Jr and daughter Michelle (Babinec) Jamieson 

 

Arriving in Pictou on the waterfront 1949 Daughter Berta Babinec (Grohmann) with husband Michael Babinec Sr & Mike Jr in carriage, Rudolph Grohmann with wife Anna Grohmann, daughter Anna Sachs (Grohmann) with son Adolph Michael (Adolph Sachs Sr husband to Anna taking the picture)

 

Shown here is Michelle (Babinec) Jamieson and husband Scott with The Kilted Chef Alain Bosse who uses and promotes Grohmann Knives, outside of Grohmann Knives Factory Outlet under the giant Original Design knife cutting through the building.

 How did our distinctively designed knives become so popular when there were already countless other sport knives on the market?

Many sportspersons come each year from the US and other countries to visit Canada and share in our fine fishing, hunting and camping. When visiting many knife shops, these visitors often asked to see a Canadian sports knife but none could be found. Although there were numerous foreign designs of outdoor knives available, the visitors and many of our own best known woodsmen felt that there should be a truly Canadian designed knife that would challenge the traditionally designed knives of the past. A concerned Canadian heeded the call and decided he wanted to be a part of it. Mr Deane H Russell of Ottawa Ontario invited Canadian outdoor writers to cooperate in conduting national scale inquiries amoung professional woodsmen and experienced sportsmen in an effort to discover the features most desired in a modern outdoor knife.  Through a newspaper article Mr Grohmann met with Mr Deane H Russell and together they set out to design a truly Canadian knife. After field testing through hunters and trappers across the north, the DH Russell Best Knife #1 was born, which along with various other designs won many awards and recognitions worldwide. Grohmann and Russell created three more models together, the #2, #3 and #4.

Grohmann Knives Ltd was formed in 1961 by the family, and in 1969 was run by one of Grohmann's daughters Berta and her husband Michael Babinec Sr.  Berta (Grohmann) Babinec also wrote a book about her journey to Canada.   They then passed it down to their sons Michael Jr, Roland and Norman; and now Michael Jr and his daughter Michelle (Babinec) Jamieson (both who attended STFXU) run it today along with approxmately 25 employees.

Over the years, Grohmann Knives continues to grow its product lines, and has added to the award-winning Canadian outdoor & kitchen knives to complement the collection. Six lines of kitchen knives are in production, as well as the award winning outdoor knives. Also many unique, custom made & machine knives are privately branded. Grohmann Knives are sold the world over in many countries.

 

At Grohmann Knives, making knives is as much an art as a trade. The top quality knives are produced with as many as 53 steps between starting point & finished product. Grohmann Knives offers Free Factory Tours of the plant in Nova Scotia. At Grohmann's, it's a matter of pride & family tradition!CONSTRUC

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"The Grohmann Journey to Freedom"

A brutal yet heart-warming personal True Story from one of the original founders of Grohmann Knives, Berta (Grohmann) Babinec.

She recounts her childhood, the horrors of war, their journey to Canada and her fathers dream of establishing a knife factory that is known the world over. A family that has been put through more than most could endure, but still made it through alive and together.

320 pages $14.95

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In Memoriam


Rudolph Grohmann Feb 11, 1895 - May 20, 1978 
Forever in our hearts


Michael Steven Babinec Sept 19, 1926- Nov 14, 2012
Will always be remembered with love



Norman Babinec 1956- 2003
Legacy of Life Nova Scotia Organ & Tissue Donation Program www.legacyoflife.ns.ca
   
   
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