Patrick Roehrman makes outstanding – and very sharp – knives. He also drinks quantities of coffee, preferring java from Indonesia but perfectly willing to drink strong, quality brew.
As founder and sole employee of MT Knives, Patrick follows his own path: he configures the business to meet his preferences, health, and the changes that life brings. Life, as it turns out, has brought Patrick and Emily a large and close family of creative, brainy boys, girls, women, and men who understand both the value and the cost of walking one’s own path.
Patrick has dealt with asthma from his early years; he realizes that his lungs are challenged. Still, most of his previous jobs – welding, for example – have been bad for anyone’s lungs. However satisfying the work, its major purpose has been to earn a living. He has been reticent to get his maturing children involved even with a knife business, one of Patrick’s creative passions. The equipment can be dangerous to use and creates unsafe side products like metal dust. Patrick and Emily don’t want to expose their children to such conditions.
MT Knives Plus…
Recently, Patrick has managed to incorporate his family by choosing tasks they’re mature enough to perform and by letting go some of the reins. This started when he got a batch of bad knife sheaths. Remembering his own joy working wood, Patrick used the next gifting occasion to give one of his sons a scroll saw. Malachi wanted to make things on his own. The result is a new line of wood items and a major step toward turning a one-man show into a family business. The younger Roehrmans have reached ages when they should, and want to begin working. Joining Patrick in the shop, primarily in projects unrelated to knife-making, launches his offspring toward supporting themselves without requiring such parental help as transportation. “It’s like permaculture,” Patrick says, “the more things you keep in the most efficient work space, Zone 1, the better.”
People love Patrick’s premium hand-crafted knives. They’re happy to wait months to receive the carefully created and scrupulously sharpened blades and lovely handles, often made of beautiful wood. This is the same wood the rest of the Roehrman tribe uses for carved spoons and jewelry. And here’s a secret: much of this wood is scavenged from a nearby sawmill’s offcuts.
Malachi and his scroll saw carve some of the beautiful wood into dangles – wood that would otherwise be burned for heat. Emily and other family members turn the dangles into earrings. Several Roehrmans carve spoons. Some produce the packaging and care for the website. There’s more to come. Just watch this family create hand-crafted products you’ll be unable to resist. Under Dad’s leadership, they’re intentionally building a family conglomerate of small businesses, learning an array of skills as they go.
March: Patrick’s Private Reserve
Java Organic Kayumas Taman Dadar comes from a small region in Indonesia, grown by another family in a very different business. It is wet-hulled, using a uniquely Indonesian processing method in which the coffee parchment is removed before the final drying is complete, producing a hallmark Indonesian flavor. “Taman dadar” means “flower garden:” smell and taste the natural floral overtones, no matter if you drink your coffee hot, cold, black, or white.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to join the Coffee of the Month Club.