Evan Atwell, owner and founder of STRATA, a whetstone knife sharpening and knife sales business, has announced that he is relocating his business to a much larger space later this spring.
Just over two years ago, Mr. Atwell opened his business in Unit 4 of the black box complex at 93 Washington Avenue on the east end of Portland. It was obvious almost immediately that it would not be long before this business incubated in a shipping container at 93 Washington Avenue would outgrow the space and be ready for a larger space.
“On May 1st, we will get the keys to 93 Washington Avenue. We will be opening in this much larger space on June 1st,” said Ryan Perrier, general manager of STRATA recently. A former chef, Perrier said that the front wall of the space will be replaced with an all glass window to aid in displaying product. In the back of the space, plans are underway to offer classes to many who have expressed interest in learning how to sharpen knives and on how to cut properly with different types of knives. “Many of our customers have expressed interest in learning these skills,” said Perrier. The expanded space will permit the sale of cookbooks and kitchen accessories as well.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic a major part of STRATA’s business came from restaurants. Chefs welcomed this business in their midst because there was nothing like it in the area. So, the pandemic and the closure of restaurants “crushed” STRATA’s business initially. But restaurant closures have grown a big crop of home chefs according to Atwell.
“This has been a great incubator space for our start-up business .and for small businesses with small needs. But now we are ready to move on,” said Atwell. Atwell has a BS in Neuroscience from Oberlin College. He had planned on pursuing a career in research on Alzheimer’s disease. But the isolation of a research career he realized did not fit his outgoing personality.
For more background information on STARTA, please visit post herein dated February 1, 2019.