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The Messermeister Story

A life story that began with a knife

The story of Messermeister, meaning Knife Master, began with one man’s passion for premium German cutlery. Born in Germany and raised in Mudgee, Australia, Bernd Dressler migrated to America in 1967 and began his career in sales for a large German knife company. Bernd later began his own venture, designing and manufacturing handcrafted, forged German cutlery. Bernd’s innovations include the first bolsterless heel, the first truly cambered chef’s knife and the sharpest polished edge angle. After more than 3 decades, the Messermeister brand of knives and culinary accessories continues to win the hearts of cooking enthusiasts worldwide.

1981

Bernd and Debra Dressler begin distribution of German and Japanese products as DAMCO (Dressler American Marketing Company). Bernd hits the road in his camper van with his two dogs whilst Debra handles all the book keeping, finances and shipments.

1984

DAMCO debuts at the Gourmet Housewares Show in San Francisco, California.

1985

DAMCO establishes their first knife line, Messermeister with a full bolster, 20 degree bevel, moulded handle and a new innovation knife handle with a personalisation plate. DAMCO integrates Messermeister as the company name. Messermeister, meaning “knife master” is born.



1986

Messermeister moves from Los Angeles to Ojai, California, fulfilling Bernd and Debra’s desire to raise their daughters in a small rural town, similar to Berndt’s childhood years in Mudgee, NSW, Australia.

1988

Messemeister patents the first Edge Guard.

1992

The Meridian and San Mortiz Elite knife line are introduced to the US market as the first truly bolsterless heel, cambered chef's knife with the sharpest polished edge and 15 degree bevel. For the first time, the entire knife edge can be truly sharpened from heel to tip.

1993

Park Plaza and Four Seasons are added to the range.

1995

DAMCO Australia is formed by Bernd's brother Bruen in Matcham on the NSW Central Coast, exclusively distributing the Messermeister range throughout Australia.

1997

Messermeister introduces the Pro-Touch gadget line.

1998

The very first serrated peeler debuts on the Oprah show.

2002

Bernd tragically passes away and Debra is faced with either selling the company or continuing forward in the spirit of her husband.

2004

The second generation; Kirsten Dressler commits to Messermeister after completing a Business Administration degree, whilst Her sister Chelcea, with a degree in Business and Speech Communication also comes on board as the Regional Sales Manager in Northern California, a territory that was pioneered by her father.
Messermeister becomes Incorporated.

2006

Messermeister lands an exclusive contract with the highly sought after culinary school Le Cordon Bleu.

2008

In a difficult market Messermeister, in its founder’s spirit, moves forward, introducing an extensive colour range to many of their highly rated gadgets and culinary accessories.

2011

With the Japanese Santoku knife style dominating the market, Messermeister develops the first 8" Stealth Chef knife, keeping true to the traditional shape of a chef knife yet combining it with the thinness of a Santoku blade.

2012

With the desire to create a more natural and organic knife line, Messermeister develops the Olivia Elite boasting an exquisite natural, Italian olive wood handle.

2015

After many years of dedication to growing Messermeister in Australia, Bruen Dressler has retired and the legacy passes to JAG Distribution Australia & New Zealand.

Today, many companies have moved into different forging processes. However, Messermeister remains one of the last companies in the world that hot drop, hammer forge knives the old fashioned way. Messermeister’s unique process and attention to detail make it the favourite among chef’s and home cooks alike. More than four decades on, the Messermeister range of knives and culinary accessories continues to win the hearts of cooking enthusiasts worldwide.

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