Paul is one of the “young ones”, the generation born and grown in London. He is one of the few sons who kept the family business after having studied at college. Paul started to work for his grandfather in the historical grinder workshop of London.
After 10 years he decided to start his own business buying the “route” (the round of clients) of his uncle Bernardo, who wanted to retire and go back to Italy. Today his enterprise the Italcutlery has fourteen employees and a business of about 1,5 millions pounds per year; recently his son Sam also joined the family business.
Paul works a lot, Monday to Saturday, and the only hobby he has besides work is playing golf. He refurbished the family home in Italy where he used to go on vacation with his mother during his childhood.
He loves to spend a few weeks every year in the Dolomites Valley (Italy) visiting his relatives and the old grinders that have return to their homeland. He enjoys trekking and eating polenta with cheese and wine, products that he loves as his Homeland.
Armo is an old knife grinder, he was born in Dolomites Valley (Italy) and he grew up in London. After sixty years of work, he is planning to retire and is therefore starting an evaluation of his personal and professional life. He is the founder of the London Grinders Association,which he still manages with passion in order to protect the industrial know-how within the little community of people from the Dolomites Valley. Armo’s family is devoted to grinding for the last three generations but today he and his son work only a few days a week in the workshop beside the Victorian Villa where he lives. Armo sold many of his clients to other grinders because his son is not interested in carrying on the profession. Armo dedicates the remaining time he has to his grandchildren. He is in love with his land of origin and each year spends the Summer in his house up in the mountains, meeting old friends and walking in the mountain. Before returning to London he usually goes to pay his respects to a monument of the “knife grinder” which stands at the entrance of the village, and which has been built also due to the contribution given by the London Grinders Association.
Povi was born and bred in London. He grew in the Italian community in London and used to go on the van round with his father, since he was a boy helping him sharpen knives. At seventeen he joined his Father in the business and they worked together for fifteen years. When the new method of work, rental service, has arrived, Povi decided to modernise the business putting to an end the sharpening of knives on the street. After his father had retired, he bought automatic machine to sharpen knives, and employed four workers. For him the Dolomites Valley is the best place to escape from the stressful life of London and for this reason he flies to Italy whenever he has the occasion. There he spends his days biking and trekking. He loves his job in London but when he is old he hopes to retire to the Villa he built on the Family land in the Dolomites Valley.
Bernardo is eighty-nine years old. He was born in the small village of Carisolo, Dolomites Valley and was one of the first ones to emigrate after the war. After a few years as an assistant grinder, he opened his own company and over fifty years built up the big business and he established himself with clients from the North-East of London.
When he retired he left his “round” (the customers portfolio) to his nephew Paul. He is the heart and the soul of the nights at the Pub with his countrymen, as well as being an avid cards player. Despite all his years abroad he keept the Valley close to his heart and save the money with the intention of spending his old age there. In 2000 he went back to Italy with his wife and since then he lives in the old family house passing his time in the vegetable garden, the wood, and the pub.