Marketplace: New West KnifeWorks expands with store on Main Street
Walking into New West KnifeWorks, there is a clear dichotomy. The left side, with decorative frames bordering knives, is reminiscent of Main Street’s art galleries. The right side, however, resembles the mines that defined the old Park City, complete with tomahawks and pocket knives hanging on the walls.
The contrast is reflective of the founder and owner of the cutlery store, Corey Milligan. He equally loves spending time in nature and obsessing over the perfect equipment in the kitchen.
New West KnifeWorks, which started in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently opened a storefront in Park City at 675 Main St. It sells cutlery knives and tools for the outdoor adventurer.
Producing high-quality knives was always the No. 1 mission of Milligan. He started making knives more than 20 years ago while working as a river guide and dishwasher in Jackson Hole, said Anthony Campolattaro, general manager of New West KnifeWorks. Milligan wanted to make quality knives for his own use, but then he started selling them to others.
“He started making them in his garage and outside the boathouse when he was river guiding,” Campolattaro said. “That just escalated to small art shows to nationally recognized art shows to the best art shows in the country.”
Campolattaro joined the team eight years ago, when Milligan’s business really started to pick up. The company — which had four employees at the time — opened its first location in Wilson, Wyoming.
Campolattaro met Milligan while both were playing rugby in Jackson Hole. Campolattaro was in need of a job, and Milligan needed someone to help run the growing operation. In exchange for work, and babysitting for Milligan’s kids on Friday nights, Campolattaro could live in a shack behind Milligan’s home.
Campolattaro was immediately struck by Milligan’s attention to detail and his desire to make quality knives. Milligan was passionate about food, and he translated that passion to his equipment. Campolattaro stuck with the business, and the enthusiasm about the knives rubbed off.
“A good knife is going to get you a very long way, whether you are river guiding, whether you are at a professional star restaurant, anything else, having a really good, durable sharp object you can depend on, it makes or break your experience,” Campolattaro said.
About five years ago, the team decided that it would expand and open a second shop. Park City was at the top of their list of possible locations.
“It fits the model. We want to visit the places we are in,” Campolattaro said.
But, they found a spot in Jackson Hole first. They kept their eyes open for a spot on Main Street and, last year, they landed on one.
Campolattaro said the company has evolved over the 21 years since its inception, and it has been interesting to watch the evolution of materials.
“It’s been a really fun trip — seeing something grow from a one-man operation to now, we have almost 25 employees,” he said.
Four years ago, the New West KnifeWorks team came up with the idea to expand their offerings to sell more products to be used in the outdoors. The Mtn Man Toy Shop, a sub brand of the company, sells tomahawks, pocket knives and other knives.
Campolattaro admits that there have been plenty of growing pains over the years, but Milligan has an infectious attitude of “just get it done.” The team expects change, and they keep pushing forward.
Campolattaro and Milligan are proud of the products, which is why they feel that they belong in frames on a wall. To them, they are art. But they still want the knives to be accessible to customers, which is why all the knives are able to be touched and taken off the walls. They want people to experience what they are so passionate about.
“I think if you have good knives, you will make better food and you’ll live better,” Campolattaro said. “It’s a very simple concept.”
New West KnifeWorks
675 Main St.
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