Meet Terry Beech, my knife man. He’s in his sixties and just loves his work. This year marks his tenth year of owning Sharp Quick, a mobile knife sharpening service in Santa Cruz. When Terry first started his business, I immediately engaged his services. The electric knife sharpener I bought in the 1990s didn’t seem to do much anymore, and I wasn’t about to hone my whetstone sharpening skills. I’d rather leave knife sharpening to a pro because my priority was chopping.
Terry came to my home, parked his vintage VW van in our driveway and sharpened my blades for about several dollars each, depending on the length of the knife. The price was right but more importantly, the knives kept their edge for months. He’d sharpen about a dozen knives for me at a time. I’d give him oddball things like a handmade knife from Vietnam, which he displayed as a novelty for years.
Nowadays, Terry’s too busy for knife sharpening house calls so I go to him. It’s always a pleasure, even to chat on Monday afternoons when he’s in our local Whole Foods parking lot. I’m curious and he’s always has something interesting to show me (his first career was as a high school physics teacher). Yesterday, since I wasn’t in a huge rush to grocery shop, we talked for a good half hour and I thought you’d be interested in our conversation.