our story

40 YEARS OF INNOVATION & QUALITY

100% WOMEN & FAMILY OWNED


Founded in 1981 by Bernd Dressler, Messermeister is a leading manufacturer of premium handcrafted chef's knives, kitchen cutlery and cooking tools, the go-to brand for everyone from professional chefs to at-home cooks. 

Now a women-owned, California-based company with German heritage, Messermeister (“messer” meaning knife and “meister” meaning master) is committed to delivering sustainable best-in-class chef knives, kitchen accessories and award-winning culinary tools, sourcing the world to find the very best manufacturing quality at the right price for the market. Located in the heart of Ojai, California, Messermeister is now led by Dressler’s wife Debra and daughters Kirsten and Chelcea, who continue the second generation company’s mission to bring innovation and creativity to kitchens around the world.


Chelcea & Kirsten, daughters of Bernd & Debra Dressler


The evolution of MESSIMAN


TIMELINE

1981

Bernd and Debra Dressler begin distribution of German and Japanese products as DAMCO (Dressler American Marketing Company).

1984

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

1985

DAMCO launches their first exclusive knife design and integrates Messermeister as the company name.

1986

The business moves to Ojai, California.

1988

Messermeister patents the first Edge-Guard.

1992

Company redefines German knife design, introducing demi-bolster construction so the entire edge can be sharpened from heel to tip.

New sharpness standard is set with polished 15º edges, making Messermeister the sharpest German cutlery on the market.

1993

Two commercial knife lines are added to the Messermeister assortment, Park Plaza and Four Seasons.

1995

DAMCO Australia is started by Bernd's brother, Bruen Dressler, distributing the Messermeister range throughout Australia.

2002

2002

2004

Daughters, Chelcea and Kirsten Dressler join Messermeister management team. Messermeister becomes incorporated.

2006

Messermeister is selected by the highly regarded culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu, as exclusive knives supplier.

2010

 Chelcea and Kirsten Dressler assume company leadership roles, becoming the only fully Women-owned and operated knife company in the world.

2011

Messermeister innovates traditional drop-forged knives with lighter-weight “Stealth" Chef's knife.

2012

With pioneering sustainability initiative, Messermeister commits to create more natural and organic design.

2013

Messermeister launches Oliva Elite, which boasts an exquisite, natural Italian olive wood handle.

2015

Continuing with small batch, artesian craftsmanship, new Royale Elite line launched with hand selected, California Walnut handle and best German steel.

2018

Messermeister introduces the next generation of kitchen knife technology with Kawashima collaboration. Called, ”best knife ever tested” by Bon Appetite.

2019

First outdoor full-sized folding kitchen knives introduced, with Adventure Chef line, named as Men’s Journal’s best new product at Outdoor Retailer show.

2020

Messermeister Custom knives launch with innovate modular design and changeable handles which can be personalized

TODAY

Many companies have moved in different forging processes, but Messermeister remains one of the few companies in the world to produce hot-drop, hammer forged knives the traditional way. Messermeister's unique process and attention to detail make it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike. After more than four decades, the Messermeister brand of knives and culinary accessories continues to win the hearts of cooking enthusiasts worldwide.