After leaving the military in the fall of 1974, Dan helped his Father and Mother opened Plaza Cutlery in South Coast Plaza which is located in Costa Mesa California. To say Plaza Cutlery turned the knife industry upside down is an understatement. Those first few years were such a blur! Unfortunately, Dad passed away in August of 1976 and Mom took his place with W. R. Case and Sons Cutlery as the first female sales person for a major knife Company. Dad was a very successful salesman in the hardware industry and in August of 1959 took over as the sales representative for the west coast for W.R. Case and Son’s Cutlery.
Plaza Cutlery was so successful it spared many copy cats; Shaver World, became Cutlery World, Hoffritz moved into shopping centers and many small chains opened. A few were friends who we helped but many spent days out in front of our store watching. It’s always said location, location and location! The big advantage we had was South Coast Plaza. The Segerstrom family also progressed to move “SCP” into one of the top 5 shopping destinations in the world which continues today. Plaza Cutlery is now one of the longest running stores next to Sears and See’s Candies in “SCP” and Dan has most likely been in the center longer than anyone else at this time.
Also during these many years Dan’s love of knives lead to the start of the “California Custom Knife Show” and a few years later the “Hawaii Knife Show”. The “CCKS” is one of the longest running shows in the country. The show continues to do well. The Hawaii Show was always a show of love, as both Dan and Pam love Hawaii and the people there. We have just recently turned it over to someone local in Hawaii to run, but will always help. Also over the years Dan has helped many custom knife makers and manufactures. In promoting knives in Plaza Cutlery, we have made many collectors as only a store in a heavy traffic area can. In “SCP” there is the opportunity for the public to see the quality of knives and a wide verity for every interest. It’s a shame so many stores are now gone as there is not many ways to introduce the public to the knife industry which will hurt in the long run.
Dan always promoted knives in a positive way and also insisted treating the customer like we would want to be treated. For 44 years, it has worked.