An interview with Dorian Widling of Broken Tower Knives.
Personal pronouns: He/Him
Briefly describe your business.
At Broken Tower Knives I create hand-made custom kitchen knives for the home or professional cook. But I’m about so much more than that. As someone who is obsessed with food and good eating, I’m working hard to create a brand that helps passionate cooks to unlock their full culinary potential. I strive to create products that inspire and motivate, and I do that by hand-crafting the highest quality, hand-made kitchen tools.
What brought you to the region?
My wife and I were posted to this region when I was working as a full-time military technician, about eight years ago. To be honest, we weren’t sure how we would feel moving to a smaller city, but we almost instantly fell in love with the Quinte area. Now, we can’t imagine ourselves ever leaving!
What makes the Bay of Quinte a good fit for your business?
The food culture here is incredible! From amazing restaurants to great local products, there isn’t a better area to operate a food-centric business. Wherever I turn, there seems to be someone doing amazing and inspiring things with food.
What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
The hardest thing for me has been to learn the lesson of patience. A lot of us entrepreneurial types don’t like to wait for things to happen. We’re results oriented, after all. For me, learning that growth and scale takes time has been one of the hardest things to come to grips with. It’s something I struggle with every day.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
A lot of people wait for the stars to align and for everything to be perfect before executing on their vision. My advice would be not to wait for perfection before moving forward. There is never a “right” time to do things. Make a rough plan, decide what the first two steps are and then execute. Learn as you go.
How have you changed your operations during the pandemic?
I just want to say that operating a business in the most difficult of times is where resilience comes from. That said, if the pandemic has taught me one thing it’s that a business needs multiple customer acquisition streams to be effective. That lesson was the reason that our newest division, Broken Tower Culinary, was born.
Broken Tower Culinary is a manufactured-cookware brand that I’m in the early stages of launching. The idea is to serve clients through that brand and eventually elevate them into the world of custom kitchen knives.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation (the pandemic)?
The sheer amount of innovative thinking (especially in the food industry) is something incredibly positive. But maybe the most beautiful thing to happen is how much closer we have all grown as a community. It’s refreshing to know that more and more people are supporting small businesses so that we all get through these difficult times.
If you were to have one word tattooed on you, what would it be?
YOLO. Just kidding, I’m not really the tattoo type…