A native of Chicago, Kevin McCarthy was a teenager when he began helping his Uncle Peter (Maestri) sharpen knives in Spring Green, Wisconsin. When he was twenty-one, Kevin moved to Spring Green and spent the next two years living with the Maestri family, while honing his grinding skills and learning the business.
In 1985, Kevin started his own knife sharpening and delivery business in Berkeley, where has lived since the early 1970s. For the next three years, Kevin operated his service out of a truck modeled after the one his grandfather had used for the original Maestri Brothers more then fifty years earlier in Chicago.
Kevin dreamed of expanding his small business, but at age 22 and without ample resources, he decided instead to go back to school. He obtained his contractor’s license and became an electrical contractor. He has owned and operated McCarthy Electric since 1992.
Throughout the 1990s and into the next decade, Kevin watched and admired his uncle and later his younger cousins Peter Alex and Michael Maestri, who took their father’s business to the next level, expanding their business throughout the mid-west. Fulfilling a lifelong dream together, Kevin and Kathryn McCarthy, along with Peter Alex and Michael Maestri, founded Bay Edge Cutlery Service in Berkeley in October 2009.
Kathryn Sparks McCarthy
Director of Business Development
Kathryn Sparks grew up in Kensington and Berkeley. After earning her BA from the University of Oregon, Kathryn worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly twenty years.
Kathryn and Kevin were married in 1992, and have two sons, Spencer and Lewis. In 2007, Kathryn joined Kevin’s company, McCarthy Electric, which the couple ran together before launching Bay Edge in 2009.
As Director of Business Development: I do pretty much everything except grind the knives. Marketing Bay Edge comes very naturally to me. Promoting a business so close to my heart is very similar to raising funds for a nonprofit organization. The best part is going into so many great restaurants, talking with chefs and educating them about how our business model is different.
Kathryn is committed to creating, maintaining and promoting a sustainable business model, from installing recycled sound proofing in the walls of their shop and solar panels on the roof to promoting the sustainable practice of reusing knives through resharpening while reducing landfill waste.