Dear All,

It is with much sadness that I must announce that Apogee and Yaxell have mutually decided to part ways. I want to state clearly that there is no animosity between our two companies.  Yaxell was there for us when we needed a factory, and we will always be grateful.  However, due to the increased popularity of Dragon, and Yaxell’s company mandate to make their own brands, we have decided to separate.  This situation is nothing new, as all Japanese knife factories are suffering the challenge of production capacity.  There is only so much, and Dragon is a difficult knife to make, and takes away from their production capacity for their own brands.   We wish Yaxell the best in their future endeavors.

As sad as this announcement is,  I am excited to report that we have found a new factory that will be able to step in and make our knives.  I feel like President Nixon and the old saying, that says, "only Nixon could go to China”.  As you all know, I have been working with Japanese factories for the last sixteen years.  So I am accustomed to, and demand, high Japanese quality.  Our new factory had to go above and beyond to prove they had what it takes.  I am pleased to say they did.  They were able to reproduce the current Dragon lines perfectly, and even make a few improvements.  All of the materials that were used in the Japanese Dragon are exactly the same in the new line.  I am also excited to tell you that we will be reducing our costs by 12% which will increase your margins and return on investment. The other advantage is that I have almost never seen a Chinese factory fail to make a ship date, and not ship complete.  Therefore, we will be in a great inventory position for you as we move into the second half of the year. I invite you to come to our booth in Chicago at S4934 to see them.  I know you will be as pleasantly surprised and pleased as I am.  With today’s competitive environment, Apogee continues to invent and launch new materials and shapes that work better for the customer, keeping the category new and interesting. Now we have made it our mandate to be the most profitable line in your store.  I look forward to seeing you all soon.

If you are interested in purchasing Japanese Dragon or Dragon Fire, please contact Shelly immediately at 760.470.9854 or sglassen@apogeeculinary.com

- Dennis Epstein