Louis and Lena Polli immigrated from Northern Italy in the early 1900s. Their son, Robert D. Polli was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918.
Louis was a professional knife grinder, and Robert started working on the grinding truck with his father at 5 years old.
At 12, when he finished the 8th grade, Robert started working full time on the truck, traveling to various communities to offer their services wherever people were preparing food.
Shortly after Robert met the love of his life, Josephine, his father told him he was ready to start his own grinding business. He pointed out that there were no knife grinders in California, or Rochester. Robert chose Rochester.
Robert and Josephine married in 1939, and within ten years had five daughters and the grinding business was booming.
Robert changed the business from one where he took knives from businesses to his truck to sharpen, to one where he rented knives to businesses, and exchanged them once a week.
In 1974, The manager of the Rochester public market asked Robert to bring his truck to the market. Robert and Josephine began spending Saturdays at the Market, with long lines of people carrying all kinds of knives and blades to be sharpened.
Robert worked five days on the road, and Saturdays at the market.
Robert's daughter, Charlene, has continued the family tradition with her husband, Bob, since 1978.
You can still find Bob at the Rochester Public market sharpening knives, shears, garden tools, and other blades on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Charlene heard about The Windmill in 1989, and hasn't looked back. Community knife grinding has been a fixture at The Windmill for 28 years, and offers a full line of kitchen products to help make your dinner go together with ease.
Our store has grown over the years at The Windmill and we are grateful for all of the wonderful customers that have supported Community Knife Grinding over the past 28 years.
Community knife grinding carries over 700 quality culinary tools. With options made in the USA from silver handle paring knives to baking pans, stainless steel whisks to spatulas. We also carry a complete line of Wusthof-Trident cutlery made in Germany.
We also continue the family tradition. Drop off knives, garden tools, scissors, etc. and pick them up the following week.
Community Knife Grinding is also located at the Rochester Public Market stalls
106 & 108 every Thursday and Saturday or contact
Charlene Polli Veltz @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (585)377-0245.