This Built America, a new multimedia platform from AOL exploring the companies and people reimagining American manufacturing, comes to Jacksonville this week to profile a knife factory that is a family beyond its owners—Bear & Son Cutlery.

Ken Griffey’s Bear & Son Cutlery was officially founded in 1991 after Griffey was approached by Jacksonville town leaders to buy the closing W.R. Case cutlery factory, Griffey’s then employer. Since then, the factory and its employees have been on an incredible journey demonstrating the value of family and community.

In this episode, Griffey and his son Matt discuss the family that Bear & Son has created while dealing with tough decisions like selling the business, another potential closure and all that comes their way.

“I had a lot of mothers and fathers,” recalls Matt Griffey on his youth in the Jacksonville factory. That type of attention and care comes through every Bear & Son product. It also can be seen in the 36-year relationship, in business and marriage, between Ken and Sandy Griffey.

For Bear & Son Cutlery, being part of This Built America is proof that Ken Griffey made the right decisions banking on Bear & Son, no matter the circumstance. “Being part of This Built America was simply amazing,” explains Matt Griffey. “We were very honored to be a part of this, and would like to thank everyone who helped make this happen.”

To view the full episode and more on the Bear & Son family, visit

Image courtesy Bear & Son Cutlery

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