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Joseph Rueter

Featured Article

Sharpening Your Skills

Vivront Owner Shares His Passion With Edina

Article by Sarah Knieff

Photography by Andrew Vick

Originally published in Edina Lifestyle

“I’m curious by nature, which has given me a lot of business ideas over the years, but this one really took hold and became a [lifelong passion] that just so happens to earn money,” Joseph Rueter, owner of Vivront, a curated knife and sharpening store, says.

It all began during the pandemic when everyone was cooking more because well, quarantine and being bored go together like PB&Jelly.

“Like many others, I was in the kitchen a lot,” he explains. “As I cooked, I realized that my knives were dull and made things much harder to cut. So, naturally, I went online to see how I could get them sharpened through a mailing service, but I couldn’t find a company that was making it easy. That’s when I decided to make my own.”

And just like that the idea of Vivront was born. The first task: learning how to actually sharpen a knife properly.

“You have to get really good at messing up first and then really good at being really good,” Joseph says. “I spent countless hours honing my skills and educating myself.”

Education: check. Sharpening skills: check. Next was the creation of the first iteration of Vivront.

“Everything started in my garage in Edina with a team of one – me,” Joseph says. “I shipped everything to the client that they would require – postage, packaging, etc. Then they would send it to me simply by dropping off the package in the post. I would get their knives in the mail, sharpen and return them right back.

He continues, “It’s all a very smooth process and the feedback I received was amazing. People told me they enjoyed being in the kitchen again, which led them to making healthier eating habits. I don’t think the regular consumer realizes how life changing a great, sharp knife can be for cooking. It truly makes a difference.”

Once the mailing program started to take off, Joseph was spending a lot more time during cold Minnesota winters in that unheated garage, which was less than ideal.

“I wanted somewhere warm to work in and decided to rent a commercial space in Wayzata in 2022,” he says. “My team grew at this store and we all learned a lot about what consumers wanted. Not only did they like our sharpening program, whether it was through the mail or now at the store, they also wanted access to top notch knives and sharpening classes so they could learn themselves.”

Joseph and his Vivront team took all this into account, implementing ideas as they could, until another big move happened. On November 4, 2023, Vivront moved back to where it all began: Edina, but this time not in a garage.

“Wayzata was for learning, which I couldn’t be more grateful for, and now the Edina store is a culmination of everything. We do knife sharpening classes, cooking classes, in-store sharpening drop-off, an updated mailing program for all over the country, and we have 84 feet of kitchen knives on display that are not widely available.”

Not even a year in the new space, Joseph says things are going even better than he could have expected.

“I had faith that Vivront would work well on 50th and France due to convenience, but we have truly been welcomed with open arms.”

Because of this, Joseph has been able to further hone in on another passion of his: helping reduce school lunch debt across local communities.

"I created The Give Back Program [as a part of] Vivront's foundational mission of [helping others.] For every kitchen knife we sharpen, a portion of the revenue goes to improving school lunch, starting by paying down lunch account balances. We also have had the chance to train school nutrition teams on knife skills and help empower them to adjust menus."

As Joseph looks toward the future of his store, he says things are just getting started.

“I have so many ideas for different classes and how to connect with our community even more. I’m excited for what’s to come.”

4948 France Ave. S | vivront.com | 952-222-5336

  • Joseph Rueter
  • Joseph Rueter
  • Joseph Rueter
  • Joseph Rueter
  • Peter Ireland, chef and Vivront team member.