who we are
Bang-Knudsen is a Seattle-based multiple line independent manufacturers’ representative agency. We specialize in gourmet housewares, selling wholesale only to high-end retailers in the Pacific Northwest. Our customers include independent specialty retailers, nationwide chain stores, mail-order and e-commerce retailers.
Peter Bang-Knudsen and his team bring four generations of family business and many years of experience in marketing housewares and gourmet kitchenwares to their clients. We represent major household brands such as: OXO, Jura-Capresso, Scanpan, Bodum, Prodyne and Vitamix to leading retailers in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Hawiaii.
"We are proud to be a fourth generation family business. It is our mission to represent high quality products for the home and we pride ourselves on the importance of the successful value-added business relationship."
Rasmus Bang-Knudsen founded Bang-Knudsen Isenkram (Retail & Wholesale Housewares) in Esbjeg, Denmark, 15 March 1895. The first hardware store in the port city of Esbjerg. The retail store is still in business and recently celebrated its 116th Anniversary. Eight children were born in the apartments above the store, including son Hugo.
Hugo Bang-Knudsen became Director of Bang-Knudsen upon the death of his father during World War II. Hugo apprenticed in hardware, housewares store management in Denmark and Germany prior to the War. He served in the Danish Royal Lifeguard prior to returning to the family business. While managing the family business Hugo was also active in the Danish Reisistance Movement.
After the War Hugo established fine china, glass and sporting goods equipment in the store and expanded its wholesale hardware business. In 1950 he went on an exploratory trip to the U.S. and decided to emigrate. He worked several years in hardware and department stores in California before establishing his own wholesale manufacturers' representative agency. Between the years of 1957 to 1980 he traveled the West Coast representing various brands of housewares. He and wife Margrethe exhibited at regional gift shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. They opened a showroom in the Merchandise Mart in San Francisco.
Peter Bang-Knudsen is a graduate of University of Oregon, where he met his wife Jill. In 1969 Peter joined his parents in business after serving as a U.S. Marine Corps officer in Japan, Viet Nam and the U.S. For three years Peter managed sales and production for a housewares manufacturer in Los Angeles. Peter worked with Hugo as a traveling sales representative covering all customers between San Diego and Seattle during the 1970's, with Jill.
In the 1970's Peter promoted and founded the first San Francisco Gourmet Cookware Show.
Jill and Peter opened a showroom at the Seattle Gift Center in 1978. They pioneered the housewares brand Cuisinarts and built it from one customer to over 250 active accounts during the 1970's and '80's. Peter collaborated with Sunset Publishers andStarbucks Coffee to produce two unique books for the growing coffee chain. Several new brands in the marketplace (OXO, Jura-Capresso, ScanPan) were pioneered and developed by Bang-Knudsen's agency throughout the 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's.
Peter and Jill's sons Jacob and Paul joined the family representative agency and are now embarked on the 4th generation of Bang-Knudsen in the housewares business.
Paul Bang-Knudsen was a high school All-American water polo player and State Championship swimmer. He trained in Starbuck's store management program before serving as a U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance (Special Operations) NCO in Asia and Iraq. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal during a combat reconnaissance mission in Iraq. Prior to his Marine Corps service Paul was an Emergency Medical Technician with Bainbridge Island Fire Department, where he now serves as an elected Fire Commissioner. He is presently a sales associate with Bang-Knudsen.
Jacob Bang-Knudsen is a graduate of University of Washington and a former college water polo player and coach. Prior to joining the family business he worked at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics as a production assistant for the opening and closing ceremonies. He completed certification as a Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative at University of Arizona. He serves on the Board of Directors of International Housewares Representative Association. He is currently senior sales associate and President of Bang-Knudsen, Inc. Jacob and wife Melissa live on Bainbridge Island, Washington with their two children.