Photos by: AlanaPaterson
Monday & Wednesday to Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
Owner: Douglas Chang
Ai & Om Knives, located in the heart of historic Chinatown, offers a thoughtfully curated selection of Japanese knives, sharpening stones, and cutting boards as well as hand-sharpening services for both western and Japanese-style knives along with knife-skills classes and sharpening workshops.
With over 13 years of chef experience in professional kitchens including Eleven Madison Park, West, Bambudda, and Sai Woo, owner Douglas Chang draws upon his extensive culinary knowledge when handpicking knives from more than 30 lines crafted by Japanese blacksmiths. He sources his knives directly from Japan, working with family-run shops in which the craft has been passed down through generations, often over hundreds of years. Ai & Om’s carefully edited collection includes industry-preferred lines such as Konosuke, Akifusa, and Nenohi (exclusively in Western Canada). Rare custom-made, hand-forged knives and one-of-a-kind blades pique the interest of professionals and collectors, while more approachable factory-made options are ideal for cost-conscious home cooks. Each blade is chosen with an eye for quality.
The store name “Ai & Om” loosely translates to “love” in Mandarin and “care” in Japanese, representing Chang’s philosophical approach to knives with passion, knowledge, and reverence. Sharpening services are given equal focus, as the quality of any knife is realized through use and maintenance. Chang takes the same thoughtful, highly skilled approach in curating the shop’s collection as he does in rehabilitating knives needing a fresh edge. Ai & Om hosts regularly scheduled sharpening workshops focusing on DIY care and maintenance tips to enhance a home cook’s efficiency and enjoyment in the kitchen.
Sara Horowitz, MONTECRISTO
“On the micro level, [Ai & Om] preaches the importance of good knives—but on the macro one, it promotes a life of simplicity and quality, of precision and passion, of love and care, in all that we do.”
Rosanna Bruce, Wallpaper
“It is through clean-cut architecture and a superb inventory that Ai & Om Knives claims its place as Vancouver’s Blade Runner.”
Lisa Davidson, We Heart
“Sharp Focus: an on-point aesthetic for a craft-minded Vancouver store that puts its blades centre-stage…”