The original American made rifle shooting rest was started in 1988 in a small town in Pennsylvania. The founder had an idea that a high quality, sturdy steel, simply designed shooting platform could be made in the USA to last a lifetime. He was right. Many customers who use these products understand the importance of quality materials and construction and products made with American pride. They keep coming back to BenchMaster. Made in the USA. Guaranteed Forever.
As the former owner contemplated retirement, Altus Brands was able to acquire the assets to keep this American tradition alive and growing. BenchMaster was the second Altus acquisition, completed in the fall of 2008. Altus has continued to build on the stellar reputation for quality and lifetime warranty by introducing new products such as the Shooting bags with EZ Fill spout and anti skid base and the Thompson Long Range Shooting Table. BenchMaster is proudly made in Traverse City, MI
Altus Brands was founded in 2007 by three partners who had a vision to bring together small manufacturers into a family of brands to service the hunting and shooting marketplace. Each of the partners brought a unique skill set and a common desire to live the entrepreneurial dream. After 25+ year corporate careers it was time to test themselves. The strategy was simple, buy small cap companies that private equity and larger strategic companies ignored or found too risky to acquire. We knew that the backbone of innovation was the passionate outdoors person. They had the ideas and the gumption to develop and build the most creative and useful products. What they may have lacked in resources they made up for in determination. At some point all entrepreneurs face the decision to either get big or sell. Not all companies know how to make the leap to get bigger and often great products fade from the scene. Altus Brands was founded with the idea that with the right resources and nurturing these products could have much greater success.
Experience in the recreational market indicated there were a significant number of small companies with a single product, or limited product line, that with a strategic approach and appropriate resources could be stewarded to greater growth and profitability. These brands are typically founded by an entrepreneur, who is either approaching retirement age, and does not have a succession plan. Some businessmen have outstanding products and ideas, however may lack the experience or resources needed to fully capture their brand’s value.
Altus Brands identifies companies in the hunting and shooting marketplace, which manufacture and sell retail products through similar channels of distribution. Altus has the flexibility and creativity to work with existing owners to develop a plan for partnering or acquisition which will unlock the value of the company. Typically, these plans include additional capitalization, integration and leveraging of established distribution channels, production and administration.
In 2017, after ten years, a dozen acquisitions and dozens of distribution deals, life changes lead each partner to reevaluate their personal situation. The partnership that made up Altus Brands was disbanded. Gary Lemanski bought out his partners, restructured the business and modified the strategy. The brands that had been acquired over ten years were now in position to grow organically.
When thinking about how to announce this change in ownership and strategy to the dedicated people who make Altus Brands what it is, I spent a lot of time contemplating exactly what Altus had become over those ten years. I wanted to describe what our products signify and how we as a company conduct ourselves each and every day. It may sound corny but the following Vision and Guiding Principals are what I believe we are as people and as a company:
The Vision: We PROTECT our Customers and their gear, our families and our business. Our actions and words will inspire others to respond the way we would like them to respond. Known for reliability and durability, in service, product and performance.
The key to success lies in the power of our people. Our conduct will support an environment in which each employee can contribute skills, talents and ideas to a continuous process of improvement and innovation. Each member of the team is expected to follow these guiding principals:
Be polite. Assume good.
Be honest. Keep commitments.
Follow LEAN principles. Eliminate mistakes and waste.
Be sure your actions and words are designed to give you the results you desire. Aim to inspire others by your attitude, words and voice.
Work together to achieve our VISION. Volunteer to help wherever you can.
Try new ways, be open to challenge, question things, experiment.
Altus signifies striving to be the best. The ever reaching upward, climbing the peak, summiting the pinnacle. The name symbolizes the intention to build a portfolio of high quality and respected brands-each maintain their individual brand identity and brand promis.