The Manthei Story
The story of the Manthei family began the way all great stories do: with a strong woman.
Constance Manthei began what is today the collection of Manthei family businesses. Coming from Germany, Constance and her husband Ferdinand settled in Northern Michigan with little more than a hope and a prayer to provide a suitable life for their family. She lacked a formal education but with a strong sense of faith and a vibrant work ethic that she passed on to her children, Constance taught herself to grow and sell aster flowers, which generated enough income for her to be able to buy a house and a car for her family.
When her children, Ernie and Ted, came of age, Constance helped them get a loan from the bank (no easy task for a woman in those days) and her sons began farming strawberries and beans. As their innovative approach to growing, packaging, and selling agricultural goods led them to success, the two brothers began to pursue other business ventures.
Today, with numerous companies in a wide range of industries located all across North America, the Manthei Group enriches lives through its diverse creations.
Age of Agriculture
1920's - 1930's
Ted and Ernie, affectionately known as Gen 1, begin farming beans and strawberries on the shores of Walloon Lake. Before long, the legendary crops produce big financial gains and the Manthei brothers start looking for other opportunities.
Manthei Brothers Veneer grows to become a leader in the wood products industry when the Manthei brothers accidentally buy a veneer lathe instead of a lathe meant for making basket strips.
The veneer mill burns to the ground. The second generation of the Manthei family takes over and rebuilds as Manthei, Inc.
Age of Diversification
MDC Contracting, LLC breaks ground in Charlevoix under leadership of Gen 2, quickly becoming a key player in the construction and development of Northern Michigan communities.
(MDC Contracting rebranded to Manthei Construction in 2021)
Gen 2 settles the wild west, opening an RV resort in the heart of the natural hot springs found in California's Coachella Valley.
Age of Expansion
Gen 2 gets rocking and rolling with innovative concrete products. Redi-Rock produces the world's first large block retaining wall system. Today, Redi-Rock has over 150 licensed manufacturers worldwide.
Rosetta Hardscapes creates a new standard in hardscape design. A concrete landscape products licensing company, Rosetta replicates natural stone and mimics sculpted concrete for the most modern applications. Today, Rosetta has 20 licensed manufacturers in North America and Europe.
Building on the proven track record, the family launches Pole Base, a precast light pole foundation system that allows contractors to make jobs more predictable and profitable than cast-in-place alternatives.
Time for Gen 3 to get technical. Previously a customer of Manthei, Inc., Techniply, a hardwood plywood company that produces high-quality dieboards and other specialty plywood, is acquired by the third generation of the Manthei family.
Gen 3 finds the water in Arizona. They acquire Arizona Oasis, an RV resort located on the Colorado River in Ehrenberg, Arizona. The perfect place to take advantage of the Colorado River and all the awesome desert activities nearby.
2018: With Redi-Rock, Rosetta, and Pole Base seeing year over year growth, the Manthei family created Aster Brands to create synergy between the brands and manage them with a common team. Aster Brands is a suite of proven, licensed brands that 160+ manufacturers worldwide have used to grow their businesses. The Aster Brands team in Petoskey provides product development, sales, marketing, and engineering support to the global network of manufacturers for Redi-Rock, Rosetta Hardscapes, and Pole Base.
Gen 3 officially takes ownership of the businesses and are excited to lead into the future.
In 2020, Rosetta of Michigan rebranded to HIGH FORMAT, with the ability to offer more technologies, expanded product offerings and greater possibilities in hardscapes within the four state region of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Our new 6,000 s.f. landscape design showroom officially opens with more than four acres of natural flagstones, stepping stones, slabs, stairs and walls, and the largest selection of concrete pavers, slabs and retaining walls in Northern Michigan. Mulch, aggregates, tools, grills, fire pits and more also available!
In 2021, we expanded our resort properties with Ocotillo RV Resort, just two hours from San Diego and located adjacent to 80,000 acres of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, this resort park is an off-roader's paradise.