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HELENA, Mont. – Mitchell and Brittany Martishius had never attended the Made in Montana Tradeshow with their business, Montana Block. This year was the perfect initiation.
The Billings-based, family-owned company collected the “Best in Show New Exhibitor” honor during the March Tradeshow, earning recognition from Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras and a State of Montana plaque to commemorate the award.
“It’s awesome,” Brittany said of the acknowledgment. “It’s really great to be recognized and rewarded for hard work and dedication. … It’s very exciting. This is our first time here (at the Made in Montana Tradeshow). We’ve been in business for about six or seven years now, and we just converted to (a Limited Liability Company), hired our first full-time employee (Billy), and we’re growing very quickly.”
Montana Block specializes in “end grain butcher blocks and high-quality wooden kitchen products” with Mitchell and Billy handling the woodworking and craftsmanship. Those products cover a large variety of unique merchandise, including butcher blocks and cutting boards, charcuterie trays, and even magnetic knife stands.
Mitchell has a long history of woodwork, “picking up invaluable skills from his father, who is also a craftsman,” according to Montana Block’s website, but the path from pastime to full-time brings a chuckle.
“I wanted a butcher block countertop and my husband made one for me,” explained Brittany. “Then it just kind of grew from there with friends and family wanting their own. Then we got a wholesale agreement with a store in Livingston and it just kind of grew from there.”
“We source all of our materials in the United States,” she continued. “We like to keep all of our business as local as possible and support our local communities.”
The Martishiuses, along with Billy, have enjoyed the rapid growth and customer appreciation over the past couple of years. They have also seen improvements to their production time, with the “multi-day process” taking “about three hours of hands-on working time” for a large butcher block.
It should come as no surprise, Montana Block’s best-selling product is the State of Montana cutting board.
“It’s positive, it really is,” Brittany said of the customer feedback.
Each custom-made product shows an admiration for the materials it’s made of, and Montana Block proudly displays the Made in Montana logo, bringing satisfaction to both the company and its customers.
“Made in Montana has done wonders for us,” Brittany said. “It gives people trust in our product that there’s buyoff from the state and that we are a local, hands-on maker.”
For more information on the Made in Montana program, visit the official website online.