Our Story


In order to fully understand where Plankwise began, we need to start our journey over 70 years ago. In the early 1940s, brothers Ted and Ernie Manthei were strawberry farmers who wanted to save a few dollars by making fruit baskets. In pursuit of this cost cutting idea, they purchased what they thought was a “basket making machine” only to find out it was actually a veneer lathe. Turning lemons into lemonade, they began manufacturing and selling hardwood veneer instead of their original plan.

Today, Manthei Veneer is owned and operated by the second and third generations of the Manthei family in Northern Michigan. Providing experience and creative thinking, family members came together to form the products you see here.

However, the Plankwise story hasn't come without struggle. In August of 2017, Manthei Veneer's rotary veneer mill caught fire and was deemed a total loss. To help boost the company during this difficult time, the Plankwise team was tasked with launching the product months ahead of schedule. 

Although introducing Plankwise to the marketplace has happened at a faster pace than initially expected, we take pride in the fact there are certain values that have been instilled through the Manthei family which will not be sacrificed. Normally a company focused on business to business sales, Plankwise has allowed us to become closer to the end user than ever before, and we can't wait to get to know you better. 

As a family business, we believe that superior service is invaluable, therefore we work hard to provide the flexibility and product diversity that best serves our customers. We want to provide the best wood wall covering products in today's market and equip you with decor that will awaken your space. 

Our goal is to fill your space with your personality. At the end of the project, we want you to feel as though your personal stamp has been put on your home, not ours. 

As an extension to the Plankwise and Manthei Veneer team, the Manthei family has a passion for building products, providing services, and improving our communities in a variety of ways. Here are links to some of the other Manthei family businesses.

Techniply          Pole Base         
           Sky Valley Resorts          Redi-Rock 
        Rosetta             Manthei Veneer