by John Dowd
Bitterroot Shedz was owned by a local Amish man, who started the business, until only a couple years ago when another company heard of its success and purchased the business. They heard about it in, of all places, a shed building magazine. They were impressed with the company’s work ethic and wanted to retain the local employees. According to general manager, Sam Fawcett, that has always been the goal of the company, to do right by the community.
Bitterroot Shedz is growing, and expanding out into other areas in Montana and even into other states. The company attributes their success partly to the product they make. Fawcett and others at Bitterroot Shedz are proud of what they produce, with Fawcett saying, “We build sheds like somebody would build a home. We’re really focused on building a high-quality product for people.”
They have grown to the point, said Fawcett, that now, they are going through a rebranding process. However, according to the general manager, the product quality is not the only thing that can be thanked for their success. According to Fawcett, “It’s not what we build, but what we build in the area and the community.”
Bitterroot Shedz wants to do more outreach in the Bitterroot Valley to stick to their roots. According to Fawcett, though the company was started by an Amish man, and then bought by a separate company, Bitterroot Shedz is still a faith-based organization. One of their top priorities is to continue to give back to the community they call home. “If not, who are we but people who just build sheds?” said Fawcett.
One such project Bitterroot Shez has been a part of has been a partnership with Victor Schools. They reached out to the shop program and talked to Ed Jessop. Jessop is the industrial arts teacher at Victor, and he said this was a great opportunity for the students. Bitterroot Shedz provided the materials and the plans, then the shop class students built the shed. According to Jessop, “It gives them valuable experience and gets them exposed to various phases of construction, like framing and roofing.” The project occurred over the last year, and ended up with an 8’ by 8’ structure. The kids did all the work and were even able to go to tour Bitterroot Shedz to see how the business makes their buildings.
The school FFA plans to raffle the building off during next year’s fair. According to Victor Agriculture and FFA teacher Kassi Worthington, the partnership provided the kids with a way to get funding for the FFA. “Having the opportunity to fundraise is huge,” said Worthington. Once raffled, the funds will go to help students in the FFA attend the Washington Leadership Conference, in Washington D.C., put on by the National FFA.
“We just want to be part of the community,” said Fawcett. He was the first employee hired when Bitterroot Shedz was owned by a local. He believes the heart of the company is still there. “The biggest thing is we don’t want to lose focus on where we started,” said Fawcett.
Spring and summer are the high times for shed selling and delivering for Bitterroot Shedz. According to Fawcett, during the holidays, a lot of people are already ordering to get their sheds during those high traffic months. The business tries to average eight to 10 sheds a week, depending on size and type. With so many orders, and most of their work being custom jobs, according to Fawcett, it is always a good time to call and get an order in to them. The business does special pricing for nonprofits and wants to continue to do more for the community. “We can’t do that unless we sell sheds,” added Fawcett.
Interested parties can contact Bitterroot Shedz by calling (406) 880-3160, or visit their website, www.bitterrootshedz.com.