The AMES Companies is all about bringing like-minded businesses together to create a strong portfolio of heritage retail brands. Joining forces, Kelkay, True Temper, La Hacienda, Apta and AMES Tools make up the business group that combines over 100 years of garden market expertise.
The AMES Story
The AMES Companies is a national business with American roots and global reach. The AMES story goes back to 1774 when Captain John Ames began making America’s first shovels, helping to build America through the centuries. AMES shovels have dug for gold, taken expeditions to Antarctica, and built at least two of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
AMES is the leading North American manufacturer and global provider of branded consumer and professional tools and products for home storage and organisation, landscaping, and enhancing outdoor lifestyles.
In September 2010 Griffon Corporation – a global diversified management and holding company – acquired AMES True Temper in America, expanding the business portfolio by creating the AMES Companies. With further expansion into Australia in 2014 forming AMES operations in Australasia. Griffon commits to long-term investment, support, and substantial experience in key industries, providing world-class products and services to customers around the world.
The AMES Journey Begins in the UK
The AMES Companies entered the UK market in April 2017, acquiring three companies: La Hacienda, a heating and garden décor brand; Kelkay for decorative outdoor landscaping; and Apta for garden pottery. These provided channels to leading garden centres, retailers, and grocers in the UK and Ireland, and developing a platform for growth in the UK.
True Temper (1992) – The company was founded in Cork, Ireland in 1932, acquired by US True Temper in 1966, and merged with AMES in 1999. With a market share of more than 70% in Ireland across the long-handle tools category, True Temper now exports to 11 countries.
La Hacienda (2017) – Founded in 1989 and acquired by AMES in 2017, La Hacienda is recognised as the UK’s leading outdoor heating brand. Distribution across major grocers, DIY retailers, high street multiples, and now garden centres. Garden décor products were introduced as a natural category extension to support future growth.
Kelkay (2018) – Founded in 2001 and acquired by AMES in 2018, Kelkay is the market leader of aggregates in the UK, with a market share of 70% and selling over 12 million bags per year. In addition, the business imports paving and manufacture stones from its Yorkshire site.
Apta (2019) – Founded in 1985 and acquired by AMES in 2019, Apta is a leading force within the UK Pots market.
AMES Tools (2023) – With nearly 250 years of brand heritage, knowledge and expertise, it makes perfect sense for us to continue the AMES tools legacy, bringing exceptional garden tools to retailers across the UK.
One family of brands, a world of potential
We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure longevity for our brand portfolio, supported by significant investments both financially and in time to ensure we can best serve our customers in all areas.
From supply to customer service. With confidence in these processes now holding firm, we’re now able to truly integrate and showcase what the heritage brands of Apta, Kelkay, and La Hacienda have to offer in one setting.
Promoting our ethos of ‘We’re at home outside’, we bring together the best brands and people in our industry, working together to deliver the best products and experiences for our customers.
Our main objective is to be your partner of choice, continued investment means we can further support the growth of your business.