The Ortmann Bellattex™ Story

Over the past year, we’ve been asked multiple times about how our founders, Doug and Jacqui Ortmann got their start in the concrete business – and how our new product division came to be. We’d love to share their journey with you!

Doug and Jacqui opened Ortmann Concrete Inc’s doors in 2003 as a flatwork concrete business. They poured everything: short walls, footings, driveways, parking lots and more. When they weren’t pouring concrete, they were maintaining it.

Their reputation for reliability and attention to detail kept the phone ringing. And they were proud of that! But by 2010, they knew they needed to diversify if they were going to support their employees year round and keep everyone busy during the slower winter months. And when an interior decorator who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer challenged Doug to build his first bar top and fireplace, they knew they were on to something.

A brief history of concrete counters and tabletops

People have been using concrete furniture in one form or another since ancient times. Thomas Edison actually ran a business that made concrete cabinets and refrigerators in the late 1800s. But as people became more mobile and found lighter materials that filled those needs, concrete fell out of favor. It wasn’t until a few years ago that people began to rethink concrete as a furnishing.

Concrete is sturdy, withstands heavy use, and is versatile. Business establishments such as bars, wineries and restaurants like it because it is stain and chip resistant. And homeowners like it for its beauty and uniqueness. Because of the way it’s poured, no two concrete tops are the same. Each piece is unique.

A well-made concrete surface needs minimal maintenance and will last for many years. Chances are good that it will outlast the customer or business that buys it, which makes it an heirloom quality purchase.

Bellattex - Concrete Coffee Table
Bellattex - Concrete Dining Table
Ortmann- Concrete Man Cave - Kitchen concrete counters

Ashby Concrete System

The Ortmanns were determined make consistently high-quality tabletops and countertops and recognized that in order to do it right, they needed to get some help. Their research led them to the Countertop Systems website and Ben Ashby’s courses.

Though Ben Ashby (1962-2023) worked in flatwork concrete too, he was best known as a concrete artist. Ashby spent years perfecting the “aged stone” look and, more than that, learning how to pour attractive countertops using different molds. It didn’t take him long to build an enthusiastic customer base. People were attracted to Ben’s classes because he was more than a craftsman and artist, he was a giver and a kind human being.

The Ashby System, as it became known, attracted the attention of other craftsmen who wanted to know how Ben did it. He began offering courses, and they filled up fast. Ashby’s courses were the perfect marriage of practicality and art. People who took them came away with a complete understanding of the process and certificates to prove it.

Bellattex - Concrete End Table
Bellattex Concrete Kitchen Table Top
Bellattex - Concrete End Table

The Birth of Bellattex™

The Ortmanns learned everything Ben had to offer. After they earned their certificates, they took their new skill set back to the shop and tested the waters with local customers.

The response they received was outstanding and they were so pleased that they decided to brand their product. And what better way than to name it than after their greatest achievements; their children—Alexa, Bella, Teagan, and Ty. The Ortmanns combined some of the letters of each of the children’s names, and their new product became known as Bellattex™.

Over the last ten years, they’ve developed techniques that make their counter and table tops unique to the Bellattex™ brand. OCI’s concrete table and counter tops don’t look like anyone else’s. They offer many customizations and designs which guarantees that each customer will take home a product that reflects their individual tastes.

Bellattex Concrete Table Top Online Store

Want to know more? Call us!

Ortmann Concrete is locally owned and operated. We are dedicated to the St. Louis community and are proud to know that customers who purchase our products and rely on our services trust us with their business.

Ortmann Concrete is a member of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, certified by the American Concrete Institution, and is a recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award.

We deliver to all locations in the St. Louis metro area! If you live outside the St. Louis area and are interested in our products, we are happy to prepare your new tabletop for pickup.

If you’d like more information about bringing a custom Bellattex™ concrete table top or countertop to your home, just contact us. You can’t find Bellattex™ products anywhere in the country, other than Ortmann Concrete. We’re proud of our new line and look forward to hearing from you.