You made it legal for us
Founder and pyro advocate
This is the man who helped make it legal to buy and use consumer fireworks in Kentucky. Fireworks were a major passion for Mike since he was a kid. He loved to share this love with his family and friends and turned his love of all things pyro into a business. In 2010 he helped write, take to the state legislature, find a representative to sponsor and see to passing the law allowing the use of aerial fireworks.
A real fireworks aficionado
To say he knew everything about fireworks would be a gross understatement. He traveled the world to learn from the experts the fine art of making fireworks. He and his wife Ruth made multiple trips to China and Europe to develop his skills in crafting sophisticated shells.
From big to “small”
Professional shows and sales
Around the year 2000 Mike bought some property to have a place to shoot the big stuff. After getting licensed to buy, shoot and sell professional grade fireworks he imported his first container full from China. He shot what he wanted and sold the rest. Thus his business, Advanced Technique Fireworks was born. As time went on he imported more and more. This began to include some consumer sized fireworks. Professionals would often use 500 gram cakes and larger shells in their displays. After helping to get the law changed for the state, the next logical step was to open a retail store and sell to everyone.
America's Thunder Fireworks
Selling to the people!
He knew the market and the state well enough to know that Jefferson county wouldn’t be keen to the idea of fireworks sales in a densely populated city. Having lived around Louisville all his life he knew the perfect spot just outside of Louisville to set up shop. He bought our location just south of the Snyder, contracted to have the building built and ordered plenty of fireworks to sell. Sadly just after the floor of the store had been laid he went into the hospital with a heart condition and passed away February 2, 2012. His sons Dennis and Scott then took over the process of putting this business together from the literal ground up.
ATF as initials for everything
The story goes something like this… Mike thought it would be clever to name his businesses ATF, similar of course to the government agency that oversees the industry the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives). His peers in the industry said you can’t name your company ATF, his response, “wanna bet”.
Mike also built lots of equipment used in the shooting of professional displays. Almost every product he created used the acronym ATF. This included everything from the Adjustable Tiny Fire rack, which our store still sells to a fully computerized firing system called Automated Time Fire.