Just off 8th Avenue at the intersection of Humboldt Road and Bartlett lies one of Chico's longest running companies - Square Deal Mattress Factory. A "micro-factory" of high-quality mattresses, bedding, and custom furniture, Square Deal still lives by the principles on which it was founded 97 years ago. We caught up with Richard Lash, the 3rd generation owner, to learn more.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT SQUARE DEAL
In 1920, Ennis Rife founded Square Deal Mattress Factory & Custom Upholstery. Throughout the years, the Chico Made design was based on firmness consistency, breathability, and durability. We stay true to those design principles today. We engineer our mattresses to provide you a great night's sleep, using proven craftsmanship, new sleep innovations, and quality USA materials.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREAT GRANDFATHER'S MOTIVATION FOR STARTING THE COMPANY IN 1920? WHAT KEPT IT IN CHICO ALL THESE YEARS?
Ennis, or EV as he was fondly called, founded this company four generations ago to support his mother and sisters. His great-grandchildren carry on his philosophy of treating every one of our customers as one of our own family. Keeping it in Chico for me was the realization I could become successful with an out of the way location. People would seek us out even though we were not in a shopping mall or typical retail location.
WHEN DID YOU JOIN THE FAMILY BUSINESS?
I started working for my grandparents August of 1970 as I went to college at Chico State.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF CHICO?
I remember being four or five years old sitting on a stool next to my grandmother as she sewed the mattress covers at the Square Deal Market located next to the factory. Neighborhood kids would come and buy Penny candies or sandwiches. It's for the love of Northern California that we have remained in Chico and opened stores in surrounding cities.
DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY'S "SPECIAL SAUCE"
We live, sleep and breathe the business of comfortable bedding, but more importantly, we are focused and are about the quality of sleep of our customers. A good nights sleep equates to good health.
WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY BEST KNOWN FOR?
We are a micro-manufacturer of two-sided mattresses. Most manufacturers have moved to one-sided to save costs in material and shipping. We've stayed true to our roots and the promise of value to our customers. Two sided means you get twice the life out of your mattress.
WHAT IS A LITTLE-KNOWN SECRET ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
We're always delighted to meet fellow lovers of sleep and we won't rest until they have everything they need to thrive.
DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE
Square Deal Mattress Factory and Upholstery has always been build by and for family. It's at the heart of everything we do.
WHAT WOULD YOUR EMPLOYEES SAY ARE THE TOP THREE REASONS THEY LOVE WORKING FOR YOU?
1. We are family oriented. We know family comes first and are flexible with hours.
2. There are many different areas to grow personally and in the company with onsite training.
3. We offer competitive pay, benefits, and bonuses.
WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD OF YOUR COMPANY?
We stand behind our family's legacy and traditions in the belief that building a higher quality mattress means a higher quality sleep for you and your family - and a higher quality sleep equals a higher quality of life. Get the rest you need to live the life you want.
WHAT MAKES YOUR MOST PROUD OF LIVING IN CHICO?
Our tight knit community who strongly see to support local business. The reserved land, like Bidwell Park.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN CHICO
I love that within short periods of time you can be in the city, at the ocean or enjoying the mountains.
FOR PEOPLE STILL DISCOVERING WHAT CHICO HAS TO OFFER, WHAT TIP WOULD YOU SHARE?
Bring your appetite, we have amazing restaurants.
WRAPPING THINGS UP, CAN YOU SHARE A FEW FUN FACTS ABOUT SQUARE DEAL?
Sure. Founder E.V. Rife established the business when he was 16 years old after graduating from the old Chico Business College inthe Waterland-Breslauer building.
In 1920, Humboldt Avenue was the main thoroughfare in and out of Chico. For three decades Square Deal Mattress Factory was located on the main drag through Chico until the late 1950s when Highway 99 was built, 8th and 9th streets became Highway 32 and traffic was redirected.
Square Deal Mattress Factory has the distinction of being a 4 generation proprietor and the oldest manufacturing and upholstering establishment in the area.
For more information or to visit their showroom, please visit the Square Deal Mattress Factory website.