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Mattress Company A Family Business

By Lisa Crawford Watson
Monterey County Herald; November 28, 1998

“If you ache in the morning and can’t stand to stay in bed, it’s probably time for a new mattress”, said mattress specialist Brian Gingerich, who, with his father Dale, owns Monterey Mattress Company, a mattress manufacturing firm.

These people are actually willing to make your bed. Literally! In fact, for nearly 20 years, the Gingerich family has been cushioning people’s falls into sleep with their individually handcrafted mattresses. Brian Gingerich, 40, grew up in Kalona, Iowa. His father, Dale, was a Mennonite who married outside the church, and Brian was reared by Amish nannies.  

Dale Gingerich was a custom home builder, cabinet maker and cattleman. When the Midwest economy declined, Brian bought some mattress manufacturing equipment and with his brother-in-law, started making beds. “then Dad really got into it”, Brian said.“ Both my parents and I were living concurrently on the Monterey Peninsula, and my Mom read an article about a local mattress company that had come up for sale.” The Gingeriches negotiated the deal, bought Mattresses of Monterey, and changed its name. Subsequently, they let go of the Iowa operation.

“Monterey Mattress employees 13 people, and production is pretty steady year-round at about 20 mattresses a day.” Brian Gingerich said. The company ships all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. They have even shipped beds to Europe!

“A mattress manufacturing company”, said Brian, “is simply a highly specialized upholstering company”, he said. “the state of the industry, in general, calls for the use of low to medium-density foam padding. We use medium to high density padding exclusively.

We bypass both the brand name manufacturer and the retailer and are, thus, able to afford both higher quality padding and personalized service. Poor quality, lower density padding breaks down within a few months, allowing the body to make a permanent impression on the mattress,” said Gingerich, “this is why brand name manufacturers advise consumers to turn their mattresses so often; sometimes for the first three months and then once a month for the life of the mattress. A Monterey Mattress should be turned four times a year to balance wear and keep the product fresh.”

“Everything good you do for your body can either be negated or supported by your mattress,” Gingerich said. “exercise and proper exercise can only do so much if your body is resting in a position without proper support. Breathing and circulation is affected and you don’t have the comfort that enables you to fall into a deep, restful sleep.”

Chiropractor Michael Weir concurred. “A bed should be firm with a cushy top,” Weir advised. “The top actually has an affect on the circulatory system. If you have too hard a top, you’ll compress the arteries and veins. People spend a third of their time in bed, at least,” said Weir, a chiropractor at Monterey Bay Advanced Medical Group, a practice that includes both chiropractors and physicians.

Brian P. Rector, a Seaside chiropractor, also suggested a firm mattress with the support of about 4 inches of padding. “If you can easily stick your hand under your lower back and the mattress when you’re lying on your back, it means the mattress is too firm,” said Rector, who is president of the Monterey Peninsula Chiropractor Society. “If your bottom sinks too far into the mattress, it can cause the lower back to curve excessively," Rector said.


"Its best to sleep on your back or side, in the fetal position," Rector said. "I tell couples to switch sides, to avoid always being in the same position."


A mattress, Gingerich explained, "is a spring unit upholstered with layers of padding. A quality spring should give an average size adult a support life of 10 years, yet the padding generally will not last that long and is the first thing to wear out."


Focusing on wood or steel frames and the coil springs is marketing hype, Gingerich said. "You'll get 10-15 years of life out of the springs," he said, "the padding breaks down first."


Gingerich compared the padding to the tread quality of auto tires. "You can get a 15,000 mile tire, or a 60,000 mile tire."


Monterey Mattress markets directly to the consumers, via an engaging, family-oriented approach using a panda bear. "Everybody else uses those ugly price point ads or models in negligees," said Gingerich. "That's just not the family image this family-owned company wanted to portray. A teacher, Joe Broadman, sketched a couple dozen stuffed animals for us. the panda was the most unique and appropriate figure for black and white print ads, while being that teddy bear kind of snuggle bedtime image.


Monterey Mattress provides mattresses for many local and major hotel operations, which often become a resource for individual purchase by hotel guests seeking the same good night's sleep they experienced while traveling.


The company has a new factory showroom at 1714 Contra Costa, Sand City, on the Monterey Peninsula.Please come and visit the factory and watch your mattress being built.

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