By LISA FARMER
Bemco Sleep Products manufactured in Dunn will soon be manufactured and sold by Sleepworthy/ Therapedic of Pinetops, N.C., announced Gene T. Jernigan, president and owner of Bemco.
The facility in Dunn, which has 14 employees, will close. Mr. Jernigan will retire, but the product will continue to be manufactured in Pinetops. Bemco’s manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, Illinois, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia will continue to operate as they are now. The Dunn plant served the Southeast as will the Pinetops operation. Pinetops is located in Edgecomb County near Rocky Mount.
“For more than 65 years, Bemco Sleep Products Inc. has manufactured high-quality bedding products from its factory in Dunn, N.C.,” according to a company press release.
Mr. Jernigan noted that Sleepworthy is a family-owned and operated company that has supplied bedding to the market area for more than 87 years.
Mr. Jernigan said Stephen Walter, vice president and manager of Sleepworthy, and Ellis Phillips III and his family, “are excited to continue to provide the same highquality product line, at the same competitive pricing that Bemco customers have come to expect.”
For 34 years Mr. Jernigan has managed Bemco operations from its Dunn facility. He said he is “proud to know that the Bemco legacy will continue” beyond his retirement.
Mr. Jernigan stated, “I am very grateful for the business relationships and personal friendships that I have developed over the years with my customers. Based on my discussions with Mr. Walter, and my knowledge of Sleepworthy, I am confident that these relationships will continue.”
He was quick to express his appreciation of his employees for their “loyal dedication to the production of the Bemco product line.”
The transaction and move of the operation should be on or about Feb. 1 at which time Bemco products will be manufactured by Sleepworthy in Pinetops.
Mr. Jernigan stated, “It will be the same Bemco bedding, same product labeled, just shipped out of Pinetops.”
According to the Bemco website:
• Bemco was incorporated in 1956 as Bedding Manufacturers Associates.
• Bemco holds more than 30 trademarks and patents in the United States.
• Bemco patented the first pillow- top mattress in 1961.
• In its market area, Bemco remains one of the most popular mattress styles.
• Bemco introduced the industry’s first health-oriented posture bedding product in 1977.
• Bemco created the first mattress designed specially for athletes in 1987.
• Bemco has been a longtime sponsor of “The Price is Right” TV game show.