North Carolina-based Kingsdown will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday for its new mattress-making plant in Waco.
The company signed a 10-year lease on the former U.S. Postal Service sorting center at 7300 Imperial Drive. It spent $2 million “to turn it into a state of the art manufacturing and distribution center for the central region,” the company said in a news release.
Spokeswoman Lisa Wells said the company has hired 32 people and will add five to 10 positions when production peaks.
Kingsdown, which traces its founding to 1904 and today is an employee-owned company, said it tests every mattress that leaves the production line. Its website says it maintains a database of 9 million body profiles so it can successfully produce a mattress suitable to any size and shape.
It has other manufacturing and distribution centers in Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida and California, and an international presence in Canada, England, Italy, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Waco real estate agent Bland Cromwell, who was the listing agent on the building, was instrumental in bringing Kingsdown to Waco. Said Kingsdown President and CEO Frank Hood when the company’s plans were announced late last year, “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to expand our operation to McLennan County to more effectively support our business growth in the region.
“The dedicated professionals in both the public and private sectors of the City of Waco and McLennan County have been fabulous to work with, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership together.”
The city and county gave Kingsdown more than $120,000 from the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corp. fund.
Southwest Rustic, which sells such novelty items as wrought-iron arches and cowhides, is going out of business June 27.
Owner Larry Stanfield, 76, and his wife, Jane, have decided now is the time to retire and shutter the shop at 3114 Franklin Ave., next to Golden’s Book Exchange.
“We’ve been tied down with different stores for so long that we want to spend our golden years with old friends and doing a little traveling,” Larry Stanfield said.
He said more than anything he and his wife will miss longtime customers who made the business a success for 15 years.
Stanfield said he retired after 25 years in the remodeling business and was looking for a way to pass the time and make a little money.
“I kind of got into the business as a fluke,” he said. “A friend of mine was selling purses and other items in the parking lot of an abandoned Walmart in Mexia. I saw a guy pull up in a cattle trailer filled with rustic decor from Mexico, and people began circling him like the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. He sold $600 worth of stuff in an hour.”
Stanfield said he thought he could become a success with a similar approach, so he lined up suppliers in Laredo, Dallas-Fort Worth, Canton and Houston.
The Stanfields opened a store for two months around Christmas each year, then expanded to a full-time operation to meet demand.
“Now it has come to this,” said Larry Stanfield, who will lower the price of merchandise as the closing date approaches.
Waco-born Big Red, the soft drink now headquartered in Austin, will produce a 16-ounce product called “Big Red Vintage Reset” in conjunction with the summer release of the movie “Terminator Genisys” that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The drink — the first offered in a 16-ounce aluminum can in Big Red’s 78-year history — will hit store shelves on Monday.
“Aligning Big Red with ‘Terminator Genisys’ gives the brand a tremendous opportunity to reach consumers who have followed the franchise since the beginning, as well as millennials who might be experiencing the thrill of a Terminator movie on the big screen for the first time,” said Thomas Oh, senior vice president of marketing for Big Red.
The campaign also will include Big Red in 12-ounce packaging that features characters from the movie.
Big Red has teamed up with the video messaging app Dubsmash to host the Big Red #Dubinator contest beginning June 6 at BigRed.com/Terminator. The winner receives a tour of Paramount Pictures and a meeting with the movie’s production team.
Big Red Inc. is the sixth-largest soft-drink company in America. It also markets Big Red Zero, Big Blue, Big Peach, Big Pineapple, NuGrape and Nesbitt’s products.
It primarily is distributed through the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, independent bottlers and Pepsi Beverages Co.