Thirty years ago, a young man surprised his wife with a pickup truck, as she stood on the stoop of their home with their two young sons. Naturally, she asked, “What is this honey?” Smiling his signature grin, he replied, “Our delivery truck for the new mattress store I’m opening.” A testament to their love and level of trust, she only blinked once in disbelief before committing to this new adventure. Since then, their family business has not only grown but has thrived, and this winter, they celebrate their 30-year anniversary.
Fred Kunke, the founder and owner of The Sleep Shoppe, has a warm smile and firm handshake for every customer that he encounters. In every interaction, it is obvious that Fred has a deep caring for his customers, listening intently and matching their wants to their needs. He has developed his extensive knowledge about not only the products, but the science of sleep to best serve and guide his customers to the right mattress and the best night’s sleep of their life.
The Sleep Shoppe boasts the largest showrooms in Ventura County, and you can always expect to be impressed when you walk through their doors. Their showrooms are equipped with a scientifically advanced system called BedMatch that was developed by the Sleep to Live Institute. BedMatch runs a diagnostic that measures your body and identifies the optimal postural support and pressure relief for each person. With these results in hand, it is both easy and fun to find the perfect mattress.
A Fulfilling Legacy
When asked what the most fulfilling part of his job is, you’ll see Fred mist up a little bit, then quickly smile and quip that he must have gotten something in his eye. He will tell you that watching customers come in repeatedly and trusting him to find the right mattress for every milestone is truly rewarding.
“We have young newlyweds coming in to find their first bed together, then those same couples return to find the right crib mattress when they are expecting their first bundle of joy. Parents come in looking for beds as their children grow and go off to college, and then those young people come in to find beds for their aging parents. We provide beds for our customers’ loved ones at every age and every stage of their lives.” For Fred, bonding with these families, watching them grow and seeing them keep coming back to his stores is more than he had ever imagined when he set out on this journey.
It’s not surprising for a family man like Fred to reveal that his greatest accomplishment of the past 30 years in business is his family.
“My son Jonathan has worked side by side with me for the past 12 years, and seeing him blossom into the businessman he has become is incredible,” says Fred, adding, “Jonathan and his wife, Evita, work together with me, and the two of them have been able to take The Sleep Shoppe to new heights I never dreamed we would reach. They launched our online store and are always implementing new ideas that end up redefining us as a company. In fact, we were recently voted Ventura County’s #1 mattress store for the past 20 years in a row, and I don’t know that that ever would have happened without them. It feels amazing to know that in this increasingly online world, our small family business can continue to thrive.”
The Sleep Shoppe has come a long way since that starry-eyed boy bought his first pickup truck and opened his first tiny storefront. Now, 30 years later, they are still serving their community with four locations all under the same family ownership. It is interesting to see the blend between cutting-edge technology and that “mom and pop” customer service that has become The Sleep Shoppe’s trademark. They pride themselves on not only providing the easiest mattress-buying experience possible, but on having their customers leave feeling like they’ve made a friend. It is easy to see their passion and to get swept up in their love of what they do. It is no wonder that their slogan is “Shop The Sleep Shoppe and You’ll Be Waking Up Happy”—The Sleep Shoppe team is all smiles, and the true embodiment of that statement.
Visit The Sleep Shoppe at 1316 Newbury Road, in Newbury Park or at their Agoura Hills, Ventura and Simi Valley stores. Learn more at ShopTheSleepShoppe.com.