It's Your Business: Bender's to add Champaign showroom

Bender's Mattress Factory and Sleep Shoppe in Urbana plans to open another mattress showroom in Champaign at the end of this month.

The store will be at 1207 S. Mattis Ave., in the former Andy's Shoes space near Christie Clinic's CU Sleep, home of the clinic's Department of Sleep Medicine.

Owners Tom and Ryan Bender said they chose the Mattis Avenue location because of the street's high vehicle traffic, but it doesn't hurt to have a sleep clinic nearby, they said.

"We've been dreaming about a Champaign showroom for the better part of the last decade," said Tom Bender.

The approximately 1,800-square-foot store will feature a selection similar to what's available in their 1206 N. Cunningham Ave. shop, including inner-spring, latex and memory foam mattresses, electric adjustable beds, trundle beds, futons and futon frames, and platform beds.

They hope to open during the last week of February. The shop is expected to be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

The business was started by Tom Bender's father, Don Bender, who began making mattresses in 1949 at Champaign Mattress Factory. He started Bender Mattress in his two-car garage in the 1960s, and the business quickly expanded after that. Prior to moving to the firm's current home base at 1206 N. Cunningham Ave., the mattress factory and showroom were located at 1108 N. Cunningham Ave.

All the mattresses they sell are made in their factory, located behind the Cunningham Avenue store. About 80 percent of their mattresses are sold directly to consumers, but they also sell to hotels, apartment owners, hospitals and the trucking industry. Depending on the time of the year, the business employs eight to 12 people.

The business has hired a store manager for the Champaign showroom. And that manager has been trained for eight months in mattress manufacturing, meaning he understands how the mattresses are made and what will work for different customers, the Benders said.

"We truly are trying to sell customers a good night's rest," Tom Bender said.

A Bender's Mattress store is also located at 805 N. Vermilion St. in Danville, and Ryan Bender said they are exploring their options of expanding into other markets in the region.

Restaurants now open

Two new restaurants we've written about previously have now opened in Champaign.

Kaiyo, 2501 N. Prospect Ave., opened in the former Boston's Pizza and near Meijer. The restaurant features a sushi buffet, plus a selection of hot dishes such as grilled and stir-fried items.

It's open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. then 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, it's open noon to 9 p.m. The restaurant can be reached at 398-3888.

AnSun, a Chinese and American restaurant, opened at 2411 Village Green Place, in part of the former Ace Hardware space at Village at the Crossing in southwest Champaign.

AnSun is open daily from 11 a.m. until it closes, which can vary. The kitchen, however, does close at 10 p.m. The restaurant can be reached at 355-3855.

Pancakes!

Celebration National Pancake Day by chowing down on free buttermilk pancakes at IHOP, 308 E. Green St., in Champaign next week.

What you get: a free short stack. What you're asked to give: a donation to Children's Miracle Network hospitals. You can eat your pancakes anytime from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 23.

Donations made at the Champaign IHOP will benefit the Children's Miracle Network program at St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield.

This year, IHOP is aiming to raise a total of $1.75 million. The restaurant chain served more than 2.5 million free pancakes on National Pancake Day 2009.

All of the free pancakes served on National Pancake Day would create a stack more than 20 miles high, according to IHOP.

Curves food drive

Area Curves fitness centers are holding food drives for local families. From March 1 to 31, Curves locations will be collecting nonperishable items and monetary donations for area food banks.

Members who donate a bag of groceries or make a minimum donation of $30 during March will receive a reusable Curves grocery freezer bag for free.

Nonmembers who donate between March 8 and 20 can join Curves for free. Curves will waive the cost to join.

Curves locations can be found in Savoy, Rantoul, Champaign, Urbana, Tolono and Mahomet.

New consultant

Dawn Keel-Tyson has started assisting small businesses in the area. As a small-business consultant, she said she will help startup businesses and established small businesses.

She graduated from Parkland College in December 2009 with a business marketing degree and can be reached at 390-9186 of dkeeltyson@comcast.net.

Christine des Garennes can be reached by phone at 351-5388 or 800-252-3346; by e-mail at cgarenne@news-gazette.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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