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(NECN: The Boss) - Gardner Mattress was founded in 1933 by Alan Gardner during the depression years. He bought the old Reed warehouse on Canal Street in Salem, Mass., after it closed down.
Inside, Alan Gardner started making small mattresses and box springs. In 1949, Gardner Sisk was born. Named after his grandfather, Gardner was sent off to work at his grandfather’s mattress factory at just 14 years old. It was there, he learned the art of making mattresses. Gardner was an only child and grew up in Lynn and Marblehead, Mass.
Gardner went to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, then on to law school at Boston College in 1972. But a career in law was not to be for Gardner. His grandfather was sick at the time, and asked Gardner to help him out at the factory. Two years later, Gardner was the owner of an established New England business, at just 26 years old.
In the early 1970’s Gardner met a young woman named Susan Prosser. They married in 1979 and have three children. Over the years the business grew. While the original factory remains in Salem, Mass., Gardner opened stores in Woburn and Newton, Mass. Competition is fierce in the mattress business, but quality has always been the driving force behind the success of Gardner Mattress.