A fun-loving industry geared to growing imaginations now operates from the Falls Lake II Business Park in Butner. Nugget Comfort, located at 200 Business Park Drive, creates children’s furniture that doubles as a toy, allowing children to configure colorful foam cushions into many imaginative possibilities.
The basic four-piece couch manufactured at the Butner site, affectionately called “The Nugget,” comes in an assortment of fun colors that appeal to children AND to their parents, with the idea that “play couches” can be easily converted into beds, chairs, slides – even a fort or a playhouse.
“Children are creative people,” company co-founder David Baron has said about the customers he serves. “Our goal was to convince parents that the Nugget would encourage their children’s creativity.”
The idea for “Nugget’ came in an unexpected way as Baron and fellow UNC graduate Ryan Cocca looked for a better option for dorm furniture. After purchasing a futon while a residence hall student, Baron found it uncomfortable and difficult to assemble. Working together, Baron and Cocca developed a more comfortable and versatile modular couch geared to college students.
Their prototype was introduced to Hannah Fussell, an elementary school teacher and fellow UNC alumnus, who suggested that it might be a better fit for young children Together, the three friends co-founded Nugget, opening their company in Durham in 2014. In 2020, Nugget moved into a 93,000+ square foot facility in nearby Butner. According to the Nugget website, the new location is filled with “Willy Wonka – meets – kids – furniture goodness.”
Granville County Economic Development played a role in the relocation, helping identify a building which suited the company’s growing needs. In October of 2020, Nugget was awarded a Community Development Block Grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority which aided in the expansion and renovation of the building. The $460,000 grant, which required a match from Granville County (approved by the Granville County Board of Commissioners), helped meet basic facility needs – such as electrical, plumbing, piping drywall, flooring and painting – while creating new jobs.
At their new, larger location, Nugget produces thousands of “nuggets” per day. The colorful foam cushions enable children to create any structure they can imagine. An added bonus is that the colorful micro-suede covers are washable and can be easily slipped over the cushions to provide comfort, convenience and versatility, a great selling point for parents with young children. By 2019, “the Nugget” had caught the attention of CNBC, who named it one of the “hottest gifts for kids” during the holiday season.
During the 2020 season, sales skyrocketed when “quarantined” families with young children suddenly found themselves looking for new and creative ways to spend time at home during a nationwide pandemic. “The Nugget” became so popular that more than 200,000 parents asked to be put on a waiting list after an unexpected surge in demand. This newfound popularity helped boost the company’s standing in the children’s furniture market as parents discovered – and are continuing to discover – the value of “The Nugget” in all stages of their children’s development.
“Nugget was born out of a desire to create an ideal futon for the college dorm room,” a company statement reads on their social media page. “Since then, word has spread about our comfy piece of furniture that doubles as the coolest toy in the house. From three-year-olds crawling through a foam tunnel to middle-schoolers in need of a homework chair, Nugget encourages and excites in ways that furniture simply hasn’t before. We’re glad it’s here, and we hope you are too.”
To learn more about Nugget Comfort, visit their website at https://nuggetcomfort.com.