It’s been helping customers get a good night’s sleep for more than 34 years but next month the lights will go out at the Chris Gammon Bed Centre for the last time.
Other businesses at Allington’s Mid Kent Shopping Centre in Castle Road have wished the firm’s energetic owner Chris Gammon farewell as he and wife Liz prepare to retire.
A former upholsterer and floor layer, Mr Gammon, a self-confessed workaholic, set up his business in 1981 and developed a customer base across the South East.
With two warehouses and its own delivery van, the family firm was able to compete with larger national suppliers selling bedding, mattresses, sofas and wooden furniture. Many customers found their way to the store through word of mouth.
Over the years Mr Gammon, who has a blackbelt in karate, used his success to help his community.
He sponsored Oakwood Park Grammar School pupil Charlie Talbot, giving him £500 to pursue his dream of rowing in the 2012 Olympics.
Another claim to fame is Mr Gammon’s training of Mark Phelan, a Hollingbourne flooring contractor called into to do emergency carpet work in Westminster Abbey weeks before the Queen mother’s funeral.
Karen Dale, a receptionist at Pennard Vets in the centre, said: "I have never heard anything but good things about the company.
"When I think about Kent Shopping Centre, I think about Waitrose and Chris Gammon Bedding. It is a part of Allington, it is so sad.”
Dave Watts, owner of Euphoria Beauty and Nail Studio, said: “I have known him for about 50 years. If you had any problems, if he possibly could, Chris would help you out.
"At the end of the day everything Chris has taken on in life has become a success. I wish him all the best.”
Chris Gammon Bed Centre will shut up shop in the second week of October.