E.J. Schrader Mattress Company was founded in 1956 by Enoch Schrader. It is located on Norton Avenue alongside the railroad that cuts through Palm Beach County from north to south. Today it’s an interesting contrast between a company that has been in operation since the 50’s and the Brightline trains that race past the open factory doors.
The first time I visited the factory it was January. The sliding doors on the east and west sides of the building were open and a refreshing breeze was blowing straight through the building. Walking around the space was like stepping back in time. The walls are covered in years and years worth of memorabilia. The most interesting of which were label after label of other mattress companies. It seemed a little like an opposing team capturing an opponent’s mascot. When I commented how wonderful and refreshing the factory was, one employee chuckled and said, “You should come back when it’s hot.”
On any given day, the seven employees at EJ Schrader are working on mattresses in a variety of stages. Everyone who works there knows how to do every job. Diane Schrader, daughter-in-law of the founder told me that E.J. would load up his station wagon with miscellaneous hardware and drive over to the west coast of Florida to sell items out of his car as well as make cold calls. Some of the clients he got then, they still have today. E.J. Schrader specializes in custom made mattresses, many for the boat, rv and interior designer trade. From start to finish, everything is done right here in West Palm Beach.
On the day that I was there, it was warm. Not September warm but warm enough. As I was finishing up taking pictures, that same employee that I spoke to in January, caught me wiping the sweat off my face with my shirt. He said “Hot, right?” I just shook my head yes, too exhausted to say anything. I left with a great deal more appreciation for what went into making, inarguably, the best mattresses in town. I own one so I should know.