Chuck Sweet

Chuck Sweet inside Sweet Dreams Mattresses.

Most people spend a third of their day on a mattress.

Not Chuck Sweet. For the past 15 years he spent the majority of his day with a mattress as the owner of Sweet Dreams Mattresses.

But Sweet is resting easier these days, having retired in March after a total of 34 years in the furniture and bedding industry.

Chuck Sweet and his wife Terri, owners of Sweet Dreams Mattresses, were able to leave the business in March. A second-party liquidator is operating the store through August.

“I’m loving it,” Sweet said of retirement.

However, the freedom that comes with retirement takes some getting used to, he confessed.

Chuck Sweet said the Monticello community really supported he and Terri through their 15 years in business and three Monticello locations. S

weet Dreams first operated for a year in a strip mall off of Cedar Street on Monticello’s south side. The Sweets then moved their business to the building where Rustech Brewing Company is located. They operated there for nine years before settling in between Cub Foods and Runnings at 224 Seventh St. W.

“We really feel blessed to have been in Monticello and to have had the customers we had, Chuck Sweet said.

That includes 2020 and 2021, the COVID years. Sweet Dreams had its best year ever in 2021.

“People have been so loyal,” Terri Sweet said.

The Sweets moved to Monticello in 1986 from the Rockford, Illinois area, where the couple owned a chain of five waterbed showrooms.

Chuck and Terri sold the business. They moved to Minnesota where Chuck worked as a salesman of chemicals used in the waterbed industry and Terri opened a daycare business.

Soon Chuck Sweet went to work for the large showroom furniture company HOM. He was hired as the company’s first sleep specialist.

Sweet spent time with mattress companies getting schooled on their products. He went on to hold seven of the top certifications available to people in the mattress industry.

After about 10 years with HOM, Chuck opened Sweet Dreams Mattresses in 2007. 

It was something special driving up to the store with Terri and saying it was theirs, Chuck Sweet said.

“It was a big deal saying, ‘I built this’.”

It was also a big deal for Chuck to move into his own business in furniture sales and carrying on the long tradition of working in an industry he had come to know so intimately.

In 2007 when the Sweets opened Sweet Dreams Mattresses, there were not a lot of mattress-specific stores. Most mattresses were sold within furniture stores.

“When we opened, we were one of the first in Minnesota,” Chuck Sweet said.

With the knowledge he had gained over the years working in mattress sales, he had confidence that the business would do well.

“I took the route that it was my job to educate,” Chuck said.

When it came to mattresses, he was a teacher, not a salesman, Terri Sweet said.

“There was never any pressure. If they wanted to buy, the customer would tell me so,” Chuck Sweet said.

The Sweets loved their customers and they love the Monticello community.

But with a lease that about to be up and a body that wasn’t necessarily holding up to the rigors of moving mattresses, the Sweets knew it was time for Chuck to retire.

“Mattresses are heavy and the work was hard on my back. My body was telling me it was time,” Chuck said of retirement.

He looks forward to trading in the six-day weekly work grind for quality time with Terri, who retired from newspaper ad sales in Buffalo at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

“We’d like to do some traveling,” said Chuck. They wasted no time and just spent a week in Las Vegas to celebrate with family the end of Chuck’s working career.

Chuck said he’d also like to help Terri around the house.

First up will be teaching Chuck how to use the dishwasher and the washer and dryer, Terrilaughed.

A journey down Route 66 and a trip on a train are items Chuck has on his bucket list, he said.

Reach Jeff Hage at jeff.hage@apgecm.com

Load comments