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We first heard about Jordan's furniture store a few months ago. It was described to us like this: "Warren Buffett owns this 250,000 square foot furniture store in Boston. It's made of jelly beans and has a trapeze school inside."
Obviously, we had to go see it for ourselves.
We hit up the Jordan's location in Reading, Massachusetts—the fourth after Nashua (NH), Avon (MA), and Natick (MA)—which is about a 30 minute car ride from central Boston. No detail was overlooked in the planning of this 250,000 square foot superstore—even the parking lot is on-brand with its Jordan-logo-purple painted parking spaces.
Once through the revolving door, the first thing that greets visitors is this gigantic jelly bean replica of the Massachusetts State House. But while you'll find the Governor of Massachusetts inside the real state house, the Jordan's version houses a Jelly Belly jelly bean store. Yummy.
That's not the only thing built out of jelly beans. Dubbed Beantown, the entire front hall—and all the businesses that reside therein—of the Reading store is covered in jelly beans. Check out the ice cream stand above—built to resemble a gigantic sundae. Yummy part II.
Note: Every Jordan's location is different. We hear the Natick location houses a replica of Bourbon Street, New Orleans, complete with Mardi Gras-on-the-hour. True story.
Also in the store foyer—but, sadly, not made from jelly beans—is the store's trapeze school. Yes, a trapeze school. Where customers—both big and small—can swing from the rafters.
Since we are the least athletic people on earth, we skipped that attraction.
Then there's the escalator to the second floor. Yes, that is a giant green mechanical jelly bean Red Sox monster eating a Yankees player. Uh-huh.
Our main goal in visiting Jordan's—besides ogling its vast amazingness—was to check out its new, dedicated organic sleep center, situated in a serene corner of its mattress wing.
If you didn't buy your mattress at Jordan's, you probably picked it like we picked our mattress—by going to a store like Sleepy's and lying down on a bunch of arbitrary mattresses that fell within your price range.
At Jordan's, each customer is assisted by a mattress expert who takes him or her through the mattress shopping process—beginning with a pressure analysis on the this really cool pressure mapping machine. The customer lies down on a pressure-sensitive surface and the computer tells the expert where the client needs the most support. Using the map and data from this test, the mattress expert can narrow down which mattresses would be the best. So, instead of scattershot testing, customers have a much more focused experience.
Towards the back of the sleep center is a dedicated room of organic mattresses. We tested out eco-friendly designer Danny Seo's ultra-luxe all-latex vegan organic Natural Care mattress by Simmons—the first of its kind.
Scary rumor: When we were growing up (and even now, as adults, when we see the infomercial), we always wanted a Sleep Number bed—you know the ones that you can independently adjust the firmness on each side? Well, we're hearing rumors that lots of people have gotten sick from sleeping on Sleep Number beds because the pressure in the beds is adjusted by pumping unpurified air into sealed, air-tight spaces. Because the air isn't allowed to escape and there's no ventilation, bacteria breeds and mold grows inside these beds. Ew!
Scary fact: Memory foam seems like such an attractive option doesn't it? In our weekly junk mailings from Tempurpedic, we're always reading about how they developed the materials for NASA. Wow, good enough for an astronaut is good enough for us, right? Wrong. Sleep experts have also told us that while Tempurpedic's pressure-absorbing material was developed to test for NASA's seating (not sleeping), it was eventually rejected by NASA for being too toxic.
While we don't, personally, sleep on an organic mattress at the moment, it does make sense that an organic sleep surface should be our next option. The average human spends about a third of his or her life in bed, and, well, the cleaner the better, right?
While at Jordan's we also got a chance to hang out with Eliot Tatelman, a bona fide local celebrity—we ran into dozens of grown-ups and kids who stopped him and asked for photos and autographs—who founded the first Jordan's location in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 1983.
He took us through the entire 250,000 square foot space. Divided into departments, which are then subdivided into themed and individually decorated rooms—where everything is different, down to the music—the store is a master class in home staging.
Eliot took us into the projection room at Jordan's IMAX 3-D theater—Oh, sorry, did we forget to mention that there's also an IMAX theater inside the store?—one of the handful of 70mm proper film IMAX 3-D experiences in the country and one of only two IMAX 3-D theaters in the USA that has amplifiers in the seats so that you feel the action onscreen. No joke.
Behind-the-scenes: this is the thing that rocks your seat during action sequences
Note: The 3-D owl movie we saw was just okay, but the popcorn at Jordan's movie theater rocks.