Bernard Castro

Bernard Castro

‘’’Bernard Castro’’’ (1904 - August 24, 1991) was the inventor of the modern convertible couch.

Born in Sicily, Castro emigrated to the U.S. in 1919. He never finished high school but went to work as an upholsterer’s apprentice. In 1931 with $400 in capital he opened his first store, which eventually became a chain he named ‘’’Castro Convertibles’’’. At his death in 1991, he had sold over 5 million of his convertible sofas through 48 retail showrooms in 12 states, becoming a multimillionaire in the process.

Bernard Castro married Theresa Barabas on Valentine’s Day 1942. Their two children were Bernard, Jr. and Bernadette. Bernadette became locally famous in the New York area as the company’s official four-year-old spokesperson. Theresa died at 85 in March 2002. Castro Convertibles was acquired in 1993 by Krause Furniture, a competitor.

Bernadette Castro managed the sale to Krause but retained the large portfolio of commercial real estate her father had acquired, both retail and industrial. Those properties in New York, Florida, Connecticut, and Virginia put the family in the real estate business. The iconic Castro Convertible brand was retired until 2010 when Bernadette Castro and her children bought back the intellectual property and relaunched the business with one of the most popular original products, the Castro Convertible Ottoman. Rather than retail locations, the new Castro is available online and at many Macy’s stores across the country. The Castro Convertible line is scheduled for expansion.

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Famous quotes containing the word bernard:

    The surest way to ruin a man who doesn’t know how to handle money is to give him some.
    —George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)