“I can't think of anyone who would know more about the benefits of a good night's rest than the people of Sleepy Eye,” said Rob Ribnick, owner, Better Pillow.

You know what they say? If you’ve got it, you should flaunt it. That goes for a unique town name as well as anything else. Sleepy Eye is the one and only and now can capitalize on that with a little sleepy fame.

A Minneapolis businessman chose Sleepy Eye as the perfect place to launch his new pillow. Entrepreneur Rob Ribnick, a longtime executive at Regis Corporation, launched TheBetterPillow. com to “create a product that would be used and enjoyed by everyone—something that makes a positive difference in people’s lives,” according to a company press release.

Ribnick brought his Minnesota made pillows to Sleepy Eye on April 5, giving them to a group of Sleepy Eye people who had been asked to try it out and provide the company with their thoughts on the product. Ribnick said it was natural that the company would want a customer focus group, in their own backyard, and loved the idea of coming to Sleepy Eye for that. “I can’t think of anyone who would know more about the benefits of a good night’s rest than the people of Sleepy Eye,” he said.

Ribnick said someone at the production facility was from Sleepy Eye (sorry, he doesn’t remember his name) and gave him the idea to do something here.

Ribnick contacted the city and has been working with EDA Coordinator Kurk Kramer to set up the focus group. Members of the police and fire departments, teachers, business people and community members were asked to participate. A group of 25 people were selected to try the pillow—which they received at a luncheon hosted by TheBetterPillow.com at the Railway on April 5.

Another unique Sleepy Eye connection was made when Ralph Jon Fritz contacted Ribnick to offer support. Fritz, a 1957 graduate of St. Mary’s High School and long-time WCCO-TV sportscaster, had somehow heard about the pillow company’s plan to involve Sleepy Eye. “He called me and said, ‘Call me RJ and let me know how I can help,’” explained Ribnick. “We wanted him to join us here in Sleepy Eye, but he couldn’t make it today.”

Ribnick said he’s not sure how Fritz will be involved, but plans to accept his gracious offer to help promote the Better Pillow.

Ribnick thoroughly enjoyed his visit to Sleepy Eye. He said his business philosophy includes giving back, so he plans to donate to the local Lions Club and will also support the area Habitat for Humanity organization as affordable housing is one of his favorite causes.