Kent-Coffey was established by Harold Coffey in Lenoir, North Carolina in 1907. Icons like John Bernhardt and James Broyhill were Coffey’s neighbours, and although they were competitors, he maintained friendly relations with them. In fact the three were instrumental in influencing the early furniture industry in North Carolina. In honour of his contribution to the furniture business , Coffey’s house, located at the corner of Maple Drive and Harper Avenue in Lenoir, has been conserved and converted to a bed-and-breakfast.
Kent-Coffey furniture was strongly-built, durable and affordable to the average customer. It was sold all along the East coast and soon grew to be a popular and well-loved brand. The Baby-Boomer generation inherited a number of Kent-Coffey furniture pieces from their parents and grandparents and were thus introduced to the brand. Recently, collectors interested in mid-century furniture are becoming familiar with, and showing keen interest in the Kent-Coffey name.
Kent-Coffey continued to be operational all along the ‘60s and made affordably priced, quality furniture. In 1983, the company was bought over by the Singer Furniture company, which was a subsidiary of the well-known Singer sewing machines. Although Singer tried aggressively to stay afloat, the furniture division of Singer went bankrupt in 1997. It can be ascertained through a lawsuit in 2001, that Kent-Coffey had been named as a co-defendant by an ex- employee over an asbestos related illness.