DURHAM, N.C. – One of the hottest gifts out there for the holidays this year (and one that is almost impossible to get) is the Nugget Couch, which is made of four foam blocks covered in microsuede including the base, the cushion and two triangle pillows.
The company was co-founded by UNC-Chapel Hill students David Baron and Ryan Cocca. Hannah Fussell, Cocca’s girlfriend, joined them shortly thereafter.
“David had a concept to eliminate waste and create a better futon for students on campus,” Cocca said. “He sold 100 of the first Nugget couches on campus, but they weighed 70 pounds each. He then re-engineered it to be just four pieces that weighed 27 pounds. At that point, we launched a Kickstarter campaign that did very well.”
Fussell’s background as a teacher led the trio to consider the couch as a perfect way to engage the creativity of children. So, they started targeting influencers on Instagram and added fun colors and patterns. The couch has developed a cult-like following on some social media sites.
When multiple couches are purchased, the pieces can be moved around for children to make a fort or to jump on.
“The Kickstarter campaign was so successful, raising $84,000, that we had to turn it off when we hit a limit,” Cocca added. “We didn’t spend any money on advertising, and the product continued to grow in an organic way.”
The product is currently made at the company’s manufacturing facility in Durham, N.C., with foam from nearby Mt. Airy, N.C., and textiles from Raleigh, N.C.
When the pandemic hit in March, the company shut down for two months until mid-May, and since that time the demand has increased exponentially.
“Home was huge; people were doing home improvements and looking for things for the family to do together,” Cocca said. “We decided to create a Nug Lotto to offer drops of the product to limited numbers of people. Through the lotto, we will end up shipping thousands of Nuggets in time for Christmas this year.”
The company is also working on fulfilling its backorder log by asking for payment eight months in advance. Cocca said he hopes this helps them to get ahead of the demand and start planning accurately for next year.
The Nugget is currently available in 15 colors and also is offered limited edition colors and prints in collaboration with a certain business or an artist. The company also uses retired colors to generate fundraising for non-profits.
The base price of the couch is $229 for solid colors; certain patterned prints are available for $249 and others in microsuede retail for $259.
The company currently employs 80 people but plans to add more than 20 employees within the next six months.