Sandy Cadotte-Keys, owner of Dragon’s Lair Futons and Organic Mattresses, claims it is the oldest extant futon store in the country. If she seems to have dropped off the map for a few years, that’s not her fault. When she closed her store on West Liberty in 2009 (it’s now Tienda la Libertad), she continued to sell futons out of her nearby warehouse, but the city wouldn’t allow her to prop up a sandwich board on Liberty (see Up Front, p. 9). She’ll be more visible now that she has a real retail shop again in Scio Township’s Furniture Center, a collection of home-related businesses at the former House of Sofas on Jackson Road.

The Zen minimalism of the futon has always attracted a certain organic and nature-loving clientele, so Cadotte-Keys decided to make natural rubber the organizing principle at Dragon’s Lair. She now specializes in both futons and conventional mattresses made of latex. “It’s a natural product, from Sri Lanka or Indonesia. Latex is natural rubber. The top layers of the mattress are coated with wool, so they don’t need fire retardant.”

Cadotte-Keys is untroubled that there’s another mattress vendor under the same roof: Sanjay Panjwani’s All About Furniture right next to her. The furniture people in town, she claims, operate more like a confederation. “We know each other. We get together and buy in bulk so we can get better shipping deals. We help each other out with merchandise. Doreen Collins and I traded things all the time, and she used to sew covers for me.”

Sadly, Collins, whose Dream On Futons for years stood on the corner of Liberty and Ashley, recently died of cancer. “She was the nicest person,” Cadotte-Keys testifies. “I never heard her say anything bad about anyone. I used to try to get her to, and she wouldn’t.”

Dragon’s Lair Futons and Organic Mattresses, 5301 Jackson Rd. (inside the Furniture Center), 665-4646. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m., or by appointment.