This is the tale of two Oakland entrepreneurs. Both are millennials -- young, bold and determined to make a difference.

Bianca Frediani is 24 and two years out of Santa Clara University. She and Holy Names University grad Patrick Turner own Bed Bandits, a company that makes and sells mattress toppers. For every three sold, they donate a fourth to a local shelter. It's a business model driven by compassion, but for Frediani, it's meant giving up job security and a management position at Old Navy.

"It was a great job, but my dad was an Oakland firefighter for over 30 years, running into fires to literally save people. And I was over here ... not making a difference," she says.

When Turner and his father came up with a design for fire-retardant, hypoallergenic mattress toppers (Turner's dad owns a mattress factory in Fort Bragg), Bed Bandits was born. Now the website is up and orders are coming in for the mattress toppers that Frediani swears by for her nightly rest.

"Sleeping is so important," she says. "I hope someday -- if this (company) becomes a big thing, that we can go to Third World countries and donate these mattress toppers to people who don't have beds."

You can find out more about this new business at http://www.bedbandits.com.


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Around town: After 12 years and two different storefronts, Wheels of Justice has called it quits in Montclair. It's sad to see Justice and its staff move their gear to the Albany store (1554 Solano Ave.) but it makes more sense fiscally. Meanwhile, last Friday's closure leaves a big vacant storefront at the corner of Mountain and La Salle.

Email bag: Speaking of vacant storefronts ... what a sight to see the old Longs Drug-turned CVS Pharmacy getting gutted in the Rockridge Shopping Center. Reader Charles Chapman remembers thinking it was "ultramodern" when it first opened.

"But by the time Longs became CVS, it was charmingly old fashioned, a link to the old five-and-dime stores where you could buy a bolt of fabric and a bottle of hair ointment, get your clocks fixed and have a hot dog on the way out," Chapman says.

The CVS building is being razed and replaced with a new Safeway as the whole shopping center -- valuable real estate, indeed -- gets a complete makeover. (You can see Chapman's pictures of the empty CVS site on www.ginnyprior.com.)

Animal tales: Not exactly an animal tale, but the Oakland Zoo is getting a new attraction called the Serengeti Safari. The track and the jeeps are in, and the kids ride should be running by the end of the month -- for children and adults.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at ginnyprior@hotmail.com or on the web at www.ginnyprior.com.