Sunesta History

A Tradition of Innovation The History of Sunesta Shade Systems

history1_03More than 30 years ago, the founders of Sunesta Shade Systems had an idea that transformed the American awning industry.

It was 1976 and the future owners of Sunesta, Rick and Georgia Bedard, operated a custom awning fabrication business in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, commercial and residential awnings were produced and sold through local shops. As a result of their industry affiliation, the Bedards recognized a need for customizable, pre-manufactured retractable awnings.

Sunesta Products opened for business in 1981; becoming the first manufacturing company in North America to offer a national line of ready-to-install retractable awnings. By 1984, Sunesta required its first facility expansion to accommodate the growing number of orders received.

Initiating a tradition of pioneering, technological advances, Sunesta began the process of inventing, developing, and integrating Computer-Aided Awning Manufacturing (CAM) software and machines in 1985 at its Jacksonville, Florida manufacturing facility in order to keep pace with its rapid growth.

In 1987, Sunesta launched a 10-year expansion plan with the construction of an all new facility.  This facility was planned and built to accommodate the demand for quality retractable awnings, custom made in five days or less. The expansion was completed, on schedule, in 1998 with the addition of a new office, customer service department and production facility to five times the original size. The 65,000 square foot manufacturing facility was computer controlled; CAM operated and painstakingly organized to produce perfectly crafted, precisely customized retractable awnings with the industry’s fastest turnaround time.

2008 marked the completion of the fourth facility expansion for Sunesta, this time with the goal of stocking the materials necessary to continue producing our retractable awnings within a five business-day production time.

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As the pioneer in manufacturing customized retractable awnings, it’s no secret that Sunesta Shade Systems are built to last. As a company, we are proud of our tradition of innovation and engineering excellence. Our products are more than precisely crafted; they also offer a number of benefits to homeowners, such as the ability to block the sun, but preserve exterior views. In addition, homeowners can expand their outdoor living spaces while beautifying their homes.

Sunesta’s product line includes retractable patio awning models and retractable window and door awning models that are available in a range of widths up to 40′ and projections up to 14’8″, depending on the model selected. With the widest variety of features and options in the industry, and a selection of more than 150 fabric patterns, homeowners have the ability to completely customize their Sunesta Shade System, creating the perfect fit and style for their homes.