A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for a new business entering the business of providing services to families burying their loved ones. Ellison Bennett and Allen Patel have launched Pensacola Caskets at 3848 N. Davis Highway in Pensacola in the commercial center at the Fairfield Drive exit off of the Interstate 10 ramp driving north. Pensacola Chamber of Commerce officials, County Commissioner Lumon May, members of the Patel hotel business group, local media and community residents gathered at the showroom of Pensacola Caskets for the event.
Bennett introduced his partner Allen Patel as the brain behind the start-up company, but added that he has attended mortuary school in Miami brings the experience of having managed a funeral home for 18 years in South Florida and understands the funeral business, but added, “that you have to have true compassion for people at a terrible time in their life and not just focus on profit but truly focus on servicing the people that you see every day.”
The company sells retail to the general public and to funeral homes in south Alabama and northwest Florida. The provision of services to and the caring for bereaved families in America is a $15 billion a year industry. Those figures include funeral homes, crematoriums, caskets, and cemeteries, but exclude related costs of headstones and crypts. The average cost of a funeral cost $7,323, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. Additionally, when a family adds flowers and a burial plot raises that number closer to $9,000. Almost 2.5 million people died in the U.S. in 2008, and 1.8 million were places in caskets that were sold.