Jon Dawson: Recycled floss company opens in Lenoir County

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Local entrepreneur Jonathan Massey’s latest venture is one of the more radical business plans you’ll ever hear – but more on that a little later.

After completing one semester of dental school in 1991, Massey decided to change career paths.

“I’ve been fascinated with dental care since I was a kid,” Massey said. “The problem is most of the patients who came to the dental school for free treatment wreaked of gas station cologne and sausage. It’s really tough trying to repair a guy’s molar when he couldn’t pass an emissions test.”

Wanting to remain in the dental field without having to actually perform dentistry, Massey decided to become a dental supplies salesman.

“Massey really broke new ground,” said Stephen Masucci, president of ChewGlue Dental Adhesive Inc. “For decades, all medical and dental sales reps were really good-looking people who could have been fashion models…then Jonathan Massey came along. He was a real pioneer.”

Check out the red-tag sale going on at Bannister’s Fine Gifts, located at 106 West Railroad Street in La Grange.

Since he viewed toothbrushes as a governmental intrusion on his privacy, Massey routinely housed half a pound of BBQ between his teeth, which meant he was a natural when it came to demonstrating a new line of dental floss to prospective customers.

“When he cranked up his dental floss routine there was more meat flying around than in the cow scene from ‘Twister’,” said Dr. Brent Herring, DDS (retired). “Enough food would fly out of Massey’s pie hole to feed the office cat for three days. The cleaning crew got mad ’cause they thought we’d had a pig pickin’ and not invited them.”

Just as Massey’s career as a dental supplies sales rep was peaking, tragedy struck.

“Somehow we ended up with several pallets of discontinued calculator paper,” said Masucci. “I announced a $500 bonus to any salesman who could unload it within 48 hours. So Massey relabels the calculator paper as ‘eco-friendly bathroom tissue’ and sells it to Patagonia.”

Avoid the box store blues with a visit to Blizzard Building Supply, located at 405 Walson Avenue, Kinston.

Once the court case was settled, Massey was determined to reclaim his spot among the dental supply salesman elite. After a failed attempt to bring Wi-Fi to the Amish and much soul-searching, Massey is now set to open a dental floss recycling facility in the Strabane community of Lenoir County.

“When times were tight for me after the calculator paper class action suit, I’d end up using the same piece of dental floss for weeks,” Massey said while dipping a discounted Valentine’s Day Peep into his tumbler of Cheerwine. “People reuse knives and forks all the time, so why not floss?”

Massey went on to say drop-off sites for used floss will begin appearing all around Lenoir County over the next few weeks. 

“I can’t say right now how much we’ll be paying for people’s used dental floss, but I can guarantee it’ll be more than anyone else is willing to pay,” Massey said. “As an attorney told me recently, there are three kinds of people in this world: those who are good at math and those who aren’t.”

The entire Bryan Hanks Show archive can be found at

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m.

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