Barry Cik, founder, vice president and technical director, Naturepedic

Barry Cik, founder, vice president and technical director, Naturepedic

WINNER: Retail and Consumer Products

Barry Cik refused to buy any crib on the market when he went shopping in anticipation of his first grandchild. An expert in the field of environmental engineering, he was shocked by questionable materials – such as vinyl/PVC and polyurethane foam – being used in standard baby mattresses. Even organic alternatives failed him, not being waterproof and containing potentially allergenic materials.

Cik decided to take matters into his own hands, and Naturepedic was born. As founder, vice president and technical director, he enlisted his sons to help create the baby and children’s mattress company, which sells the first and only waterproof organic baby crib mattress. Designed with a safe, food-grade polyethylene cover, the company provides a non-toxic alternative to safety-conscious parents.

The company’s products have expanded to include twin, full and queen mattresses, as well as changing pads, mattress pads and toppers, sheets and pillows.

Naturepedic, based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, sells throughout the U.S. in 300 retail stores and via 200 Internet sites. All of the company’s manufacturing occurs in Northeast Ohio, and virtually all components that go into its products are made in the United States. To keep up with Cik’s revolutionary industry standards, many traditional mattress companies have since adopted Naturepedic’s environmentally friendly manufacturing approach.

Cik has sought out third-party verification of his safety standards. Naturepedic was the first waterproof baby and children’s mattress to be certified to the Greenguard Children and School standards, ensuring low chemical emissions. It was also the first of its kind to be certified organic by Global Organic Textile Standard’s international standards, and achieved the highest designation by the Specialty Sleep Association for its environmental and safety program.

How to reach: Naturepedic,