Building a better high chair

News Dec 15, 2010 Ancaster News

Raphael Kolenko says he has built a better high chair.

It is a necessity for every home with a young child, but no one has given the design much thought since its inception, he says.

Four long legs holding up a seat with a tray in your choice of wood or metal — that's been about the extent of development on the staple piece of furniture.

Kolenko’s version of the high chair, called Step Up, looks a little like a work of modern art and features stairs for a toddler to climb in and out of the seat by themselves.

The west Mountain resident started working on it in 2007 after he thought there must be an easier way for his daughter to get in and out of her chair. He put a plastic stool next to it and the toddler got in and out without a problem.

Kolenko said he thought he would go out and buy a better high chair, but it didn't exist. That's when the lightbulb went off and he drew his concept on a proverbial napkin.

Kolenko has been an entrepreneur since high school. He started his own juice company, Tree Fresh Juices, in the late 1980s while still a student at Cathedral. That company started after he asked Andre's Wines if he could use the bladder they used in wine boxes. They were fine with the idea as long as he didn't sell wine, and he grew it into a multi-million-dollar business.

The business reached its peak in 1992, but eventually was shuttered due to growing production costs and consumers demanding lower prices. Kolenko currently runs Vendtech, a catering company.

“It’s nothing glamourous like my juice escapades,” he laughs.

Kolenko got his U.S. and Canadian patents for the high chair in January and started telling people about his latest endeavour.

His design has two separate pieces — the chair and the steps. The steps, he says, can also be used elsewhere in the house, such as at the bathroom sink while brushing teeth.

It has no wheels and no place for little fingers to get caught and will never fall over.

“I wanted to make a chair that would be as safe as possible,” he says.

Step Up also has no crevices where dirt can hide and even includes a drawer in the back.

Kolenko says since he's been through the launch of a business before, he knows not to rush back into action. He's also had a busy year, between running for Catholic school board trustee and family matters, so he doesn't expect to get Step Up to market until next summer.

“I want to make sure I have two or three major retailers before I start. I’m happy next year I’ll be able to look at it again.” He says plans for the chair and steps to be sold as a pair, and there is a slide to be sold as an addon feature.

Kolenko says price will be competitive with a high quality chair.

He says he will soon be taking pre-orders for Step Up chairs at his website, moristicgroup.com.

Building a better high chair

News Dec 15, 2010 Ancaster News

Raphael Kolenko says he has built a better high chair.

It is a necessity for every home with a young child, but no one has given the design much thought since its inception, he says.

Four long legs holding up a seat with a tray in your choice of wood or metal — that's been about the extent of development on the staple piece of furniture.

Kolenko’s version of the high chair, called Step Up, looks a little like a work of modern art and features stairs for a toddler to climb in and out of the seat by themselves.

The west Mountain resident started working on it in 2007 after he thought there must be an easier way for his daughter to get in and out of her chair. He put a plastic stool next to it and the toddler got in and out without a problem.

Kolenko said he thought he would go out and buy a better high chair, but it didn't exist. That's when the lightbulb went off and he drew his concept on a proverbial napkin.

Kolenko has been an entrepreneur since high school. He started his own juice company, Tree Fresh Juices, in the late 1980s while still a student at Cathedral. That company started after he asked Andre's Wines if he could use the bladder they used in wine boxes. They were fine with the idea as long as he didn't sell wine, and he grew it into a multi-million-dollar business.

The business reached its peak in 1992, but eventually was shuttered due to growing production costs and consumers demanding lower prices. Kolenko currently runs Vendtech, a catering company.

“It’s nothing glamourous like my juice escapades,” he laughs.

Kolenko got his U.S. and Canadian patents for the high chair in January and started telling people about his latest endeavour.

His design has two separate pieces — the chair and the steps. The steps, he says, can also be used elsewhere in the house, such as at the bathroom sink while brushing teeth.

It has no wheels and no place for little fingers to get caught and will never fall over.

“I wanted to make a chair that would be as safe as possible,” he says.

Step Up also has no crevices where dirt can hide and even includes a drawer in the back.

Kolenko says since he's been through the launch of a business before, he knows not to rush back into action. He's also had a busy year, between running for Catholic school board trustee and family matters, so he doesn't expect to get Step Up to market until next summer.

“I want to make sure I have two or three major retailers before I start. I’m happy next year I’ll be able to look at it again.” He says plans for the chair and steps to be sold as a pair, and there is a slide to be sold as an addon feature.

Kolenko says price will be competitive with a high quality chair.

He says he will soon be taking pre-orders for Step Up chairs at his website, moristicgroup.com.

Building a better high chair

News Dec 15, 2010 Ancaster News

Raphael Kolenko says he has built a better high chair.

It is a necessity for every home with a young child, but no one has given the design much thought since its inception, he says.

Four long legs holding up a seat with a tray in your choice of wood or metal — that's been about the extent of development on the staple piece of furniture.

Kolenko’s version of the high chair, called Step Up, looks a little like a work of modern art and features stairs for a toddler to climb in and out of the seat by themselves.

The west Mountain resident started working on it in 2007 after he thought there must be an easier way for his daughter to get in and out of her chair. He put a plastic stool next to it and the toddler got in and out without a problem.

Kolenko said he thought he would go out and buy a better high chair, but it didn't exist. That's when the lightbulb went off and he drew his concept on a proverbial napkin.

Kolenko has been an entrepreneur since high school. He started his own juice company, Tree Fresh Juices, in the late 1980s while still a student at Cathedral. That company started after he asked Andre's Wines if he could use the bladder they used in wine boxes. They were fine with the idea as long as he didn't sell wine, and he grew it into a multi-million-dollar business.

The business reached its peak in 1992, but eventually was shuttered due to growing production costs and consumers demanding lower prices. Kolenko currently runs Vendtech, a catering company.

“It’s nothing glamourous like my juice escapades,” he laughs.

Kolenko got his U.S. and Canadian patents for the high chair in January and started telling people about his latest endeavour.

His design has two separate pieces — the chair and the steps. The steps, he says, can also be used elsewhere in the house, such as at the bathroom sink while brushing teeth.

It has no wheels and no place for little fingers to get caught and will never fall over.

“I wanted to make a chair that would be as safe as possible,” he says.

Step Up also has no crevices where dirt can hide and even includes a drawer in the back.

Kolenko says since he's been through the launch of a business before, he knows not to rush back into action. He's also had a busy year, between running for Catholic school board trustee and family matters, so he doesn't expect to get Step Up to market until next summer.

“I want to make sure I have two or three major retailers before I start. I’m happy next year I’ll be able to look at it again.” He says plans for the chair and steps to be sold as a pair, and there is a slide to be sold as an addon feature.

Kolenko says price will be competitive with a high quality chair.

He says he will soon be taking pre-orders for Step Up chairs at his website, moristicgroup.com.