Best Life: Teen creates candy to clean your teeth
ANN ARBOR, MI. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Here’s a question we’ve pondered for decades: how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? The science has spoken!
A study in the journal of fluid mechanics reveals it takes 2,500 licks but with each lick your child is putting in their mouth, they’re risking their pearly whites. Believe it or not, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Candy and soda are two big culprits. But one company is combating that, with an unlikely product, and an equally unlikely CEO.
“My dad always told me you know you shouldn’t have candy; sugar is terrible for your teeth.” Alina Morse, CEO of Zolli Candy explains. But Alina Morse wasn’t going to accept it. “So, I asked him why can’t we make a healthy candy?”
And that is how Zollipop was born. A lollipop that cleans your teeth. Its inventor, the youngest CEO ever to grace the cover of entrepreneur magazine.
The idea came to Alina at seven. She cooked up concoctions, asked her dentist questions and had friends sample them. Zollipops use a low-calorie sweetener called arithatol (a-rith-ra-tol). It reduces the acid in your mouth, which causes bacteria, which can break down enamel. She used $4,000 she saved from past birthdays. Her dad matched it and together they found a production facility and distributor. By nine years old she got her first yes. Eighteen months later she turned a profit.
Now, it’s a multimillion-dollar company, it’s in many of the nation’s largest retailers, and in seven countries. Her number one tip for wannabe business owners. Write it down. Use support networks and social media groups. Gather a team you trust and ask a lot of questions.
“As adults we kind of quit asking questions, but kids haven’t tried things, and they have great questions. And listen and explore those ideas with them,” said Tom Morse, Alina’s dad and manager of Zolli Candy.
Her future mission is to create, or as she says, “zolli-fy” more products.
“It really is, not only a successful company in my eyes, but also, a company doing good,” said Alina.
Her non-profit, a million smiles, gives free candy to schools. Ten percent of all her sales go to support oral health education. Teachers interested in a million smiles, can go to Zolli candy’s website to sign up.
Contributor(s) to this news report include: Hillary Rubin, Producer; Ken LaPlace, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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