Alina Morse is 13 years old. Her company is projected to make $2 million in profits this year. Me, I remembered to put on deodorant this morning, so I’ve got that going for me. How about you?
The company in question is Zollipop, which started when Morse, then seven freaking years old, asked her dad a simple question: “Why can’t we make a healthy lollipop that’s good for my teeth so that I can have candy, and it wouldn’t be bad for me?” Six years later, Zollipop makes candies, per the Chicago Tribune, with “erythritol, xylitol and stevia (sugar alternatives), which neutralize acid in the mouth and reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities.”
Morse told Fox Business that she spent about two years doing research and talking to her dentist and dental hygienist about the products. The Tribune notes that she also used friends as taste-testers, taking into account their allergies—to peanuts, gluten, and in the case of Morse herself, to artificial dyes and colors—as she set about creating her wares.
The first Zollipop sold in 2014. (I wrote Christmas cards in 2014 but then forgot to mail them, and they’re still sitting in a drawer in my desk.)
Zollipop has branched out since that first pop, now selling Zaffy Taffy and Zolli Drops in three flavors: strawberry, pineapple, and orange. They can be found at Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, Amazon, and other retailers. The company has also gotten into philanthropy, and donates 10 percent of profits to support oral health in schools and other organizations.
Morse, who I remind you is 13 years old, told Fox Business that she’s looking forward to college so that she can “learn more to help with her company.” I had fudge for breakfast and haven’t paid my library fines in at least a year. This kid is great. Happy Thursday!