A father-daughter trip to the bank might seem the least likely place for a kid to dream up a cool candy concept. But that’s just what inspired Alina Morse, age 9.
See, the teller offered her a sucker. Alina, remembering her dad saying candy is bad for your teeth, politely refused. On the way home, it hit her. Wait a minute. What if there was candy that was actually good for your teeth?
“I immediately thought of a lollipop that cleans your teeth and is all-natural,” the Wolverine Lake kidpreneur tells Metro Parent. And Zollipops was born.
It’s simple: After a meal, suck on a Zollipop (up to three a day). Its key ingredients – including Xylitol, a healthier sugar alternative – help neutralize your mouth and prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth. You can grab a 15-count bag of Zollipops, which come in six flavors including raspberry and grape, for about $6 online or at participating Whole Foods locations.
Catchy name? According to Alina, her 5-year-old sis Lola gets credit. She tried to say “Xylitol Pops” – and it came out “Zollipops.” “It was surprising, because my little sister came up with the name of the business. It was perfect!” says Alina.
Outside Zollipops, Alina keeps herself busy with violin, dance, tennis and community theater. There may be a little family talent at play, too.
“My dad is a business owner. He starts products and develops them,” Alina explains. “My mom works in sales.” Tom and Suzanne stay hands-on in their daughter’s company, and the family has big plans. “We are thinking of doing Halloween bags for Zollipops,” Alina says. “We’re also working on getting schools to use Zollipops as a healthier and cost-efficient way of fundraising.”
And grown-ups seem to be sold, too. Alina recalls the reaction of a parent who had a Zollipop after drinking coffee. “They’re like, ‘Oh my god! These really freshen your mouth and you can feel your teeth being cleaned,'” she says.
A healthier sucker
Key ingredients: Erythritol, Xylitol and Stevia (alternative sweeteners)
Flavors: Cherry, grape, orange, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry
Price: $5.99/bag of 15
Where to buy: Amazon, select Whole Foods and Office Max stores, select local dental offices and fundraising groups