Teenage Entrepreneur & CEO
Who is Alina Morse?
Alina Morse was just seven years old when she went to the bank with her dad. There, something small but life changing happened. The teller offered her a lollipop. When she went to grab it, her parents scolded her, telling her candy was awful for her teeth. So, Alina, in all her wisdom, asked one simple but revolutionary question: “Why can’t we make a lollipop that’s actually good for your teeth?” Next thing you know, Alina is experimenting with ingredients in her parents’ kitchen. “It didn’t work,” Alina admits. “ I made a mess. We had to get some new kitchen appliances.”
Her friends tried the first few batches. They “sucked,” they told her. But Morse kept on, consulting her dad and her dentist for ideas. The family invested $7,500 into testing, trials, and most importantly, finding natural sweeteners xylitol and erythritol. Alina Morse’s little sister rejected the original name “Xylitol Lollipops,” instead opting for something a little more punchy — “Zollipops.”
In 2014, they hit the shelves, vegan, all-natural, and sugar free!
Alina Morse has been to the White House, on Good Morning America, and even Shark Tank and the Boss Baby red carpet premiere. But the moment she was really surprised was in her high school marketing class. “It’s pretty surreal when your marketing teacher puts your TED Talk up in front of your class,” Alina Morse said. “All the seniors are like looking at the screen, looking at me, looking at the screen. ‘This is you?’”
Yes, it is! And it can be you too, if you keep up the hard work!
3 Things We Love About Alina Morse:
- ZolliCandy has expanded to multiple types of lollipops, taffies, and caramels – and is now moving into the chocolate category.
- Customers can buy the candy in some locations of Whole Foods, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, or even online.
- Alina Morse’s company is one of the fastest-growing candy companies in the U.S.