In a World of Pure Imagination
When I was seven years old, my father told me I should skip the lollipop I was offered at the bank because sugar is bad for your teeth. I asked why can’t we make a healthy lollipop that is good for me?
Dare to Dream
Getting parents to say yes to a lollipop meant finding a way to make them feel good about the product. It took two years of research and our breakthrough was learning that plant-based sweeteners like erythritol actually protect teeth. Erythritol raises the PH in your mouth, reduces the bacteria that causes tooth decay and allows your teeth to remineralize faster, which actually strengthens enamel. This key ingredient creates lollipops that taste sweet like you expect, are all natural and prevent cavities.
Once we perfected a lollipop that kids and parents equally loved, I wanted to make them available everywhere you could buy candy. Zollipops are 100% natural, so the first store we wanted to get into was Whole Foods. We’d often set up meetings with retailers by email and it wasn’t until I was in the room that they realized my age! But Zollipops truly speak for themselves and we are now available at top retailers around the country and world and are excited to sell our one-hundred-millionth Zollipop soon.
The role of food allergies
I have several friends who have food allergies and I learned at a young age how to keep them safe during playdates. Food allergies had a major influence on Zollipops, because from the start, I was committed to creating something all my friends could eat safely. Ironically, I developed a nut allergy. I’m allergic to walnuts and avoid all tree nuts and I was recently diagnosed with exercise-induced anaphylaxis to wheat, so I also strictly avoid wheat and gluten and carry an Epi-pen.
The Whole Candy Store
Zollipops were so popular that we expanded into other candies including Zolli Drops, Zaffi Taffy taffy and most recently Zolli Caramelz.
The Golden Ticket!
Zollipops, Zolli Ball Popz, Zolli Drops, and Zaffi Taffy are top 8 free except for the strawberry Zollipops and Zolli Drops, which contain refined soybean oil. Zolli Caramelz are free of peanuts, tree nuts, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat and gluten and they contain dairy and soy lecithin.
Give Us a Tour
Zolli Candy products are made at facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Zollipops, Zolli Ball Popz, Zolli Drops and Zaffi Taffy are made in facilities dedicated free of peanuts, tree nuts (excluding coconut), egg, wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish, sesame and mustard. Zolli Caramelz are made in a different facility dedicated free of fish, shellfish, sesame and mustard. Zolli Caramelz carry a warning label that says they may contain peanuts and tree nuts. We randomly test our products for nuts and have strict allergen cleaning protocol, but as a nut allergy family, we want to be as transparent as possible!
A Family Affair
In addition to being the CEO of Zolli Candy, I’m also a sophomore in high school. Despite being an international company, it’s truly family run. My dad is the business manager—he loves to say he’s been working for me since I was born and now it’s just on the tax returns! Thankfully my mom handles all of my scheduling and is my personal stylist, which is great since we have the same taste. She’s also been key to providing the allergy mom perspective. My sister gets the credit for coming up with the company name!
Even More Reasons to Smile
When I was researching how to make a lollipop that prevents cavities, I learned that tooth decay is the worst epidemic facing kids today according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Wanting to give back, we decided to donate 10% of our profits to help support oral health education in schools across America. Our next step was to focus on education, since tooth decay is a preventable disease. We launched the Million Smiles Initiative 501(c)(3), an initiative to teach kids how to take care of their teeth and inspire kids to start businesses of their own. Teachers can sign up to receive free Zollipops for their school and lesson plans to work oral health into their curriculum.
Why did you join Spokin Verified Brands?
We had a customer who managed food allergies suggest that we check out Spokin. As a family that manages food allergies, we know how important transparency is and we want to help more kids smile and feel included.
Which is your favorite?
I love the new Zolli Caramelz and we just launched Zolli Tropicals and Zolli Ball Popz. The new Tropical and Ball Popz flavors (Green Apple, Watermelon, Peach and Blue Raspberry) are so good. Creating blue and green products and keeping them 100% natural is really hard, so I’m excited that we found a way!
A Dream Come True
I have a Zollipop every day because now my dad can’t say no! When you have access to endless Zollipops, you take advantage of it. I love sharing them too and I always keep a bag in my backpack, a bin in my school locker and our house has an endless supply. Basically every day is Halloween at our house!
Where can we get our hands on Zolli Candy?
Growing up, I always had to make sure none of my Halloween candy had nuts in it. Zolli Candy is the perfect compromise between something that’s allergy-friendly, tastes great and also makes parents happy. Now the houses that used to give out toothbrushes can give out something a little more fun.