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EP270: Giving Out Pizza From Second Story Apartment Raises Over $30,000 and The 15 Year Old Candy Queen

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 3:00 am

EP270: Giving Out Pizza From Second Story Apartment Raises Over $30,000 and The 15 Year Old Candy Queen

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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April 20, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Ben Berman 2nd year grad student in Philadelphia made the most of his time while staying at home during the pandemic. Alina Morse, CEO of Zolli Candy has created a delicious candy that actually cleans your teeth!

Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)

 

Time Codes:

00:00 - Giving Out Pizza From Second Story Apartment Raises Over $30,000

23:00 - The 15 Year Old Candy Queen

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Send them to OurAmericanStories.com. And today we have Ben Berman's story. He's a second year MBA student at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. When the COVID pandemic swept this country, he got an idea to start making pizza and drop them out of his apartment window. This led to his nonprofit called Good Pizza that has raised over $30,000. Ben grew up in Portland, Maine with his parents and two younger brothers. Starting from a young age, Ben was getting involved in his community.

Here is Ben's story. When I was in middle school, I was on a school board subcommittee for wellness in the town. And one of the jobs that we were tasked with was renovating the cafeteria.

And so I actually spent the freshman year of high school touring local cafeterias to try to understand how we could improve our operations and food service. And as part of that program, the administration let me earmark $2,500 for a program that I had come up with called the Chef of the Month program. And my idea was that we would ask local chefs to take over our cafeteria for the day once a month, and they would serve their food at school lunch prices.

And it worked. So we would have, you know, a nice hotel from Portland come in and the chef would do paella for the whole school and serve it for $2.75. There was a local pasta company that came in every year to do the service. And the owner came in one day and his manager called out and he asked me if I knew how to cook and if I could help him on the line. And I grew up cooking with my mom and really enjoyed that. So I sort of felt confident enough to jump on the line with him and just serve pasta for the day.

And at the end, he said, that was really great. If you need a job this summer, you should call me. And that ended up being my first summer job was restocking the shelves and then grilling pita and then making meals in this little pasta prepared goods shop in South Portland, Maine. I went to college in Boston, I went to Tufts University and found myself fairly heavily involved in nonprofit work. So there were a whole bunch of opportunities that I had started to get involved with to sort of give back to the community. At the same time, I was starting my first company. But when I was 18, I opened a food truck company with one of my best friends from home called Mainly Burgers. And we grew that company together for three years and grew it to three trucks and 16 employees. And it was a really great experience to start to understand how a business operates and how it grows.

It was getting me back in the kitchen. And I really loved the opportunity. But when I was coming towards the end of my college experience, I didn't feel like I was ready to make that my full time career. And so I took a more traditional route and went into management consulting for a few years after school.

That job landed me at business school. And when the pandemic started, I had been cooking more and I started to make pizza. And then I started dropping them out my window. And then I started asking people to donate. And now I guess I run a little pizza nonprofit out of my second story center city Philadelphia apartment. And we've raised $32,000 so far and donated all to hunger relief and homelessness in the city of Philadelphia. I grew up with this amazing supportive family and didn't have to worry about so many things that other people had to worry about.

And it felt natural to use that platform to give back. I think one of the other things that motivated me was, so I think about it in two parts. The first is when I started making pizza.

And the second is when it becomes this thing where it's raising money and it's dropped out a window, et cetera. On the pizza front before school when I was working as a consultant, I was traveling a ton. I was doing usually about 140 nights in a hotel per year. One of the things I missed when I was traveling that much was cooking for myself and for friends. As I said, I grew up cooking with my mom and that was a really important experience for me generally, just recognizing the impact of having people around the table and cooking for people as a display of love in some way. And I wanted to do more of that. And then I had this more traditional kitchen experience from my first job, from the food trucks, and I really just enjoyed cooking. It's something that relaxes me. It's something that I look forward to.

And coming to school and not having to travel all the time, I was looking forward to getting back into that. So I do remember when I first made pizza in my apartment because I had been researching it for a little while and I had taken a leap and bought some equipment. It was just a food that I liked and it's a fun analytical exercise to some degree as well because there are all these different variables with pizza that you can play with.

And I was excited about that. There is the hydration level in the dough, which is how much water you're using. And there's the fermentation time, which is how long you're letting it go and what temperature you're cooking at and what you're cooking it on and the combination of sauce and cheese and all these things, all these variables that were interesting to me. So I remember making that for the first time and being totally infatuated by the dough rising and then trying to figure out how to make it into actual dough balls that we can spread into pizza and researching how I wanted to do the sauce and going deep on message boards about my favorite pizza places around the country and people trying to recreate their favorite pizzas. And it was just a fun experience for me. So that's part one is I had started making pizza in the summer of 2019 as a way to cook more as this fun project to work on and this fun thing that I wanted to solve for this food that I liked. And that was sort of it.

Stage two of the story is when the pandemic started. And the honest reason for good pizza at the beginning was I had made dough for my friends. I over the year had gotten more comfortable and I was enjoying having pizza parties and sharing that. And that weekend March where the pandemic sort of hit and we didn't know what it was quite yet, but we knew that it was a bad idea to have friends over for a dinner party. I had 15 pizzas in my refrigerator that I was planning to make for friends. Instead of having them over, I bought 40 feet of string on Amazon and told them that if they came by my apartment around dinner time, I would lower them pizza outside my window. And it was nothing at the time other than a chance for me to make my friends smile, give them something to laugh about.

It just seemed so absurd that I would be lowering this pizza out of my apartment window. And you've been listening to Ben Berman's story when we come back. Ben Berman story continues here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the great American stories we tell and love America like we do, we're asking you to become a part of the Our American Stories family. If you agree that America is a good and great country, please make a donation. A monthly gift of $17.76 is fast becoming a favorite option for supporters. Go to OurAmericanStories.com now and go to the donate button and help us keep the great American Stories coming.

That's OurAmericanStories.com. And we return to Our American Stories and to the story of Ben Berman. He's a second year grad student in Philadelphia. When the COVID pandemic started, Ben created a nonprofit called Good Pizza that's raised over $30,000. Ben makes pizza in his home oven and lowers them down from his second story apartment window. He asks for a non-required donation and his pizzas are completely free.

We return to Ben for the rest of the story. So it was never a thought of this becoming anything. It was just this fun thing that you do to make your friends laugh and create some memory and there was no plan beyond that. But as I did it over the summer, I started to recognize that there may be a platform here that could grow a little bit. I had started to try to figure out where I wanted to direct my own giving for the year, which is something that I try to do every year. And my girlfriend very smartly pointed out that I was spending a lot of money on pizza ingredients and perhaps this would be an avenue to direct my giving instead, which is obviously a fantastic idea. And so, you know, midway over the summer, my thinking was, well, instead of giving a few hundred dollars to an organization that I care about, what if I spent that money on pizza ingredients instead, ask people for donations and maybe turn that $200 into $600 or whatever that multiple looks like. And there weren't a lot of zeros attached to it. It was just me thinking, well, maybe I can both make people smile and raise a few extra dollars for these organizations.

And wouldn't that be a cool way to spend this time where I have to be home anyway? Slowly, people started to hear about it. Friends tell friends and someone walks down the street and sees this pizza being lowered out of a second story apartment. And I had started an Instagram less for the actual business opportunity and more because I wanted a place to document my pizza, but was too embarrassed to post it on my personal Instagram.

The big break was when Barstool Sports came in November. So they have a very popular pizza review series and I had tagged them in a post mostly as a joke with friends saying how funny would it be if, you know, they try all the best pizza places in the world and then they came to my apartment and they ended up reaching out and said, hey, are you open on Saturday? And I didn't really know what to say since it's just my apartment. I'm never really open nor am I ever really closed.

So I said, sure, I'm definitely open on Saturday and I would love to have you come by. And they did. So I made them pizza and the review went online the next week and I think it came out well. But that was sort of the first chance for, you know, widespread visibility into what I was working on. And very quickly, literally overnight, it went from a few hundred followers to ten thousand followers and all this money started to come in from people that just wanted to support what you were doing.

And it just has sort of been a whirlwind. That's been a total blast and definitely never something that I expected. I think the most I've ever made is twenty five, but a normal pizza drop is 20 pizzas, which I still think is quite a bit for a home oven. I can only make two at a time because I'm literally cooking in my home electric oven. So I make two pizzas every 15 minutes. So the way it works is I do weekly, usually on Sunday night, pizza drops with 20 pizzas. As the following has grown over the last few months, I've moved to a lottery system for people to get a pizza. So pizza is always, always free. There's absolutely no necessity to donate in order to get a pizza.

You do not have to donate to enter the lottery. The pizza is just to make people smile and hopefully people like what we're doing and feel inclined to donate either to us or directly to the organizations. I give every single penny that comes in a way. So all the money that goes into the pizza ingredients, the sauce, the cheese, the dough, all of that, that money comes out of my own pocket and then we donate 100 percent of the proceeds that people donate. I open up a lottery by posting on my Instagram two days before the pizza drops. So usually on Friday afternoon, if I'm baking that weekend, you can find a link to a lottery on Instagram.

And then 24 hours later, after the lottery opens, I close the lottery. We randomly select 20 people using Microsoft Excel and I email those 20 people a form to select their pickup time and they get to come by the next night to actually get their pizza. So it's sort of this whole three day process for me for every pizza drop where on the first day I make dough, on the second day the lottery opens and I start to make sauce. Then the third day you get all your ingredients together. And then actually on the fourth day you actually make the pizza. I have to fold all the pizza boxes. I write little notes to everyone on all the pizza boxes.

So it ends up being this sort of lengthy four day process, but it allows me to make a actual product. The pizza that I'm really proud of. I think the dough that I make is good. I think the sauce that I make is good, et cetera.

And it is the spacing out so that people can have a chance to enter the lottery and select a pickup time and all the backend logistics that go into it. And this has been an unexpected but really fulfilling way to spend my free time. There are definitely days where I am tired and don't want to make pizza dough and don't want to fold pizza boxes and wish that I did not have Instagram followers that were expecting pizza.

You know, I, there are days where I wish I didn't have to post on Instagram because I don't know what I'm doing and I'm trying to figure out all of that, but I feel like we're working on a good thing. I feel like I'm making some at least small impact and the support that people have lent the smiles that I think I've been able to bring to people who have tried the pizza or even just seen what I'm working on on Instagram or in different press clippings. And most importantly, the dollars that I've been able to donate to organizations that I really do think are making an impact in people's lives. I don't really think I'm making an impact directly in people's lives.

I think pizza is delicious. I don't think I'm changing the world. I do think that the organizations that I'm able to support are making a massive, massive impact in people's lives. And so if I can play a small role by carving out some time to make pizza dough in order to support that, that's a no brainer for me that I'm going to continue doing as long as people are willing to support it. The, one of the things that I have been most excited by throughout this whole process has been the support from the community. I did not expect there to be so much support from everyday people who saw this online and wanted to support from local restaurants who have reached out to offer me kitchen space to make more pizza from folks around the world who have donated to us and said, I'm not ever going to be able to try your pizza, but I love what you're doing and want to support you.

Here's $25. That's incredible to me. There also have been fun opportunities to engage with larger brands that for me have been crazy and fun. So I mentioned Barstool Sports who was here to do a pizza review and that gave a lot of, gave us a lot of Instagram followers and a big platform to raise money on.

The Philadelphia 76ers came over. So Matisse Deibel and Tobias Harris from the 76ers came to my apartment and tried pizza and donated $5,000 of their own money to the organizations that we're supporting. Yeah, there have been big brands, but what I've been most energized by is just the everyday people who want to support in some way and who are commenting on Instagrams to say it's wonderful and it made their day and they can't wait to come try a pizza. And I've told people that, you know, when I get asked about longterm plans, the plan is just to keep making pizza until I make it for everyone who wants one. I talked about the lottery system for the last few months for the 20 pizzas that I give away weekly.

I usually have over 900 people that sign up for the lottery. So I'm going to just keep making pizza until all of those people get one. This good pizza project is something that I'm proud of because it was in many ways an accident. It was a chance for me to take a hobby that I enjoyed and give back to the community a little bit. And at this point it feels less like something that I created and more like something that the people around me who have supported it created.

And I just get to be the vehicle to continue to create those files and raise those dollars. And a special thanks to Faith for her work on that piece. And also a special thanks to Ben Berman for his story and by the way, for what he's doing.

And it just shows, well, it shows the good heart and the soul of this country. You can visit Ben's Instagram account at Good Pizza PHL. That's Good Pizza PHL.

Ben Berman's Philadelphia pizza story here on Our American Stories. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year. And UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.

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Let's take a listen. My name's Alina Morris. I'm 16 years old and I am the CEO and founder of Zolli Candy.

Zolli Candy is all natural sugar free candy that cleans your teeth. But my entrepreneurial journey didn't start at seven years old with Zolli Candy. I had been coming up with inventions and crazy outlandish ideas for products since I was about three years old. Around that age, two, three years old, my dad read me the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was such an interesting experience because as much of the book that I didn't understand, the thing that stuck with me was you can help people through business. So I began writing all of my inventions and compiling them into what I called my idea binder and drawn what I had called a business plan but was really more of just a picture with some labels. And as I grew up, I grew up with this binder. I would say some of the most prominent inventions from that time were definitely robot daddies.

The name is pretty self-explanatory. It's a robot that can go to work as your dad. And at this time, my dad, he was a CPA so he was going on tons of business trips and I really missed having my dad around.

And I wanted him to stay home and we could hang out. And just among those, there was lots of odds and ends of fun games or a new sport. As much as they weren't cohesive ideas, they did keep me occupied coming up with fun new business plans and pitching them to my parents. So really from that book I learned that I could help my mom, I could help my dad, I could help my younger sister even by coming up with an invention to make their lives a little bit easier on a day-to-day basis. But as I grew up, you know, four, five, six, and then all the way up until seven years old I had added to this binder. It wasn't until one just odd day I went to the bank with my dad and the bank teller offered me a lollipop.

And it was just the typical action but my dad always told me, he gave me the same speech he gave me every time we went to the bank. Candy's bad for your teeth, you'll get cavities. He goes, it's up to you, Alina, but if I were you, I'd make a smart choice. After pondering it for a moment I decided, you know, hey, I'll let him win.

I won't take the lollipop. But as we were walking back to the car, I asked him, you know, hey, if I can't have candy and if I can't have something that's bad for me, why can't I create something that's good for me that you can't say no to? And this idea really stuck with me. I began writing a more extensive business plan than I ever had before in my idea binder and I decided, you know, with a little bit of a push in the right direction to go do some research. And just on Google, on YouTube, and so I started watching just videos on YouTube of how they created candy on a mass scale. And it made me question, you know, where other products came from and it really got me interested in kind of the consumer packaged good industry as a whole and just how things were made and all behind the scenes steps that went into creating not just candy but everything that we see in the grocery store.

It doesn't just magically happen, you know, it has to come from somewhere. And I started researching more about the ingredient lists and what actually makes candy bad for you, what causes cavities. Tooth decay is actually the single greatest epidemic facing kids in America today.

And that's according to the US Surgeon General. And so that really prompted me to explore the idea of creating something that's not only good for me in a sense where there's no sugar, but something that's actually good for your teeth, something that could help combat this epidemic. And then the pieces just kind of clicked. Reading that book at three years old, or having it read to me for that matter, and coming up with this idea, and connecting the pieces of a great idea and helping people and having a cause a mission. And so when those pieces clicked into place, I knew that this was my time. This was the time to create and you know, put in the time put in the energy put in the work and get people excited about this idea get people passionate about Zolli candy or what was to be Zolli candy. So it was definitely a turning point for me getting my parents involved, saying, Hey, will you support me? Will you support this mission, and doing kind of the first of many big business pitches to my parents to have them help support me through this journey. And then we started looking at different manufacturing facilities or what we call plants. We began taking tours of these manufacturing facilities around the country to see, you know, who could really make a sugar free candy that cleans your teeth. And one of my first manufacturing facility tours, we got to the end and my dad said, Hey, Alina, so So what do you think this is pretty cool. And I was thinking Yeah, Dad, that's this is great. But um, where's the plan? He's like, What do you mean? Alina? Look around it.

This is the plan. No, Dad, you don't understand. The plant the potted plant. I mean, I'm looking all around. All I see is people machinery candy.

I don't see any plants. I think in that moment, he reminded himself as mature as smart as my daughter could be. She's still a kid. It took about two years of taste tests and trials. And during that time, our only taste testers really were my friends and I. And I always like to say, you know, my friend didn't sugarcoat it.

If something sucked, they were gonna tell me that it sucked. And eventually we came up with, you know, six great tasting flavors of lollipops. And what we found through our NIH funded studies is that erythritol on its own, which is an all natural plant based sweetener from the US, it actually raises a pH in your mouth, and it neutralizes the acid. So it takes away the bacteria that causes cavities and tooth decay. And that bacteria is fed by acid. And acid is really in every food that we eat, even bottled water has acid in it. And that's why we call it the after you eat treat because you can still enjoy your chocolate cake and your orange juice.

But if you have a zollipop after, it helps remineralize your tooth enamel. Once we started finalizing the process of zolly candy, we started having the conversations around our house about what we're gonna do now. I have been a dancer since the age of three.

I'm also a tennis player. So I've always had a busy schedule even without zolly candy. So really, we began having those conversations about how we would run the business on a day to day basis. We are a family owned company, and we really made the decision and my parents took that leap with me. You know, especially my dad quitting his job to work full time at Zolly as the business manager. A day to day really looked like me going to school and then going back to our office and working with my dad and the team to help grow and develop Zolly.

And you've been listening to Zolly Candy's CEO, Alina Morris, and I happen to be holding an orange Zolly lollipop in my hand as we speak. And what a story it is. Her dad read her the book Rich Dad Poor Dad when she was two or three.

Way to go, dad. By the way, what a great book to read any kid. Because it's not about wealth the way you're thinking about it. When you read the book, wealth is freedom. And wealth could be well spiritual wealth, all kinds of wealth, but it also is money and what business does and that you can help people through business. And that's the thing about capitalism, folks, free enterprise and businesses serve your local restaurant serves a car dealer serves, so on and so forth. When we come back more with this remarkable young voice, it sounds really like a complete grown up.

I'm talking about Alina Morris, CEO of Zolly Candy, here on Our American Story. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year. And UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th. If you're working past age 65, you might be able to delay Medicare enrollment depending on your employer coverage.

It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Visit UHCmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more. UnitedHealthcare, helping people live healthier lives. I know everything there is to know about running a coffee shop, but for small business insurance, I need my State Farm agent. They make sure my business stays piping hot and I stay cool and confident. See, they're small business owners too, so they know how to help you best. State Farm is in your corner and on it. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.

Call your local State Farm agent for a quote today. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. That can be overwhelming for anyone. If you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that all free clear mega packs, they have your back.

Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. And we continue with our American stories and the story of Zoli Candy CEO, Alina Morris. Right now I happen to be holding my hand as Zoli Taffy. When we last left off, she had been searching for a candy, a sugar free one that was good for teeth. Let's pick up where we last left off. So all throughout my schooling, I've always had very supportive teachers who have understood that I'm not leaving school to go on vacation. I'm leaving school to, to learn.

I feel like in my opinion, at least that real world experience is even worth more than algebra. The first retailer we actually got into was Whole Foods Markets. So we luckily got a meeting and we were able to drive down to Southern California. And I was so nervous.

I'd been practicing all week for the big pitch. And when I walked in the door, I remember the look on the buyer's face was just kind of puzzled of why is a kid here? And the buyer was very patient with me. I know that, that they could tell I was nervous, but also excited.

And they gave me some great advice and they said, okay, well, we'll let you know in a couple months if you get in. And one day we just got an email that we had gotten in and that was our first PO. So it was our first big sale and it was really exciting realizing and getting to celebrate all of our hard work coming to a head. And you know, it was the first of many, of many yeses that we've gotten from buyers.

But you know, there's also been a lot of no's, but you got to take the good with the bad with business. And so it wasn't until late 2019 that we actually got into every Whole Foods around the country, which was very, very exciting. And it was a very full circle moment. And we recently actually went back and visited one of the first Whole Foods that we had ever gotten into when we just happened to be in California. And we've gone in and there was a whole wall end cap filled with Zolli candy. Just seeing things like that make it all the more real to us, rather than just seeing numbers on a piece of paper or you know, how many units per store per week or volume or margins, you know, seeing people with Zolli candy in their shopping carts.

It was very exciting. We really have been fortunate to receive a lot of earned media and a lot of great opportunities being a small family owned company from Michigan. But like any business, we've faced tremendous setbacks.

Luckily enough, though, one of our major setbacks happened very early on. So after we got into Whole Foods, our second big account was Amazon.com. And, you know, if you know anything about Amazon, you gotta ship worldwide, nationwide, and you have to do it in a very timely manner.

And so once we launched on Amazon.com, people were super excited about Zolli and began purchasing it very quickly. Unfortunately, when it was delivered to their homes, specifically in more hot, deserty, dry climates, all the bags of lollipops were melted. And we learned later on that this had to do with the way that the candy was being made, the temperature in which the candy was being made.

But at first, we were devastated to see our Amazon ratings drop in a matter of days. And we went from five stars to like two stars because everyone was receiving melted candy. And so it ended up being that the pops would become hydroscopic, which means that they would suck up the moisture from the air. And we realized at that moment that this is why people had never succeeded in making sugar-free candy that's good for your teeth. Because sugar-free candy tends to be hydroscopic. And nobody could figure out, or, you know, maybe they had given up too soon to figure out, that you had to create the candy in a very specific condition in order to maintain its integrity.

Once we figured that out, we could begin to start either creating it in a higher temperature or a lower temperature. And eventually, we actually did figure it out and then we began the process of apologizing and sending out fresh batches of Zolli to everyone who had ordered. And over time, we did begin to regain some of our ratings.

But for a long time, even though we had fixed the candy, our ratings were really low. And I don't know about you, but whenever I'm purchasing something specifically on Amazon, I check the ratings first. You know, it's important to see what other users are thinking about the product before I order.

And so it was a very important learning experience. Eventually, we came out with a really fantastic product that was stronger than ever. And even though phones and electronics can't get shipped in vessels to China, Korea in the heat of summer, Zolli candy can. It's basically bulletproof.

You cannot melt this candy. So, you know, we're better off for it, for sure. But yeah, it was definitely a tricky roadblock. So in our five years of selling, we have grown tremendously. We have a 300% growth rate year over year. And we really have found a niche community of people, whether you're diabetic, whether you have food allergies, whether, you know, you're on a keto diet. Those are the people that that we've been able to impact with our product. And we also, you know, started a nonprofit alongside Zolli candy, where we give free Zolli candy to schools across America to teach kids about the importance of oral health care and entrepreneurship.

And it's called the Million Smiles Initiative. So teachers, principals can sign up on our website, Zollicandy.com to get free Zolli candy for their entire school, which is, you know, just another way that that I've tried to carry through with our initial mission of keeping kids smiling and helping reduce childhood tooth decay. To date, we're in about 2,400 retailers in the US. We're in CVS, Rite Aid, Whole Foods Markets, Amazon.com. We recently got into Costco in Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado.

We're also available on Walmart.com, Target.com and Kroger's. And, you know, we've continued to grow our presence internationally as well in China, Korea, France, the Philippines, Morocco. So in about 12 other countries, including the US, we have been able to share Zolli candy across the world. And we still are looking for new ways to expand and new ways to grow.

But one of those ways has been through expanding our product line. So we don't just have Zollipops anymore. We have Zaffy Taffy, which is the clean teeth taffy. We have Zolli Caramels.

We have Zolli Drops. We have Zolli Peanut Butter Cups, which were a newer invention that we're so, so excited about. And I snack on them all day long. They're delicious. But all of our products still have the same great teeth cleaning and allergen friendly other than the peanut butter cups.

Those have peanut butter, obviously. But we are still a very transparent and clean company in terms of ingredients and the teeth cleaning aspect, as well as being allergen friendly and diabetic friendly and keto. So all of those amazing products, you can check them out on our website Zollicandy.com or shop them at Zollicandy.myshopify.com.

And if you're interested in learning more about my story, you can check me out at Alina Star Morse on Instagram or at Zolli Candy on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. And so we want to continue to grow Zolli and increase distribution nationally and internationally, as well as, you know, continue to be a beacon for other young girls and kids who are interested in business and share with them that, you know, entrepreneurship is a real career and a real opportunity. And you don't have to have a lot of money.

And you don't have to have a lot of business experience, certainly not a degree to start your very own company and become an entrepreneur. So we want to continue to share that message, especially through our nonprofit. But as for me, you know, college is coming up soon.

And those decisions are really key. But I think, you know, wherever I choose to go, I'd like to study business and, you know, hopefully get to dance or play tennis or, you know, still enjoy the things that I loved growing up and look for other opportunities to help people look for other niche communities that, you know, could benefit from a functional product. And whether it's Zolli or whether it's something else that I create down the line, helping people is really the most important thing to me. And a great job, as always, by Greg Hengler and a special thanks to Zolli Candy, CEO Alina Morris. And we love telling stories about entrepreneurship and small business owners.

And my goodness, what she said is so powerful. Real world experience is better than algebra. And she's thinking about college right now, but she's right. Entrepreneurship is a real career. You don't need money.

You certainly don't need a degree. And she is living proof. Her first orders, Whole Foods and Amazon. And then she experiences the setback. Every entrepreneur does it. The screw up. Do they bounce back?

Do they fight back and learn from it? And she did, which makes her an entrepreneur. The story of Teen Candy Queen CEO Alina Morris here on Our American Stories. Soon millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year. And UnitedHealthcare can help you feel confident about your choices. For those eligible, Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15th through December 7th.

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It's Dramos. You may know me from the recap on L.A. TV. Now I've got my own podcast, Life as a Gringo, coming to you every Tuesday and Thursday. We'll be talking real and unapologetic about all things life, Latin culture and everything in between from someone who's never quite fit in. Listen to Life as a Gringo on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Brought to you by State Farm.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 14:09:34 / 2023-02-15 14:26:21 / 17

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