Ever wondered how you could support ethical, sustainable businesses? Welcome to a new regular series highlighting products, services and organizations that are ‘doing well by doing good’.
Did you know that the humble stick of gum is packed with artificial substances that are potentially toxic – like plastic, aspartame and BHT?
One day after a healthy lunch of salad and green juice, Simply Gum’s founder Caron Proschan unwrapped a stick of gum and was taken aback by the contrast between what she had just eaten – and the artificialness of what was in her hand. That was the spark that started her journey to revolutionize the gum industry.
Please give us an overview of your organization?
Simply Gum is a rapidly growing, NYC-based all natural chewing gum company. Each of our ingredients is sourced from the highest quality suppliers across the globe.
How did you get started with this idea?
Simply Gum was born one afternoon after I finished up a salad, and reached for a stick of gum. It suddenly looked strange compared to the rest of my healthy choices and I decided to look into what gum is made of. I was shocked to learn that the ingredients included plastic, and what’s worse, it was concealed under the seemingly harmless term “gum base.” After learning more about the industry, I decided it was time to make a better chew.
What is the purpose of this organization?
Our mission is to inspire people to live simply. From the products we make, to our packaging, to the way we do things, we try to keep it simple.
What are you proudest of?
Since we craft all our gum locally in New York City (Brooklyn to be exact!), as we grow, we are proud that we are able to provide dozens of jobs to our neighbors while minimizing our carbon footprint.
How do you think you are different to your competitors?
While conventional gum is packed with artificial substances, we use just a few, straightforward natural ingredients. Simply Gum has six unique flavors including Mint, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fennel Licorice, Maple, and Coffee.
What do your customers/community say about your organization that makes you happy?
Our customers love that we use all natural ingredients. Many write us to tell us that they have sensitivities to regular gum, because of the aspartame or xylitol and they’re thrilled to have finally found a gum that doesn’t give them stomachaches or headaches. People also love our packaging—so much so that they even share photos on Instagram.
What is your favorite story about your organization?
I started the company in my apartment in New York. For the first few months, I was making the product myself and hand delivering it to local stores in New York. I had no employees and no distributor. Fortunately, the gum started flying off the shelves immediately – that’s when I knew Simply Gum was really resonating with consumers.
What difference do you make in people’s lives?
It’s extremely important to us that we use natural ingredients, without synthetics. We’re also Non-GMO certified. This means that we’re better for the environment, because we’re biodegradable and not contributing to the tons of plastic waste each year created by conventional gum. And it also means that we’re providing a better alternative for people who don’t want to consume toxins. Additionally, we do hear from customers who suffer from conditions such as gastric reflux, car sickness, or nausea, that our Ginger gum has helped them make those issues a lot more manageable.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re proud to have re-invented chewing gum. Our plans for the future are to continue growing our brand and creating products that are simple, natural, and better.
Where can people go to support your organization?
You can find us online at simplygum.com, or in Whole Foods, Cost Plus, Urban Outfitters, Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, and other stores across the country.
Afdhel Aziz is the co-author of book ‘Good is the New Cool’, a book on brands and social entrepreneurship available on Amazon now.
If you have a suggestion for a business or organization you think should be highlighted, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org