Former WBSD student is an ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ finalist
WEST BLOOMFIELD — According to Wolverine Lake resident and former West Bloomfield School District student Alina Morse, she is a normal kid.
The 15-year-old sophomore likes to dance and is part of the Walled Lake Central High School pom team.
It just so happens that Morse has a “different extracurricular activity” than a typical high school student.
She is the CEO and founder of Zolli Candy, which she said, “did about $6 million at retail” last year.
From Morse’s perspective, Zolli is a “healthy” alternative to other kinds of candy, with the ingredients erythritol and xylitol serving as alternatives to sugar.
Since having the idea for what was to become Zolli Candy when she was 7 and landing her first deal with a retailer at age 9, Morse has had an impact on the business world.
According to a release, she is the youngest vendor for well-known retailers such as Walmart, Kroger and CVS, as well as the youngest INC. Magazine 5000 CEO.
Morse is also the youngest person to ever appear on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, in 2018.
This year, Zolli was named the Fastest Growing Candy Company on INC Magazine’s INC 5000 list.
According to the release, Morse’s company sold its 100 millionth product in July.
Morse was recently named an Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award finalist.
She said Zolli Candy’s success has been “way beyond my wildest dreams.”
“It’s been very exciting,” Morse said. “I am very grateful for all of my opportunities that have come about from Zolli Candy and everything that I’ve learned along the way. I think it really goes to show you don’t have to go to business school or be over 18 to start a company. Business doesn’t always have to be serious. It can be fun, and it can be kid-friendly and exciting.”