Tara Bosch has turned a kitchen experiment into the $55 million revenue candy brand SmartSweets. A former sugar addict, Bosch had daily chats with her grandmother over bags of sweets. She loved the ritual, but her candy obsession led to an unhealthy relationship with food. “I started thinking, ‘I want to feel good about candy, so why can’t I?'” She bought a gummy bear mold and tested recipes using plant-based fibers and plant-based sweeteners to replace corn syrup and sugar. The British Columbia native sold the gummies from her car and cold-emailed Canadian retailers. By the next summer, a Thiel Fellowship had lured her to drop out of the University of British Columbia and her gummies were already selling across Canadian shelves. She then caught the attention of Whole Foods, leading to full U.S. distribution with the retailer. Today her lines of no-sugar candy sell in more than 18,000 stores across North America. Bosch has raised a total of $6.1 million across two funding rounds – and she has held onto majority ownership in the process. “The focus so far is reinventing the candy aisle,” Bosch says. “Now we are asking ‘what else can we kick sugar out of?'”Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Tara Bosch and other top speakers and celebrities.