Posted on Friday, December 27, 2013
Sam Singer '13, the creator of an all-natural chewing gum called Train, recently launched his product online in select retail locations.
"Train launched officially in late October with okay online sales," Singer says, but over the past several weeks, he received the two wholesale orders, "which I'm hoping will be my big sellers."
Earlier this year, Singer partnered with Kitchen Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that allows emerging food businesses to use its space for product development, which is "incredibly important," Singer says, "because it allows me to make gum in a food-safe kitchen. Without a licensed kitchen, a food business cannot make their products and sell them to the public."
As the business grows, Singer says, he would like "to move out and operate in my own space," ideally within six months.
"I don't need a large kitchen to make the gum," he says. "The process is quite similar to chocolate. You boil gum base, add other ingredients. You don't need a big kitchen space, but I think it would be really cool to have a retail space, too."
In the meantime, he has plans to expand his wholesales to train museums ("Train Gum, because you ‘chew chew,'" Singer says) and to experiment with new flavors derived from natural oils, like lemon and tea tree.
A Spanish major with a minor in comparative literature, Singer initially developed his chewing gum idea in 2012 during the Colleges' student entrepreneur competition, The Pitch. He credits his success to both his experience during the competition and the support he has received at HWS, and is excited to bring his product back to the place it was conceived.
"I'm really glad that I'm selling at HWS because that's where I got my start," he says. "The Center for Teaching and Learning and my adviser and a few of my professors who knew about my project were all extremely supportive."