Proschan picked a few other ingredients to add to her product so it would have a consistency similar to that of traditional gum. “I ordered everything online,” she says, “and then started tinkering in my kitchen.” Proschan tested various recipes with different amounts of ingredients. She found that adding too much flavoring, for example, made the gum slippery and soft. Too much chicle, on the other hand, made the gum too dense and hard.
After a lot of trial and error, Proschan came up with a mixture that worked. But when she made larger batches, the gum’s texture didn’t turn out right. She had to go back to the drawing board. It took her about a year to figure out the right proportions of ingredients to make larger amounts. Proschan began selling her product, called Simply Gum, to local grocery stores and then expanded to shops across the country.
Proschan recently had to move production out of her home kitchen and into a factory in New York City to keep up with demand for her product. “Until now, there has been very little innovation in the gum industry,” she says. “I saw Simply Gum as an opportunity to do something exciting and new.”