Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Different Way to Chew

Deep in the rainforests of northern Guatemala, nearly two decades ago, Deborah Schimberg '80 P'12 found something to chew on - chicle, the original ingredient for chewing gum. Today she is the president of Verve, Inc., a Providence-based business that manufactures Glee Gum, an all-natural chewing gum.

While researching sustainable development in Guatemala in 1992, Schimberg discovered that chicleros, the people who harvest chicle from Sapodilla trees in the rainforest, depend on it for their livelihoods. After her trip, which was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Schimberg used a few blocks of chicle from Guatemala to make experimental batches of gum in her kitchen. She and her three children loved the hands-on project so much that she decided to manufacture and sell a "Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit."

Eventually, Schimberg's company began to offer kits allowing people to make their own chocolate or gummies.

Read the rest of the story: The Brown Daily Herald

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