A maker of low-sugar, gummy candy.

Food & Beverage
$6.1 million

Tara Bosch has struggled to maintain a healthy relationship with food her entire life, because like many people, she has one major weakness: candy. It wasn't until she landed a job at a supplements store and had an enlightening conversation about weight control with her 89-year-old grandmother that she realized she needed to make a change. "It was a shocking moment for me," Bosch says. "I was like, 'Wow, you can literally be a senior and still feel bad about yourself because of what you're putting in your body.'" It was at that point that she started looking for healthier candy alternatives, and when she couldn't find any, she started recipe testing in her kitchen. A few months later, she dropped out of college to start SmartSweets, a candy company that recreates classics like gummy bears and Swedish Fish, but with less sugar. The Greendale, Indiana-based company, which officially launched in 2016, is now in more than 10,000 retail stores in the U.S and Canada, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Whole Foods. And with deals in the works with Target, Kroger, and Vitamin Shoppe, Bosch expects that figure to reach 20,000 by the end of 2019. --Brit Morse