Joann and Bob Moulton attended Community Concepts Finance Corporation’s fall 2014 Quick Start workshop series for entrepreneurs.
HANOVER — A long-time vacant landmark is now abuzz with activity since Joann and Bob Moulton’s fledging company, Sensible Smiles, moved in.
The former Gordie Howe’s Store on Main Street was given an extensive interior rehab, refurbishment and cleaning. With the first product shipment delivered this past March, Sensible Smiles is now making its mark in Western Maine.
Joann Moulton is passionate about healthy teeth. “In our snacking society our teeth never have a break,” says Moulton of Hanover, a Registered Dental Hygienist by profession currently working with Dr. Mason in Bethel. Of great concern to Moulton is the fact that our country’s number one childhood disease is chronic tooth decay. So Moulton decided to take action and do something about it.
Moulton holds a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. She taught dental hygiene at the University of Maine and has also traveled to elementary schools bringing classes to children. An inspiration came to her one day, when, after teaching a dental care class, a young girl came to her holding her 10 o’clock snack — a package of sugary donuts. From that day on, Moulton was determined and set out to research and develop healthy snacks, with a couple of unique add-ons that would not only satisfy appetites but would actually promote healthy teeth.
This past March, Joann Moulton, President of Sensible Smiles Corporation, with her husband Bob Moulton, Director of Operations, officially opened the doors at 2082 Main Street in Hanover and the business has taken off.
Incorporated in 2012, Joann began building Sensible Smiles by conducting extensive scientific research and development concerning the impact of foods and lifestyles on tooth decay. During her research, Moulton learned another interesting fact — not only do children suffer from tooth decay due to their oftentimes poor choices of snacks, but runners and other high-endurance athletes who often experience dehydration, are also subject to increased tooth decay due to dry mouth and lack of saliva. Saliva is required to combat the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Combined with the consumption of high-carb, sugary gels and drinks for boosting energy, these types of athletes may also benefit from her healthy, smile-friendly snacks.
In June of 2014, Sensible Smiles began leasing the former general store in Hanover and the Moultons went to work with renovations. All but the original counter and stools have been removed from the store and the space has been scrubbed and cleaned to a sparkle. Gleaming stainless steel work tables fill the front room and a machine for sealing snack bags stands at the ready. The large walk-in cooler flanking one wall has been rehabbed and is fully stocked with an attractive array of Sensible Smiles snack packages ready for shipment.
Last fall, Bob Moulton and his brother-in-law built a sturdy loading dock at the front of the store to facilitate large deliveries of perishables with convenient access to the refrigeration. Sensible Smiles’ production is now in full swing and the company is distributing their trademarked and patent pending healthy snacks for wholesale. The first successful delivery was made on March 31, 2015.
Sensible Smiles currently has six delicious snack offerings with a total of 23 different varieties in development. Currently being sold are Cheese Sticks, Yogurt and Carrots, Almonds and Cheese, Carrots and Sun Butter, Fit Popcorn and Movie Theater Popcorn. The fresh, wholesome snacks are packaged in fun, brightly-colored re-sealable zip top bags, and all contain a bottle of spring water, dental flosser, and Xylitol gum and mints.
The water in Sensible Smiles’ snacks offers a “rinse” after snacks as well as hydration. The single-use flosser and xylitol gum and mints, when used after snacking, aid in the reduction of bacteria in the mouth.
All foods in Sensible Smiles snacks are low to no acid, contain no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats, are low-carb/low-sugar, and most of their products pass the USDA Smart Snacks Product Calculator guidelines. But most of all, Sensible Smiles snacks taste great!
Sensible Smiles is available now in local retail outlets including The Local Hub, Hungry Hollow Store, West Paris General Store, Stony Brook Campground Store, Bethel Outdoor Adventure and Kiddos in Lewiston. Moulton is working to distribute to a major supermarket chain the area and also in airports, vending machines and other retail outlets. Sensible Smiles snacks will be found in the refrigerated sections near the lunchables.
“I am extremely thankful for all the generous help and guidance I received from the Small Business Administration, SCORE, the Business Development Center, and from Diane Jackson of the State of Maine Economic and Community Development Office,” says Moulton. They all have been very helpful. She proudly added that 99.8% of dentists that she surveyed would recommend the product to their patients.