Posted: March 01, 2011
Colorado cool stuff: toothpaste tablets, agloves, lost resorts and snappy salsa
Scott Jacobs, the president and founder of Archtek, transitioned from the mouth-guard business as founder of Lakewood-based Safe-T-Gard to the dental oral care market after dentists asked him to make a tooth-bleaching tray in 1992. After selling Safe-T-Gard in 2000, Jacobs came up with the idea for Toothpaste Tablets, which he describes as "dehydrated toothpaste - when you put it in your mouth, saliva activates it into foam."
Hitting retail last year, the tablets have several key benefits over traditional tubes of toothpaste, says Jacobs: They're more sanitary, they're travel friendly and the bottles are recyclable, as opposed to toothpaste tubes, 560 million of which end up in U.S. landfills every year. "The response has been positive," Jacobs says. "It's tough getting it on the shelves competing with companies like Procter & Gamble." About $5 retail for a 60-tablet bottle.
Working as a journalist in Washington, D.C., Jean Spencer found it was difficult to get her hands out of her gloves in time to answer important calls on her iPhone. Apple's touch screens depend on bio-electricity, so traditional gloves block the necessary input, so Jean asked her mother, Jennifer Spencer, to come up with something that worked. Jennifer came up with a novel solution in Agloves, gloves knitted with conductive silver-coated nylon.
"Silver is the most conductive element on the periodic table," says Jennifer, noting that the Agloves moniker comes from Ag, silver's two-letter abbreviation on the table. Citing tests consistently ranking Agloves as the best on the market, Jennifer says the company has boomed since its launch last September. "At the peak around Christmas, we were selling one pair a minute." $17.99 for a pair retail.
Made by Agloves LLC, Boulder, www.agloves.com.
COLORADO's LOST RESORTS MAP
Nearly 140 gone-but-not-forgotten ski resorts are commemorated in a new limited edition of a "Colorado's Lost Resorts" map poster from Colorado Ski Country USA. The resort pinpoints each on a map with a key detailing dates of operation, as well as a "20 Most Memorable" sidebar with capsules on such shuttered operations as Ski Broadmoor, Berthoud Pass, Conquistador, and Old Man Mountain in Estes Park, where summer jumping events in the 1950s used 55 tons of crushed ice in lieu of snow.
"We thought it was important to continue telling the story of our state's ski history since it is such an integral part of Colorado's culture," explains Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA. $19.99 retail.
Made by Colorado Ski Country USA, Denver, (303) 837-0793, www.shopcoloradoski.com.
Rick Thomas and Bob Cohen, friends and neighbors in Centennial, were brainstorming for a business to start, and Thomas brought his mother Donna's salsa to the table. Cohen's first reaction:
"There's a lot of salsas out there." Then he tried it, and he was sold. "I've had hundreds, if not thousands, of people tell me it's the best salsa they ever had," says Thomas, noting that the ingredients are traditional (tomatoes, jalapenos, red onions and spices), but the proportions of each make it stand out.
After launching in 2004, it took the duo until last year to crack into major supermarkets in Colorado, catalyzing a tenfold hook in sales. Says Thomas: "2011 is a pivotal year for us." About $5 for a 16-ounce jar retail.
Made by 5280 Salsa (a DBA for VHighway LLC), Denver, (720) 203-4419, www.5280salsa.com. Available at Tony's Market, King Soopers, City Market and Safeway stores in Colorado.