Suzanna Kamphuis started making collagen chews as a supplement for her mother to increase her bone health. But once she began offering the product to a wider audience through her Keene business, TotumVos, customers began reporting back wonderful results and improvements from a variety of conditions.

One person with rosacea saw skin issues clear up. A woman on her third treatment for cancer found her muscles less sore. Seniors were excited by increased mobility.

And all these results from just one, small daily chewable.

“It has been exciting to see these results from unexpected ways,” Kamphuis said. “Collagen products have been around for more than 40 years, but it has become more popular in the last 10. Usually it comes as a powder that can be put in coffee or a smoothie, but it has to be taken with Vitamin C to avoid side effects.

“Typically, collagen products can be high-quality that you have to figure out how to use, or they can be easy to take but not high-quality. The TotumVos chews are specifically formulated to be both high-quality and a one-a-day chew and done.”

With the daily chew, Kamphuis has tried to create something that is easy to remember to take and does not involve extra work, like blending into another drink, but still includes the best possible ingredients for top results. She did, after all, design them with her mother in mind, thinking of all the things she needed while also being made to most benefit her health.

“Collagen comes from traditional foods, but we are not eating the whole animal from tip to tail and these parts are important. Collagen comes from the ligaments, hides and skin,” Kamphuis explained. “Our products are the highest-quality collagen I’ve seen on the market.

“Our collagen is sourced from organic chicken, cod from Nova Scotia and U.S. grass-fed beef. We use the best ingredients we can find and … how you want to get the benefits without getting extra stuff you don’t need. But with the high quality, they are also convenient.”

TotumVos chews are available in three flavors — mocha, chai beet and lemon turmeric. Kamphuis said that at first some people have said the flavor is OK, as they are not used to this kind of product not having added sugars, but many of them end up coming to really enjoy taking it daily.

“I think the larger market has kind of ignored having people enjoy something they take every day,” Kapmhuis said.

Making it simple to take is critical. Another common way to reap the benefit from collagen, beside a powder, is to make bone broth. But both are multi-step processes that take far more time than grabbing a TotumVos chew. Given collagen production drops off in the mid-20s age range and then declines again in the 40s, making sure the body can keep up with production of this protein is key.

“Collagen has a different amino acid profile than muscle meat. The TotumVos products are formulated to work on the gut as well, and to heal and seal the gut lining. It helps create sturdier arteries, aids in muscle recovery as we get older, [assists] bone health, and with [relief of] inflammatory skin conditions. Chicken-based collagen is also good for joints and ligaments,” Kamphuis said.

Looking toward the future, Kamphuis thinks she would like to explore expanding the TotumVos reach into the professional health care community to offer a better-quality product in health care offices. She also wants to be sure the company continues to serve its current customers by continuing to offer them the same great product with steady availability.

“We love our direct to consumer sales and customers. People take the chews for a very specific reason, so controlled growth is important as we are thinking about our customers,” Kamphuis said. “We use the best ingredients made in the best possible way and we want to continue to support our customers with the same quality and availability so they can continue taking them every day.

“Loyalty to our customers is important as they’ve shown such loyalty to us.”

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