Made in Maine: Tom’s of Maine

French's Point
Published September 4th, 2012

This Made in Maine company is, truly, everywhere up here. Go into any Mainers’ bathroom and you’re almost certain to find Tom’s of Maine something – be it toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, or any of the company’s dozens of all-natural personal care products. What better endorsement of a Maine brand than that Mainers love it?

Tom’s was founded in 1970 by the husband-and-wife team Tom and Kate Chappell. Tom and Kate had moved to Maine from Philadelphia to pursue a more wholesome lifestyle for themselves and their young children. Their vision included using chemical-free, environmentally friendly products in their home. Problem was, there weren’t many available. So Tom and Kate borrowed $5,000 from a friend to start making their own.

The company that began with homemade, phosphate-free laundry detergent evolved over the years to feature a line of natural care products including toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, and deodorant. Tom’s of Maine is now a multi-million company owned by Colgate-Palmolive, but it’s kept its Maine roots by continuing to manufacture in Kennebunk. The company also prides itself on its green business practice and civic engagement.

You can buy Tom’s pretty much anywhere personal care products are sold in Maine – convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets – but for the full selection of products you can order online at their website. Each product comes with Tom’s of Maine’s signature ingredient list. Unlike most labels, this one is written in plain English and includes information about why each of the ingredients is in the product. All of this candor is the bedrock of Tom’s reputation as a quintessential Maine company whose take on personal care is uniquely (minty) fresh.