Tennis Champ Maria Sharapova Launches Candy Shop SugarPova

Maria Sharapova, the four-time Grand Slam tennis champion, launches a candy company the week before the U.S. Open starts

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Maria Sharapova of Russia looks on against Serena Williams of the United States during the gold medal match of the Women's Singles Tennis on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 4, 2012 in London, England.

Winning four Grand Slam tennis titles isn’t enough for some people. Today, tennis champ Maria Sharapova is trading in her whites for a chef’s apron, making 12 types of candy that she is hawking via her new company, SugarPova.

The company, which launched Monday, offers a dozen different, quirkily-packaged gummy candies for $5.99 plus shipping — an “accessible bit of luxury,” according to the website. Much like the Spice Girls, SugarPova’s gummies offer something for every taste and interest. The candy is available in shapes ranging from red lips in the “flirty” mix, tennis balls for the “sporty” option, and handbags and high heels for the “chic” package.

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At this year’s French Open (which Sharapova won) she called Sugarpova “the most exciting project that I’ve ever done … because it’s my own business, my own investment, my own money.” The pro is doing her best to ensure that SugarPova is successful. She launched the candy line at New York City’s upscale department store Henri Bendel and is hitting the late night talk show circuit with an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

While SugarPova is a new venture, Sharapova is no newbie when it comes to making a living off the courts. She has appeared in advertisements for Cole Haan, Canon, Tag Heuer and Nike, among other companies, and has sat on top of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s highest-paid female athletes for eight years straight. Over the past 12 months she’s earned an estimated $27.1 million — $22 million of it from sponsors, exhibitions and appearance fees. The financially savvy tennis star isn’t just spending her money on gummy candy, though. She launched the Maria Sharapova Foundation to benefit students in areas of Belarus affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. A portion of sales from SugarPova will be donated to the foundation.

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Hopefully her new entrepreneurial venture will not distract her from the U.S. Open tennis tournament that stars next week. Sharapova is ranked third heading into the competition.

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