Park Royal’s pioneering popcorn family to take innovative gourmet treats to Hong Kong
- Credit: Archant
A pioneering family in Park Royal whose mission is to make the “best tasting popcorn in the world” are off to Hong Kong as part of a select group of hand-picked businesses.
Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn, which makes its snacks at Staples Corner retail park off the North Circular, is taking part in the GREAT Festival of Innovation – a four-day event on March 21 to 24 organised by the Department for International Trade.
The family firm, run by Joe and Jackie Sopher and their son Adam, is heading out as part of the government’s GREAT Britain campaign.
Co-founder and director Adam, who lives in Queen’s Park, told the Times: “We’re really excited about the Hong Kong opportunity – it’s a fantastic honour for us.
“This is generally a family business that was my dad’s hobby. It’s gained momentum, and people love what we’ve created.
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“We are so lucky to have such amazing customers who love us and push us to create more.”
Popcorn with flavours as diverse as Gin & Tonic and Expresso Martini are made by pastry chefs who blast hot air to pop the kernals instead of oil. They are taking salted caramel to the Asian markets.
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The 29-year-old added: “My dad made popcorn for years when we were kids. He would go to the US on electrical whole sale business events and that’s what inspired him. He’d bring it home to give us as presents and say: ‘I can make better popcorn than this.’
“He then retired, my mum was a housewife, and I was bored with my job at Curry’s, so we decided to start our own business.”
They showcased their first classic caramel and mirin soya and sesame seed snacks at a London food show in 2011.
Their first listing was with Selfridges, sign-ups with Harrods and Harvey Nichols followed and they are now stocked in major supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. They also have tasty contracts with cinemas and airlines.
The firm, which started with just the three of them, has grown to employ 45 staff with pastry chefs making 500 kilos of popcorn a day. Last year the company turned over £5million.
Adam added: “Our mission is to have the best tasting popcorn in the world. Every manufacturer has different criteria. We are about taste.”