What’s the perfect accompaniment to a lovely gin and tonic? Gin and tonic-flavoured popcorn of course!
You might think to yourself ‘just how good can popcorn really get?’, but trust us – the Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn in the Dragons' Den Box is a total game changer.
Handmade in London by a small team of pastry chefs, using special methods and all natural ingredients, the Gin and Tonic flavour we’ve sent you contains 5% real gin and 5% real tonic. The result is a unique, tasty snack with notes of sweet tonic followed by the citrus and juniper of gin. And as you are about to discover, just like a real G&T, it is deliciously moreish!
The inspiration for Joe & Seph’s came from founder Joe Sopher’s business trips to the US, where he discovered a whole world of flavoured popcorn snacks. He brought the treats back as presents for his family, on one occasion making use of a whole 23kg luggage allowance! As Joe’s son and co-founder Adam remembers, at that point “We thought: ‘Hang on a minute, let’s see if we can do something with this’.”
The team set about experimenting with recipes, air-popping the corn and coating it in a smooth caramel made from fresh butter, rather than using what was then the standard British method of popping it in an oil and sugar mix.
Joe explains “I then discovered that by using only natural ingredients and a unique ‘flavour-sequencing’ process that I could lock in flavours so that they flourished on the palate at different intervals as you're eating the popcorn.”
After more experimentations to develop a range of flavours, in October 2010, the family team – Joe and Adam, along with wife, mum and business partner Jackie – took their wares to the BBC Good Food show to gauge the reaction. Suffice it to say, things went well. They completely sold out of all their stock in just two days and received so much hype that they found themselves on the shelves at the iconic Selfridges just five months later.
Since then, Joe & Seph’s has gone from strength to strength, winning awards, getting products onto the shelves of (to name but a few) Waitrose, Wholefoods, Ocado and Harrods, as well as onto Virgin Atlantic flights. Their popcorn is also increasingly exported overseas – including to America, the birthplace of Joe’s original idea.
The popcorn range has also expanded to include flavours such as the recently launched Marmite (the first ever officially endorsed popcorn from the love-it-or-hate-it brand) and inventive takes on the nation’s favourite desserts and savoury snacks, from Cheese on Toast to Strawberry Cheesecake. Then, of course, there’s the Gin and Tonic flavour in your box this month, which is joined by a selection of other cocktail flavours such as Mojito, Margarita and Cosmopolitan.
In addition to the popcorn, the team have launched a range of Caramel Sauces (also available in Gin and Tonic flavour), which are perfect for drizzling on ice cream – or just devouring straight from the jar!
The future only promises more growth and innovation from what is proving to be so much more than just a mom and pop(corn) business. We certainly can’t wait to see what will be next from this fabulous family enterprise – but if they are looking for new recipe suggestions, we do love a Negroni...just saying!