Tuesday 12th April 2022
What is your job title here at Joe & Seph’s?
Head Pastry Chef, I’ve been here since the very beginning.
What were you doing before Joe & Seph’s?
I had many great jobs before I came to Joe & Seph’s, I’ve worked as a pastry chef in many 5* hotels in London, I actually worked in Claridge’s hotel.
Another job I had was working for a fine patisserie which is where I learnt a lot about chocolate and how to work with it.
But my first apprenticeship took place in Dusseldorf, at a chocolate company named Heinemann, that’s where it really all began.
How did you get the job?
Jackie & Joseph were actually renting one of the kitchens downstairs and I was working upstairs. I could smell their popcorn and everyday I would run downstairs to ask if I could have some. That’s where it started, they say I was the third employee of Joe & Seph’s!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love that I get to train all of these wonderful people and share the skill I’ve learnt throughout the years. I also think the quality of popcorn that we produce on a daily basis is something quite unique, and we’re always trying to improve!
What do you find the most challenging?
Again, the quality. This is something that myself and my whole team have to keep up on a daily basis and we will never let that slip. I think the amount of time we spend on developing new products can also be challenging sometimes but we won’t stop until they’re perfect.
How big is your team?
I have 20 people in my team at the moment, when Christmas comes around though we always have to employee extras.
Why do you think Joe & Seph’s has been such a success over the years?
The fact that we can provide such high-quality popcorn and in the amounts we do. Everything is handmade by my staff, we take such care in everything we do and I think our customers can genuinely taste that.
What’s been your favourite memory at Joe & Seph’s?
I don’t have one favourite memory but I do feel that knowing I’m a big part of the team makes me smile. The appreciation that the team have for what I do is very nice.
What’s your favourite flavour?
I have a few! I love Cheese on Toast (especially when it’s warm and straight out of the oven). Gin & Tonic and Caramel, Chilli & Pepper are also favourites of mine.
Wednesday 2nd March 2022
For this Mother's Day, we wanted to celebrate our very own J&S mum like figure, Jackie Sopher. Wife to master popcorn connoisseur, Joseph and mother to our very own managing director Adam and sales manger Paul, Jackie is an icon in her very own way and we thought it was only right you got to know her just that slight bit more!
Where did the idea of Joe & Seph’s come from?
For years Joe used to travel around America on business. He used to have a career in the electrical sector, but he was always a real foodie and would bring home suitcases full of popcorn from America that our children loved. After some research, Joe realised, that there wasn’t anyone in the UK making gourmet popcorn with real, 100% natural ingredients, instead, the popcorn in the UK at the time was all full of chemicals. So we set out on a journey to make the best tasting popcorn in the UK and the world!
What were you doing before Joe & Seph’s?
I stayed at home to look after our 3 children, Joe has always been a work-a-holic, and even then, he was working all hours under the sun!
How well is the business going?
We are very proud to be able to say we now have over 75+ Great Taste Awards across the range, more than any other popcorn brand! And after 11 years, it really is still a family run business supplying gourmet popcorn across the world.
How hard is it to work with not only your husband, but your two sons as well?
Hmm, I miss the cuddles as I’m not allowed at work! I am very lucky to see them most days and we all have our own areas which keeps us on our toes!
What has been your favourite Joe & Seph’s memory to date?
My favourite memory of the business is back to where we first started, our very first consumer show where we had a stall to sell our popcorn. It was BBC Good Food Show and Greg Wallace was there as the main host across the weekend.
There was just 3 of us and one helper on a small stand with our popcorn that we had made in a small kitchen in London that we rented by the hour. Mr Wallace and his entourage came upstairs and tried the popcorn and were so enamoured with it that after his cooking demonstrations he sent up a huge amount of people to our stand, it was incredible. We sold out and came home with just empty containers!
This has proved to us that the gap in the market was there and we started to believe that we really were making the best tasting gourmet popcorn.
The other pinch yourself moment was when we won The Queens Award last year, it was the icing on the cake for me.
What can our customers look forward to for the future? New products?
Now, that would be telling, but what I can say is that our team have been working really hard on some really exciting new creations.. you’ll have to follow our social media to keep up to date!
And we have to ask.. what's your favourite popcorn flavour?
Well, it always was and still is, Goat's Cheese and Black Pepper. A flavour that caused much animated discussion in the beginning with the family struggling to decide if it would be a popular flavour or not. I suppose I won the argument and have since been proven right as it's been one of our best-sellers ever since!
Wednesday 16th February 2022
Yes, that’s right - Shrove Tuesday is ‘creping’ up on us and we’re here to give you some of the most indulgent ideas to help you celebrate arguably the most delicious day of the year. This blog will include mouth-watering pancake recipes, tremendous toppings and some little extras to make sure you’re the queen/king of the stack!
1. Get Your Pancake Kit Sorted!
Firstly, to create the ultimate pancake day snack, it’s very important to get the initial ingredients sorted. This year, we’ve done this for you with our Ultimate Pancake Day Kit! Filled with enough ingredients to feed the whole family, inside this golden box of goodies you’ll find 2 x award-winning caramel sauces, a pouch of Creative Nature’s pancake mix, and an elegant bamboo spatula to help you perfect your pancake!
2. Be Adventurous
We’ve taken the classic lemon and sugar pancake of lemon and sugar pancake and turned it on its head with our Apple Turnover Pancakes! Cooked in the oven, these little beauties are filled to the brim with sticky, soft, warm apple pieces and coated in our award-winning Sticky Toffee Sauce, these are a sure fire way to warm you up through the winter months.
3. Let’s Get Saucy!
Whether you prefer sweet, savoury or fruity, I think we can all agree that Caramel Sauce should be a staple on any stack. We’ve created the cutest of all gift bags, housing two of our award winning caramel sauces. It’s time to let the caramel sauce out the bag and do toppings rights this pancake day.
4. Look The Part
Next up: Pancake day can be messy, whether that’s because you’re not the best pancake flipper out there or if you’ve gone over board on the lemon juice. Why not kit yourself out with a very special Joe & Seph’s apron. Embroidered with love, this limited edition merch is the ultimate way to show your family that you’re taking the pancake game seriously this year!
5. Feeling Fruity?
These Rhubarb Crumble and custard pancakes create the prettiest plate of warm soft pancakes, giving you a light, creamy and crumbly experience like nothing you’ve tasted before. Suitable for vegans, this will impress any guest at your table this Shrove Tuesday!
6. Banoffee Pie Pancakes?
Whilst we’re on the subject of taking classic desserts and interpreting them with a tasty twist, our Banoffe Pie Pancakes are a must try on Tuesday! Light and fluffy with a creamy sweet centre. The secret ingredient? Our award-winning Banoffee Pie Caramel Sauce, you’ll be a real Pancake legend if you pull this one out of the pan!
7. Talking Toppings
As well as drizzling your pancakes with our caramel sauces, how about a sprinkling of popcorn for the ultimate treat? As you may already know, we now have over 80 flavours of gourmet popcorn to choose from, so whether you’re a sweet or a savoury type of stacker, we’ve got the popcorn flavour for you!
8. Go For A Classic
For the a quick, simple and without doubt classic recipe, check out BBC Good Food’s Sugar and Lemon pancakes.. you just can’t go wrong.
9. One For The Adults
Seeking a more ‘adult’ pancake day this year? We’ve got you ‘sauted’. Try our award winning Gin & Tonic Caramel Sauce drizzled all over your pancakes, made with 5% real Gin and 5% real Tonic for a truly tipsy taste sensation! Enjoy!
WIN! It’s The Ultimate Pancake Giveaway!
To kick off pancake day celebrations, here at Joe & Seph’s, we want to give one of you lucky readers the chance to win one of our Ultimate Pancake Day kits! All you need to do is click here and enter! Flip, Flip Hooray!
Wednesday 2nd February 2022
On the hunt for some stay at home date night ideas? Don’t fret! Here at Joe & Seph’s, we’ve got you covered. We’ve come up with 10 unique date night ideas to get things poppin’ this Valentine’s day.
1. Binge watch a series or how about a romcom?
Valentine’s is THE night to relax, it’s the time to get in your cosies, get started on that series you’ve been dying to watch, or pop on a romcom. Whichever you decide, we’ve got the delicious date night snacks covered.
Introducing, our brand-new Chocolate Popcorn Slab, available in two indulgent flavours of Milk Chocolate or Vegan Dark Chocolate, these are the ideal movie-night in treat.. you just have to try and snap off the biggest piece!
Don’t care to share? If you’re a little more protective over your movie snacks, how about tucking into your own pouch of popcorn? Here’s some of our Popcorn best sellers to help you choose..
2. Light some candles and get your favourite takeaway delivered.
It’s time to relax and unwind this Valentine’s day and what better way to do that than with a candle lit dinner. Transform your home into a beautiful sea of glowing lights by scattering scented tea lights around your home.
Once you’ve got the lighting right, it’s time to think about what’s on the menu, as no date is quite the same without something delicious for dinner.
As this years Valentine’s day is on a Monday, many of us will have been at work all day and might not have had the time to cook a 3 course meal for our special Valentine. So, why not order one of your favourite takeaways? You can always pop the food on some pretty dinner plates to make it an ‘extra special’ treat.
3. Make your own gourmet popcorn at home.
A staple for any movie night in! Whether you’re a sweet or salty kind of pair, try your hand at creating the easiest and tastiest snack of all... Popcorn! There are two ways you can get cinema style snacks, either ‘pop’ some popcorn kernels in the microwave or on the hob and watch the light and fluffy mouthfuls reveal themselves! OR, if you really want to show off, why not give our very own J&S Popcorn Maker a go, its super easy to set up and you can create a warming bowl of gourmet popcorn in minutes! (plus, there’s a 10% discount right now!)
But who likes plain popcorn? We recommend pushing the boat out and smothering yours in our J&S caramels, available in a mouth-watering 5 flavours AND available in mini make your own kits with kernels too, they’re a sure fire way to impress your date!
4. Fancy yourself as a bit of a chef?
As mentioned above, the majority of us barely have the energy to bake a potato after work. However, there are some chefs and bakers amongst us and haven’t we got some date night inspo for you! First up, Mains. Valentine’s day is a time to indulge, and this Marmite Mac & Cheese recipe is nothing short of delectable! Filled with creamy cheesy goodness and a generous sprinkling of Marmite popcorn, you’re on to a winner.
Next, it’s the bit that everybody looks forward to, dessert. We’ve created a date night dessert that is sure to score some points with your Valentine, a deliciously decadent chocolate mousse topped with our brand-new Chocolate popcorn slab.
5. Get a map and start deciding on those dream getaways
How long have you both been daydreaming about jet-setting off to a remote island with crystal clear waters, golden sands and unlimited cocktails? Or, perhaps you’ve been talking about backpacking around the breathtaking mountains that the world has to offer. Well, Valentine’s is the perfect evening to sit around a map with your loved one and finally start deciding on that dream get away.
6. Bring some mystery to your evening..
If you’re the sort of person that breaks out in a sweat at the thought of finding the perfect gift or treat for your loved one, don’t fret. We’ve come up with a little Mystery bundle box, where we pick 6 x pouches of our famous gourmet popcorn for you to try. They’re all picked at random to give your date night a unique tasting experience. Why not organise a blind taste test game to get the taste buds going.
7. Get a date night theme going
Picture this: Fajitas, sombreros and margaritas! Whatever the theme, whether it’s a Mexican fiesta, American burger party, a French style picnic, or a Spanish tapas evening, get some props and decorations and try a different culture for the evening.
Whichever theme you might choose, we’ve got lots of popcorn flavours to go with it! From American style mac & cheese popcorn to mojito flavour popcorn, you can go all out!
8. Let’s take this outside.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to either have a garden or a balcony, make the most of it! We might be in February but wrap up warm and take your Valentine outside to gaze at the stars. You could even go for a romantic evening stroll and take a hip flask with your favourite nightcap to warm you up.
9. Try making your favourite cocktails
We don’t know what the rules are about drinking on a Monday but we’d say Valentine’s night is a pretty great excuse to push them aside! How about learning to make your favourite ever cocktail? Order a simple cocktail starter kit and become the bartender you never knew you could be. ..we’ll have a Pina Colada!
10. Get crafty
Lastly, it’s time to get crafty. This date night idea might mean a small amount of prep, but we promise it’s going to give you the brownie points you know you deserve.
Try printing off a variety of photos of you and your partner, funny memories, beautiful holidays, embarrassing snaps, the list is endless.
Get comfy and sit down together and enjoy reminiscing whilst you fill a scrapbook full of your time together. So often these types of pictures stay on a mobile phone screen, so put them somewhere they really matter and create a keepsake.
Tuesday 1st February 2022
Our co-founder Joe has been creating his famous, award-winning Gourmet Popcorn since 2010. His love of popcorn began back in 2010 while taking regular business trips to the USA, each time returning with flavoured popcorn as gifts for friends and family!
Inspired, he decided to shake things up when he got back to London and began experimenting in the family-kitchen, on a mission to become a Gourmet Popcorn Chef!
After many months of burnt pans and late-night tasting sessions, he discovered the artisan techniques to create officially the best-tasting popcorn.
Now for those interested in creating cooking up their own best-tasting Gourmet Popcorn, here's Joe's Top Tips:
- Handcrafting your gourmet popcorn in small batches. Good things take time.... so to ensure you achieve an even coating, Joe recommend making only 180g batches of Gourmet Popcorn at a time until you master the process.
- Only using the finest natural ingredients. Quality breeds qualitty... that's why Joe and his team of pastry chefs have spent years sourcing the finest, all-natural ingredients to use in for making our famous Gourmet Popcorn. This includes sourcing award-winning, extra-large “mushroom” popping kernels, which are perfect for creating Gourmet Popcorn with the fluffiest, spongiest texture and an extra-large surface area, perfect for coating in caramel!
- Air-popping instead of frying: Joe recommends air-pop your popcorn kernels rather than frying them in oil. Not only is is a healthier cooking method, but it also ensure the fluffiest texture and best taste.
- Lastly, experiment with adventurous taste experiences: Joe's never been one to shy away from an adventurous flavour combination. Ten years experimenting and always pushing boundaries, has won him over 65 Great Taste Awards and the affectionate title: The Willy Wonka of Popcorn! Joe recommends starting with classic flavour combinations such as Honey & Hazelnut, by sprinkling chopped hazelnut and warm golden honey of your finished popcorn while it's still fresh from the oven. Once you feel confident with simple flavour combinations, then it's time to experiment and why not!
To help in your quest for creating popcorn perfection, we’ve put together everything our very own "Make Your Own Kit" including everything you need to cook up your own best-tasting Salted Caramel Gourmet Popcorn at home, with a detailed video instructions from Joe. To shop click here.
Here’s a sneak peek with Joe of how to use the kit, for the full video click here…