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!