Joining us on #gossipstation is Cassandra from delicious, guilt-free popcorn company PROPERCORN. It’s been a huge fave of ours for a long time so it is with great pleasure that we can welcome Cassandra for a chinwag to discover more about where her journey began. AND PROPERCORN have come onboard for our AW16 #alegrepressday so it can’t get much better than that can it? So, let’s get to it…
Cassandra, thank you so much for joining us. Can you start off by telling us where you got the inspiration for PROPERCORN?
Hi Everyone! I was 25 and working in Soho when I first came up with the idea for PROPERCORN. Every day around 3pm, the team would go looking for something to snack on, but everything on offer either tasted of nothing or left you feeling guilty. Having grown up making popcorn, I knew it would be possible to make an amazing and delicious snack that was also guilt-free, but it was just as important to me that we created something that people would be proud to be seen with.
When I told my mum of my plans, she reminded me that the last present my father bought me before he passed away was a vintage popcorn machine. Combined with my entrepreneurial itch, this little bit of serendipity gave me all the confidence I needed to quit my job and give PROPERCORN a go.
We are so sorry to hear about your father but we love how much meaning the inspiration for the business has to you. Why the name PROPERCORN?
From day one, Done Properly has been our yardstick; it’s a passion and attention to detail that underpins everything we do as a team. Whether we’re creating new popcorn recipes, packaging or designing our own range of clothes, we’re always working to make everything the best it can possibly be.
Passion and attention to detail are crucial! They are key factors to helping to make it work aren’t they? What's different about PC?
Unsurprisingly, our team have an absolute passion for popcorn! We work tirelessly to ensure we source and use only the best quality, GM free, butterfly corn and 100% natural ingredients to season it. Taste will always come first but we also work to keep it as healthy as possible, with every flavour coming in under 130kcals. All six flavours are also gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.
Beyond our popcorn, we have an enormously talented in house team of creatives and I’d like to think it is this, which really sets us apart. The team’s passion for design and the arts has seen us collaborate with some of the creative communities that inspire us most. On our first major campaign last summer, we worked with the amazingly talented set designer, Rachel Thomas, and recently had our packs shot by Jess Bonham and Anna Lomax. You’re far more likely to find us looking to lifestyle and fashion brands for inspiration than other FMCG brands, championing design and creativity in everything we do.
Your branding always looks fab and that’s only one of the reasons why we love it so much! Your branding is eye-catching and colourful! Out of the box as we like to say! Is healthy living something you're interested in?
Absolutely! It’s so important to care of yourself. I think it’s all about balance though, and no one should ever feel like they can’t enjoy themselves and maintain a healthy lifestyle. At PROPERCORN we’ll only work on a flavour if we really believe it can offer both great taste and health. Hopefully we’re helping people find this happy, healthy medium. I manage to maintain a pretty good health routine Monday to Friday but weekends tend to pose more of a challenge!
That’s what weekends are for though, though aren’t they? What's coming up for the brand in the near future apart from being in our #alegrepressday?
I can’t reveal too much at this stage but watch this space for lots of exciting new projects,flavours and formats coming out this year. You might even spot us a little further afield in 2016, as we’re now available in 8 countries outside the UK. There’s a lot more travel involved in my day to day now, which I love. Never a dull day!
That’s so exciting! AND the fact that you get to travel too…that’s the icing to the cake! Do you have a favourite PC flavour?
It changes almost weekly but I’m currently obsessed with our newest flavour, Smooth Peanut & Almond. It was a real labour of love from concept to creation; nuts have a high oil content, so before we could apply it to our popcorn we had to find a way to remove some of the fat. The natural process removes 88% of the fat but it still leaves behind an amazing peanut butter taste.
Ooo that sounds absolutely delicious! What's been one of the most exciting things in your career to date?
I gave a Ted talk in Greece last year which was exciting but equally terrifying! The thing I’m most excited by daily however, is our team. I work alongside an incredible group of people who put huge amounts of passion and energy into everything we do. Maintaining our amazing company culture as we grow, is one of the things that keeps me awake most at night.
It’s so important to surround yourself by an incredible support network so we can understand what you mean when you talk about sleepless nights! Can you tell us about some of the projects/collabs you've been involved in?
Our most recent project was to create a “Happy Lunch”, where we revisited the fast food concept and created an on-the-go solution, which was genuinely delicious and packed with nutrients to boost your mood. We teamed up with sustainable food delivery service, Karma Cans, and US nutritionist, Judith Wurtman PhD and together created a recipe which boosted serotonin production. We’ve been the official snack of London Fashion Week for 9 seasons now and, in February, were very excited to see our Happy Lunch keeping the fashion crowd fuelled over the weekend!
London Fashion Week was the first place we officially became aware of PROPERCORN and since then have never looked back. Keep doing your ‘thang’ as we are HUGE fans and know that so many other people are too. Thank you so much for joining us and again, we are so appreciative to have you involved in our #alegrepressday
Visit the PROPERCORN website here and let us know your favourite flavour.