Gourmet popcorn is more than flavour of the month

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Where once there was cheap and flavourless cinema popcorn, these days gourmet popcorn is the must-have-snack of the moment. It’s not hard to see why, either, with intriguing new flavour combinations constantly evolving. Greg Sunning talks to Joe & Seph’s co-founder Adam Sopher.


Back in 2008 electrical manufacturer Joseph Sopher was rethinking his career path. Having travelled often to the USA on business and brought back popcorn gifts for friends and family, he wondered whether he might improve on them by making his own. Thus the cult of Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn began.

“It really began at home in our kitchen in Hertfordshire [just outside London] with a lot of experimentation,” says Joe’s son Adam, part of the family business with mum Jackie and dad Joseph. “The first big test was at the BBC Good Food Show in London a few years later, where we made 40kg of popcorn and sold out in less than two days.”

Part of their success is attributed to the healthier properties of popcorn over crisps. The remainder is down to their artisan family credentials, their 40-plus range of flavours, and their innovative approach to making popcorn.

“Our flavours are interesting but also eclectic, with our range encompassing everything from Salted Caramel to Cheddar Cheese to Orange Marmalade.

“All of the popcorn is handmade by a small team of chefs in our London kitchen,” says Adam. “We also air-pop our extra-large ‘mushroom’ shaped kernels, which not only is healthier than frying the corn but also creates a better texture and taste.

“We only use the finest natural ingredients too, and have a unique ‘flavour-layering’ technique, which means the flavours ‘unlock’ one after another as you’re crunching on the popcorn – giving us the nickname the ‘Willy Wonka of Popcorn’!

“Our mission is to produce the best-tasting popcorn in the world, and this is underlined by our approach to quality and innovation in everything we do.”

So, what are the most popular Joe & Seph’s popcorn flavours? “Our Salted Caramel popcorn has become a stand-out favourite flavour and seems to feature on the majority of orders,” says Adam. “Other popular flavours include our Belgian Chocolate and Peanut Butter popcorn. We also have seasonal flavours like Mint Chocolate and Orange Chocolate which are really popular at Christmas time!”

A Joe & Seph’s selection is now available in Marmalade Market at Hamad International Airport in Doha.

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