Meet The Makers: EATABLE Interview
- We love the imagination of EATABLE! What prompted you to get creative with popcorn?
Vince and I are a husband-and-wife duo who has actually been making popcorn in our kitchen for years prior to launching EATABLE. We loved getting creative with our popcorn during Friday movie nights, because we found so many snack options on store shelves were either healthier choices but not too exciting in terms of flavour profiles, or very decadent, but laced with artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. When we created EATABLE we knew we wanted to stick with all-natural ingredients that you could find in your kitchen, and crafted the old-fashioned way on a stovetop and oven! EATABLE was essentially the "perfect pairing" of our two loves: a good snack and a good drink!
- If you could go back in time before you started EATABLE, what advice would you give yourself?
Stay away from perfection! It took us almost 2 years of tinkering from our home kitchen, then at a commercial kitchen space working alongside professional pastry chefs to refine our initial recipes and learn artisanal confectionary cooking methods. Since neither of us came from a formally trained food background, we were nervous about what the market would think of our products. Had we known how well received they would be by picky toddlers to chefs and Sommeliers alike, we would have shedded the idea of perfection and launched much quicker! To this day, we're still very much in tune with feedback from our customers, and are always working on tweaking our recipes and making them better, plus working on new ones based on customer demand!
- Your mission statement on your website mentions the importance of ‘savouring every moment’. What does savouring the moment look like to you?
This idea has been SO IMPORTANT to us especially following the insane year we've had. The world is going through a challenging time, and while things can still feel uncertain, we have been making efforts to pause and reflect on everything we have in our lives that we can be grateful for. Savouring the moment means taking some time to be present, feeling grateful, and sharing a smile with people you love. We hope our snacks can be at the heart of those simple everyday celebrations, and make it easy for people to do just that!
- What has been your biggest hurdle in the pandemic, and how did you circumvent it?
The biggest hurdle in the pandemic has been growing our presence among Canadian and US retailers. The pandemic made it extremely difficult to navigate and predict how our business would sustain and grow in an environment of retail lockdowns and tighter marketing spends, so we decided very early on to turn back to our original foundation as an eCommerce company. Luckily, our products really resonated with people looking for gourmet indulgences at home during movie nights and intimate gatherings, so we managed to really strengthen direct customer relationships online during this time.
- As business owners, evolution is critical. Can you tell us about the process of EATABLE becoming a Plastic Neutral company?
It has always been one of our core values to make sure that our business is able to make a positive impact on the world. We've seen first-hand the amount of plastic waste produced by the food industry and felt compelled to ensure that we were minimizing our environmental footprint as much as we could. Because we don't use any artificial preservatives in our popcorn, it's very sensitive to light and moisture, and many of the common recyclable packaging options didn't work well to keep our product shelf-stable. Despite this, we entered into a partnership with rePurpose Global to offset our plastic impact - This means for every bag sold, we are removing one from our environment. Our partnership has enabled us to make an impact through a social enterprise in Nairobi, Kenya that collects, processes and reuses low-value plastic, diverting over 400 pounds of plastic waste from our oceans and landfills. There's so much more we can do, but becoming Plastic Neutral was a very important first step towards progress.
- What is next for EATABLE?
We're so excited to keep growing our business, expanding our retail presence and becoming more accessible to customers across Canada and USA. We're also working on some very creative custom collaborations with beverage companies to keep expanding our lineup of wines, spirits and cocktail popcorn flavours!
- Last, but not least, what is your favourite cocktail?
This is the toughest question! It really depends on our mood, but I have always been a fan of an extra spicy Caesar, and Vince has always been a Whisky on the rocks kind of guy. Fortunately, we've turned both of these flavours into some of our bestselling popcorn flavours you can enjoy today!
Thank you again to Charlene and Vince for taking the time to connect with us! While the world around us is rapidly changing, you are setting an impressive example of the power of thoughtful action, while still making sure to have a little fun! We are honoured to partner with a company that values the little moments but still sees the bigger picture. From one cocktail-loving company to another, we are so excited to see what’s next for EATABLE!