ldner #146 cassandra stavrou

Seeing as LFW is drenched not just in style but popcorn we talk to the lady who is in charge of the official snack of the week, and has been for the last 9 seasons. Turning her business into the fastest growing popcorn brand in the UK meet Cassandra Stavrou who runs PROPERCORN

Where in London do you live and what do you love about that area?

I’ve lived in Dalston for the past 4 years. It’s constantly evolving which is exciting to be around; so many new openings, pop-ups and development, against the incredibly culturally diverse backdrop that is its heartland. I also have a good group of friends that live near me so there’s a great community, which is especially useful on a hangover. I’m renting though, so may fancy trying somewhere new soon, I imagine.

How was PROPERCORN born and what has that journey been like?

It was born out of an itch I have always had to start my own business and then a perfect storm of spotting an opportunity, timing and a little serendipity. The last present my father bought me before he passed away when I was 16, was a popcorn machine. My mum reminded me of this after I had the idea for PROPERCORN and it was the extra bit of conviction I needed to quit my job and give it a go.

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What’s the best experience PROPERCORN has been involved in?

Seeing our popcorn pattern all over London buses last summer was pretty epic. When we saw the first one come past our office, the whole team took off, chasing it down the street! Another amazing thing to be part of is London Fashion Week, where we’ve been the official snack for the last 9 seasons. This year we’ve launched a mood-boosting meal, the Happy Lunch, to help keep the fashion crowd fuelled throughout the busy weekend! We wanted to revisit the “fast food” concept and create an on-the-go solution, which was genuinely delicious and nutrient-dense.

How does being in London inspire you to do what you do?

I genuinely think it just keeps getting better…there is so much talent and an infectious wave of people pursuing their passions and starting their own businesses. The energy and buzz that this creates keeps me inspired and motivated. I very rarely seek inspiration from within our immediate category but am far more likely to reference a recent exhibition I have seen or be influenced by new projects that friends may be working on.

cass

Lets talk flavours…how do they come about?

We always try and create flavours that we think people will actually want to eat, so try to not go too crazy! We spend so much time sourcing the right ingredients and go through dozens of iterations before we think it’s right. Smooth Peanut & Almond was a real labour of love. We were all obsessed by the idea of a nut flavour, but as they have a very high oil content, we had to find a way to extract some of the fat before we could apply it to our popcorn. Our process removes 88% of the fat found in roasted nuts, is totally natural and leaves behind an incredible peanut butter taste.

What would be your perfect day in London?

Ohhh there are so many to choose from, depending on my mood. Maybe go and see an exhibition at the Tate Modern, then walk along the river to Bermondsey and have a long lunch, jumping from spot to spot on Maltby St market. Or Sunday mornings buying flowers on Columbia Road, lunch at Brawn and then walk from there along the canal stopping for a glass of wine. Or grab a coffee at West Hampstead tube station and walk through Hampstead Heath past Kenwood and spitting out into the Holly Bush (my favourite pub) for a late lunch….I could keep going. Despite being born here I still feel very much in love with London!

www.propercorn.com