Get Healthy the Fun Way!

By this time in January, you’re either powering through your New Years resolutions like a determined stallion, your fridge is full of courgetti spaghetti, or you’ve decided you’re actually pretty awesome, so no need for #NewYearNewMe. To be frank, you can be healthier at any point in the year, but it does make things easier when yoga mats and gym memberships are on sale.

For those who’d like a little fitness inspiration, we’ve been trying out a mix of healthy snacks and quirky exercise classes to see the lighter side of being a healthy bean in 2017! Exercise never has to be a seasonable thing, so expect our active investigations throughout the year 😊

 

The first activity this year to tick off our list: Trampoline Aerobics at Super Tramp Parks! 

Apart from the most obvious benefit of bouncing up and down like a giddy toddler (or maybe that’s just me?), trampolining is also an extremely low impact sport for your joints, especially when compared to jogging or tennis! Repeated classes can also lead to stronger bones, a faster metabolism, and a pretty good bum if your fitness instructors make you do enough lunges.

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I look entirely too happy to be doing a lunge

I unfortunately didn’t finish the class, as I was busy Snap Chatting and Instagramming a lot of it…and that was the biggest mistake of my week.

If you work through all the exercises, the bouncing from one trampoline to the other and the 50 or so sit-ups, you’ll end the class with a nice relaxing series of yoga style moves to gently work through, demonstrated here:

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Notice the missing redhead? 

Without this essential part of the work out, you will be guaranteed to be aching for DAYS. Literally DAYS. For complete transparency, we attended this class on Monday evening, it is now Friday, and only today have I felt comfortable enough to crouch down and stand up again without the aid of a chair or nearest person to grab on to. The cool down part of any exercise class or activity should never really be missed, but with classes that don’t feel too intense on the surface, it’s probably even more import to do them. Lesson = Learnt.

This is not your standard trampoline jaunt; this will leave you feeling like you just bounced up a mountain, and lunged all the way down again, but you feel all the better for it. If you’re looking to brush away those Christmas cobwebs, or you want an exercise class that feels more like fun than work, or you just want to see what Buster the Boxer was so excited about, this is definitely the class for you.

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The Blindfold Run with the RLSB

Back in August 2016, we were asked by one of the brilliant team at the Royal London Society for Blind People to supply some of our popcorn for their “Blindfold Run” goodie bags. We are not ashamed to say a fair amount of Googling went into finding out just how one runs blindfolded, without falling into streams of traffic, bashing into innocent bystanders, and generally just surviving the journey.

But it really is simpler than you think. How do we know? Because we did it!

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At the start, feeling pretty good…

Those up to the challenge to take part in this extraordinary experience are tethered together in pairs, with one runner being blindfolded and the other being the trusted navigator. Halfway through the 5k or 10k course, you then change roles, so each person gets the experience of being guided blindly through the route.

The aim here is not to simulate sight loss, or imply that the experience will be the  same for everyone, but simply to get people thinking about sight loss, and be part of something completely unique!

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…nearing the end, feeling less so good

Imagine being in a pitch-black room; it could be your bedroom, sitting room, or just a place you are familiar with and feel comfortable in…but you’re in complete darkness. Sure you can feel your way around it, you can still smell the familiar scents of a place you would call home, but without being able to see, it would still be a touch intimidating.

Now imagine leaving that room, still in darkness, and running through unfamiliar territory. You have no idea  about your surroundings. Is that person you can hear close enough to touch or are they further away? Every tiny bump or slight turn is new and scary as you have no idea how to gauge it. It sounds ridiculous, but you forget how to turn your body left and right, whether you’re jogging too fast or too slow, and it feels like the world is coming in on you, even though it’s exactly the same as before…I blame that last point on running into some low hanging branches.

What a sweet luxury it was to take your blindfold off and see the world, and how lucky we are that we can do that.

The Blindfold Run is understandably the RLSB’s most popular fundraising event, and has raise dover 70k since it’s launch in 2014. All funds that are raised from the amazing participants goes towards goes towards helping blind children and young people living in the capital, with the belief that every single child can build the confidence and skills to fulfil their potential, even in a world that is sometime’s all about the visual.

If you would like to find out more about the brilliant work the RLSB does for those in need, or to check out the run and sign up for next year, check out their website here!: www.rlsb.org.uk

In the Spotlight: Our Popperations Manager

Meet the captain of our poppery ship: lovely Ian. He’s been our Popperations Manager for the past three and half years, and he’s the chap responsible for all the whizzes, bangs and pops that go on in the factory.

As we’re lucky enough to make all of our popcorn ourselves, we can actually have a sit down and hear all about the guy that makes our little packets of sunshine a reality.

Why did you want to work for Portlebay?

“Well, I was headhunted by Jonty and Neil when they first started, and haven’t been allowed out since.”

What is you favourite thing about working here?

“The popcorn, and the people…but mostly the popcorn”…ouch

What is your favourite flavour?

(Speaking as a part-time vegan) “Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup” – it’s just that good.

Where is your happy place?

“Start Point Lighthouse; whenever I have friends or family down we go down and you can see the whole bay from there. It’s also the place that reminds me of home, so when I’ve been away for a little while this is where I like to come back to”

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This is Barney, Ian’s best walking buddy at Start Point 

 What about your favourite thing to do in the sunshine?

“Cycling in the countryside”

What is on your bucket list?

“I want to see the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe – we got very close to visiting when the wife and I were in South Africa, but we didn’t quite get there”

If you could make your own popcorn flavour what would it be?

“Well I really do love bacon, but if I had to make a new one, it would be Thai Green Curry”

Who would play you in a movie about yourself?

“Sean Connery”

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“The name’s Michelmore…Ian Michelmore” 

 

What’s your favourite tipple?

“Real Ale” – a true West Country guy answer.

What is your best feature?

“My wife says it’s my legs, and she’s never wrong!”

How old were you when you had your worst haircut, and what was it?

“I think I was 8 or 9, and I got a crew cut. It was only bad because before that it was down to shoulders!”

 

 

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For some reason Ian didn’t have a picture, so we’ve made a recreation! You’re welcome Ian

What is your biggest fear?

“Probably being trapped in small spaces. It all goes back to when I was a kid, and I climbed into the fridge. This was only a little fridge that was on top on the counter; being little I made it fall from the counter and on to the floor with me inside it, straight on to the door. I only got out after rocking the fridge from side to side”

What is your greatest achievement?

“I always said I wanted to be able to see the sea from my house, and now I can. It’s what I miss the most when I’m away from home, but now I’ve always got that view to come back to.”

If you’d like to hear from Ian first hand, our poppery is always open for tours! Just drop us an email at letspop@portlebaypopcorn.com, or use the contact form on the blog.

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The view working for Portlebay Popcorn gets you! (This may or not be a little fabricated by just a smidge…)

 

Everyday We’re Popping

The lovely thing about making your own popcorn is, well, just that. We pop it, ship it and run everything from under the same roof, which is really rather special. We have a whole host of Popcorn Flavoursmiths working away, filling our little packets of sunshine as we like to call them, and making the whole office smell delicious.

The journey from kernel to popcorn is a short one, as anyone who has made popcorn at home before would know, but there are no massive microwaves here at Portlebay Popcorn. Instead, we use bloomin’ big saucepans to heat up a mix of rapeseed oil and raw cane sugar, to give all our popcorn kernels that glorious crunch.

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A whizz with a wooden spoon

It all starts with this guy, our chief popper and commander. Those saucepans are not to be trusted to pop away without supervision, and Marek is the guy to do it. From here, it’s a race against time to get our popcorn packed away; luckily we’ve mastered popping to bagging, so there’s no popcorn losing crunch and gaining that horrible polystyrene squeakiness. That’s OK for packing tellies, no good popcorn!

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All beards must be bagged, luckily Angus doesn’t mind too much

On to the flavour maker! I’m afraid this stage is pretty hush-hush, so just imagine magical popcorn fairies, delicately dusting each and every popcorn puff with our Original Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup flavour. All that natural goodness is whisked together, and then it’s on to the bagging!

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An overlooked, but integral part of the operation

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From here we do all sorts of technical tests to make sure our popcorn is the best we know it can be.

Anthony there is doing very important things, checking the bagging temperature, pressure, speed and all other kinds other technical buzzwords.

Why do you think Lucas is laughing so much? Because he has it on Easy Street, Professional Taster indeed.

In all seriousness we do need to do regular checks to measure the levels on salt, sugar, crunch and general tastiness. Lucas is the lucky duck that gets his own tasting booth to measure all of these delicious elements!

 

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And here is the finished product! Our signature and original flavour Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup. This is just a tiny part of the popcorn mountain we eventually end up with, but each bag is just as delicious as the last.

This is just a taster of what we do to make sure our packets of sunshine are full of that yumminess you know and love. If you’re a blogger, vlogger or a fellow popcorn fanatic, and would like to get up close and personal with our crew of poppers and our delicious produce, get in touch! We’d love to have you 🙂

Get in touch with Lucy at lucy@portlebaypopcorn.com, or call us on 01752 231 713 if you’d like a guided tour!

 

 

Let us Introduce Ourselves

We are Portlebay Popcorn; a small crew, tucked away in the depths of Devon, popping away our rather scrumptious popcorn. You may have seen our nautical style bags brightening up the shelves of shops, or you may already have firm favourites of our many weird but oh so wonderful flavours. But for the very unfortunate amongst you, you may not know us at all! *GASP*

Here’s a little about us to get you introduced:

We first opened our doors back in 2012, when two chaps named Jonty White and Neil Adams came together to make a popcorn company. Influenced by popcorn trends happening across the US, this motley pair wanted to make a delightful snack that is bursting with that sunny, happy feeling which only comes from eating something that is nutritious and delicious!

I know what you’re thinking, anything that you can buy at the cinema, often smothered in butter or saturated with sugar probably has the same nutritional value as a deep fried Mars Bar – and you would be right! That’s why we don’t do either of those things.

Our popcorn has half the sugar of a Pink Lady apple, we don’t use any mutant ingredients (only the good ol’ natural stuff), and it has almost half the fat of your bog standard potato crisps. That’s a win win win right there!

This blog will be dedicated to exciting popcorn news, what goes on behind our Poppery doors, and talking to you lovely lot about any questions you have about what makes us tick! Pop us a message, we’d love to hear from you 🙂