Our little team tends to be busy, busy, busy when we are at The Poppery. Although we all have our own roles and tasks, our mutual overall goal is to pop the popcorn and get our little bags of sunshine out and about in the world! We’ve taken a few snaps of a typical Portlebay day, so you can all see what we get up to!
9:00- Roll up to The Poppery
By the time the clock strikes nine, our team have rolled out of bed, had a scrub and some grub and have rocked up to The Poppery. Each day we are greeted by Bob (our mascot on our logo) as we reach our second home, who can look rather glorious in the morning sunshine- as you can see in the snap!
10:00- In The Poppery
By the time ten o’clock comes round, our lovely team in The Poppery have been popping, seasoning and packing popcorn for two hours and are deep in the popcorn making zone! The popcorn making team tends to consist of seven lovely ladies and gents, that are seriously good at popping popcorn to perfection!
11:00- Office Tea Timeee!
We are a typical office when it comes to tea and coffee. We all love the stuff, but no one wants to be the one to make it. As, anyone that works in an office environment will know, the person that makes the drinks always gets burdened with a biggggg order, enough to cater for an army (or so it feels). In the mornings we each sneakily make our own cuppa and manage to avoid getting hit with the list of complicated requests, that seems to go on for a life time, but by eleven o’clock our tea and coffee cravings start to kick in and the game of waiting for the first person to crack begins. As you can imagine the person that folds and heads to kitchen to make a drink is bombarded with the orders. No place for the weak.
12:00- In The Office, Doing Office Things
By noon we have all got stuck in to many of our popcorn related tasks- Faye from finance playing with her numbers, Diane our office mother sorting all of our so-called problems out, Steve in the warehouse playing around on his forklift, etc. On this particular occasion, twelve o’clock in the office consisted of prepping the Royal Mail post for our wonderful consumers that ordered directly from us (yes, you can order popcorn straight from The Poppery!) This involves bagging and labelling the boxes of popcorn, ready to be picked up by the post lady/man. Shortly after this lunch commences, YES!
13:00- Still Popping in The Poppery
At one o’clock, it’s still go, go, go in The Poppery. The people love popcorn and we want to make sure the people get what they love! Roddy our Grand Popping Maestro is in charge of poperations, making sure that the flavours are just right and that each kernel is popped at the correct temperature, he also loves a photoshoot if given the opportunity (see image above).
14:00- What’s Going on in the Warehouse?
Steve our wonderful warehouse manager will have spent many marvellous hours whizzing around on his fork lift by two o’clock; loading and unloading lorries, shifting pallets of popcorn to organise the ware house and transporting the freshly popped popcorn from The Poppery to the warehouse. He also is in charge of sorting all orders and making sure that they are ready to be sent out to the big wide world!
15:00- Feeling Peckish? You’re in the Right Place!
With the wonderful aroma of our freshly popped popcorn floating around in the air (you can smell it at the end of our road!), it’s quite common for us busy bees to feel a little peckish by three o’clock. Fortunately, we are in the right place to seek out a snack! We like to make sure our popcorn is super tasty and so at three o’clock we often partake in a taste test (not an official taste test but we deem it essential).
16:00- Keep the Popcorn Coming!
The operation of popping popcorn can be a long and busy process, as we endeavour to pop the equivalent of 66,667 ping balls worth of popcorn every hour! Some days our popcorn team can be popping from 7:30am-4:00pm, that’s the equivalent of 566,670 ping pong balls! Oh la la, that’s a lot!
17:00- Bye Bob, See you Tomorrow
At five o’clock we wave goodbye to our mascot Bob the seagull and leave him in peace for the evening.
Our small Portlebay team are proud of our all natural popcorn that we hand pop ourselves. Our range has been carefully crafted to reduce any allergens, to cater for those that are vegetarian and vegan, and to offer a healthier snack alternative to crisps and other popular snacks. Along our quest to create tasty treats, we also endeavour to be conscious and thoughtful with our actions, in order to conserve and safeguard our beautiful home and those that inhabit it. For these reasons palm oil is a big no no and we strongly dislike the stuff!
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is type of vegetable oil, that is traded globally and is present in many of the products we see on the supermarket shelves. The oil is derived from the palm fruit, which grows on the African Oil Palm Tree. Today palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. Currently, the majority of palm oil is produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia. As noted by the activist group of Say No To Palm Oil, the demand for the oil has very rapidly increased in recent decades, as it has been made widely available, is inexspensive (due to small production costs) and is a diverse product with regards to its uses. The group also highlighted, that the oil is found in a huge amount of household products including baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning products, washing detergents and toothpaste, leaving the average Western citizen consuming more than 10kg of palm oil annually.
What are the issues with palm oil?
A great proportion of palm oil development occurs at the expense of the environments in which the palm oil is sourced. As identified by the WWF, palm oil plantations have a number of environmental impacts including:
large scale forest conversion
soil and water pollution
The most significant issue of these is the large scale forest conversion. In Indonesia and Malaysia there is a direct relationship between the growth of palm oil plantations and deforestation. In 2007 the United Nations Environment Programme published a report which professes that oil palm plantations are the leading cause of rainforest devastation in the two countries. The extensive forest devastation of palm oil plantations is resulting in calamitous effects for a large number of plant and animal species.
Palm Oil Investigations, a non profit organisation which focuses on educating and raising awareness about the hazards of palm oil, passionately talk about the species which are edging towards extinction, as a result of the habitat destruction that is taking place during the production of palm oil.
Both the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered due to palm oil plantations. Orangutans create nests to sleep in during the night, and reside in smaller nests during the day time. In order to survive orangutans need trees and forestry, however the higher the demand for palm oil the less forestry there is for the orangutan.
The Bornean orangutan is a Borneo native, which today is a protected specie, with specific ares of Borneo specially protected, however it has become apparent that a large majority of these orangutans currently
are living outside of these protected areas. The distribution of the Bornean organutan is extremely patchy throughout the island, with fewer than an estimated 60,000 left in the wild. This figure is significantly declining, with the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations in Borneo, as the lack of forestry leaves the orangutans vulnerable to poachers. The demolition of forestry is forcing the orangutan populations to shrink and making the creatures more prone to genetic drift and inbreeding.
The Sumatran Orangutan are being threatened by both illegal and legal logging, the conversion of forest land to agricultural land and palm oil plantations. Sumatran orangutans are currently forecasted to be one of the first Great Apes to become extinct, with there being less than 6,000 remaining in the wild.
The Sumatran elephant is native to the Indonesia island of Sumatra and are smaller than African elephants. These elephants are being threaten by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, and poaching. Subsequently, there less than 2,500 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild. In the last 25 years 69% of potential elephant habitat has been lost, leaving much of the remaining forest in limited sections which are too small for elephant populations to live in.
Due to habitat loss and a lack of food, elephants are frequently being poisoned as they are forced to stray into plantations and villages which have strategies to prevent elephants impeding on the areas. This conflict between humans and elephants is becoming more frequent as habitats are cleared for palm oil, putting the Sumatran elephants at even more risk.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tigers and have more of beard and mane than most. The Sumatran tiger resides in the forest of the Sumatran Island where they are fighting for survival.
Currently there are approximately 300 Sumatran tigers existing in the wild. With the acceleration of deforestation for palm oil and poaching, the tigers could in time be extinct. The deforestation is not only depriving the tigers of a habitat but also of food. With both poaching and deforestation showing no sign of slowing the tigers are increasingly at threat. Other Animals
There are even more animals which are being threatened by the palm oil plantations, including:
Sunda Clouded Leopard
Crested Black Macaque
None of these creatures should be disregarded and certainly not pushed to extinction as a consequent of our own actions.
Survival, a global group devoted to fighting for tribal people’s rights, passionately notes that many indigenous tribes are under great threat from palm oil plantations. One woman from the Penan tribe (a group of hunter-gathers) from Malaysia told Survival, ‘The forest is my roof and my shelter and the forest is also where I can find food to eat. But when the oil palm comes in, everything will be gone.’
Although palm oil plantations frequently promote bringing development to rural areas and providing employment for some locals, the impact of the plantations have also had devastating effects on locals living around the affected areas.
As the plantations are destroying the rainforest, the local people are having no other choice but to work for and depend on the income from the plantations. These working conditions are of a poor standard and many of the workers do not earn enough to support their families. Furthering this, child labour has also become an issue in some areas, with children suffering from heat exhaustion and gaining injuries from climbing thorny oil palms.
Although it has been evident that indigenous people have in some cases benefited from the palm oil industry in Indonesia, these situations are particularly rare. Palm oil has on frequent occasions had a long lasting negative effects, which has subsequently altered the lifestyle of many. More often than not indigenous people have become subject to cruel and greedy palm oil labour, with little choice in the matter.
Is palm oil bad for your health too?
A Common Ingredient
As mentioned by the organisation Live Strong, which provides expert information on all topics that contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, palm oil is less expensive than many other oils and can be utilised to extend the shelf life of processed foods, as a result of this it is often found in our supermarkets and often a substance that we consume.
The organisation further this stating that palm oil in an oxidised state can be a danger to our physiological and biochemical functions. Manufacturers of processed goods do often oxidise palm oil found in these products for culinary reasons, which consequently means a great deal of the palm oil consumed by shoppers is in this oxidised state. The threats of oxidized palm oil include organotoxicity of the heart, kidney, liver and lungs and reproductive toxicity. Not nice.
Erica Kannall, a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist, emphasised that palm oil is notably high in saturated fat. Diets which are high in this saturated fat can contribute to high levels of cholesterol and also a build up of plaque in the arteries. If the consumption of saturated fat is continued for a long duration it could lead to a heart attack or stroke. The NHS recommend that the average man should not eat any more than 30g of saturated fat per day and no more than 20g of saturated fat per day for the average woman. One tablespoon of palm oil contains 7g of saturated fat. This means, a person consuming products containing palm oil could easily reach their recommended limit, without even considering products with no palm oil but still high in saturated fat.
What do we use instead of Palm Oil then?
During the process of hand popping our delicious popcorn we use rapeseed oil instead of palm oil. Our rapeseed oil is both grown and produced in the UK and so doesn’t travel far before arriving at our little Poppery! At all stages of the rapeseed oil creation process no people or animals are threatened or harmed.
Rapeseed oil is also low in saturated fat and so is far less likely to cause a build up of plaque in the arteries. Not only is rapeseed oil
low in saturated fat but, as stated by BBC Good Food, it has been acknowledge for having a range of health and nutritional benefits. This includes the oil containing omega 3, 6 and 9, which helps to reduce cholesterol and also maintain healthy joints, brain and heart functions.
We believe that our popcorn should be created with the best natural ingredients, that can be enjoyed and consumed without contributing to any health issues. We also aim to be conscious and thoughtful with our decisions throughout the popcorn process, as we live in a beautiful world, with many beautiful creatures which we would hate to harm or deprive in any way.
You may have noticed on our feeds some rather lovely animations from a talented designer, Jemma Leigh Conway! For anyone who’s missed them, pop over to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for a gander.
Jemma is a 23 year old designer of cards and accessories, and is even looking to move into homeware, too! She graduated from Birmingham City University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) Fashion Design degree, where she unveiled her graduate collection at Graduate Fashion Week 2016 and Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show 2017. Wowee!
She’s worked as a Bag and Accessories Designer & Pattern Cutter since graduating, for a small family run business just outside of a lovely little town called Frome in Somerset, where they actively celebrate and promote all the local skilled independent designers, makers and businesses.
She started designing her own greetings cards (with my kitten Timmy being my inspiration) before expanding into last year’s Valentines themed cards, where it really took off! From there, she’s played around with punderful puns on her cards with beautiful hand drawn animations to match.
All her dazzling products, including cards she designed with Portlebay Popcorn in mind, can be found on her website, or at local markets that are announced on her social media pages!
Rejoice fellow popcorn lovers, there’s now even more places to find your favourite popcorn! ASDA stores across the South West now stock our Sweet & Salty and Lightly Salted flavours, and you can find the full list right here for your perusal!
If you’re anything like us, you just LIVE for this time of year. Crisp Autumn nights are made nice and cosy with hot chocolate, sticky toffee puddings and of course a bloomin’ big bonfire that lights up the sky and warms you down to your little cotton socks.
But we’re not the only ones who love to kick up some leaves this time of year – hedgehogs come in a very close second! Right about now, they’re gorging on slugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies so they can have a nice, long snooze. Or in science-y speak, they’re about to hibernate. Unfortunately, us humans have made it pretty tricky for these balls of prickles to find the perfect bed for themselves, or do very much at all!
Right now, there are just under a million in the wild; that may sound a lot, but in the 1950’s there were 30 million of these critters running around. 30 million! There isn’t one specific cause, but loss of habitat, increased farming, busier roads and a rise in the number of badgers definitely doesn’t help.
So what can we do to help our spiky little friends? We went to Prickly Ball Farm, a farm dedicated to caring for injured or sick hedgehogs, to find out!
Build Your Bonfires Last Minute
The one time being prepared is a bad idea! Stacking all your burnable items right before you set it alight will unsure an unsuspecting hedgehog hasn’t had time to make a nice little nest in amongst the bonfire! If you really MUST be organised, make sure you give the ground underneath a gentle poke to wake them up in time!
Keep Your Garden a Little Bit Messy
A hooray for lazy gardeners everywhere! The advice from wildlife experts is to look at your garden as a mini nature reserve – twigs, leaves and bushes are a hedgehog’s paradise. Or, if you want to give your little garden lodgers the V.I.H experience, you can make up you own hedgehog house to make sure they are completely undisturbed!
Have Holes in Your Fences
This may sound like we just want you to have a really shabby garden, but these little Tom & Jerry style holes will make sure a hedgehog can take refuge in your lovely garden! Hedgehogs travel 1-2 miles a night searching for food, shelter and mates, so the easier they can get around, the more likely they’re to survive.
If You Find a Hedgehog…
Rejoice! You’re one of the lucky ones to have spotted one this year! It may be peckish, so offer it cat/dog meat or cat/dog biscuits, or you could also use bird seed, sunflower hearts, meal worms, unsalted peanuts, raisins and dried fruit, and only offer it water to drink!
Donate to Your Local Hedgehog Hospital
There’s no such thing as an NHS or private healthcare for hedgehogs unfortunately, so donating to places like Prickly Ball Farm ensure they can get the care they need if they do become ill, or lose their homes and habitat! Olbas oil for sniffly hedgehog noses, newspapers, cat food and blankets are all greatly appreciated at hedgehog hospitals up and down the country. If you do want to make a donation, you can find their info here!
We would just like to say a massive thank you to Prickly Ball Farm for letting come to visit, and in particular Danielle who is a hedgehog genius and answered all of our many questions! The hedgehogs are lucky to have you!
As the spookiest time of the year is fast approaching, our small team of popcorn enthusiasts are all starting to wriggle with excitement, as we truly love any excuse to throw on some fancy dress! Halloween, is of course, one of our favourites! How can we not love dressing up as gruesome creatures, that are also draped in glitter and it be totally acceptable?!
As we utterly adore the silliness of Halloween, this year we have decided to run a competition to win a not so spooky (but very cool) Halloween bundle! We have teamed up with Peach Blossom, who make seriously gorgeous party decorations, and EcoStardust, the very cool creators of biodegradable glitter, to give you all the chance to win these goodies (of course along with a box of popcorn) and have the best Halloween ever! (Hurry on over to our social media pages to enter the competition!)
As the wonderful team at Ecostardust were very generous and gave us some extra sparkles, we could not pass up the opportunity to practice our own Halloween looks! So, here are two easy looks if you don’t want to be too ghastly or haven’t quite mastered the art of face paint and make up (like us, we are true amateurs in the department!).
The Galaxy Girl
The Galaxy girl look is just too cool. Everyone is intrigued by life beyond Earth- there’s galaxy cakes, galaxy nail art, galaxy hair, galaxy everything! We can’t help but love that shining and twinkling in the sky, so why would you not want to be a galaxy girl?!
For this look you will need:
Purple and white shimmery eye shadow
Blue, purple, black and white face paint
Purple, blue and silver glitter
Some face paint sponges
A small paint brush
Prior to starting the face painting, this look commenced with some bright and bold eyeshadow, that rather resembled the look of Ursula from The Little mermaid! To achieve this, coat the eye lids with the white eye shadow and then add the purple on top. In order to fit the look of The Galaxy Girl, the eye shadow was dramatized and exaggerated more than your day to day eyeshadow, with it reaching right to the eyebrow and intertwining amongst the brow hairs for a really out of this world look! Finish with a generous coating of mascara and liquid eyeliner for a stand out look.
Now you are ready for face paint! Firstly, we mixed some white, black and blue paint, to create a cool blue/grey. Then we carefully sponged it around the eyes and across the nose, a bit like a fancy burglar’s mask. Following this we mixed some of the purple paint with some white to make a light purple and irregularly sponged it over the cool blue, like a galaxy!
But what else can you see when you look at a galaxy? Stars! To create some twinkling sky diamonds, take a small paint brush and sporadically paint some teenie stars (beware this is the trickiest part!), then add some little dots between the stars to make them look like glistening constellations!
Lastly, it’s time to shine! Using your finger apply Vaseline on top of your face paint art work (but be careful not to smudge your masterpiece!) then lightly dab your glitter on – Voilà! You are now transformed into a Galaxy Girl!
The Shimmering Mermaid
Mermaids are underwater goddesses and we totally love their style! This look could be made more extreme with the face paint scales continuing further around the face and body, if you’re wanting to truly go all out mermaid!
You will need:
Turquoise and white shimmer eyeshadow
Purple, blue and white face paint
Some face paint sponges
Similarly to the Galaxy Girl, the first step to transforming yourself into a mystical mermaid is to work your magic with that eye shadow! Create a base layer with the white eye shadow, applying right to the corner of the eye and then take your turquoise eye shadow and apply it on top of the white. Easy-peasy! Add eyeliner and mascara to finish the look.
Now here is the most wonderful and hilarious stage of becoming a scaly sea queen! Take those fishnets and pull them over your face! This really did make us giggle! Dab your sponge into the blue face paint, and sponge across your fishnet forehead,. and down each side of your cheeks. Once your blue paint has dried sponge some purple along the edge of the blue paint and just like that you have scales!
The final step to achieving the perfect scales is to add some sparkle! Using your finger delicately apply Vaseline to the areas of your scales which you would like to glisten and then dab the glitter on top! Now for the exciting part, slowly remove the fishnets from your face and reveal those mermaid scales!
All you need to perfect both of these looks is a funky fun outfit!
Happy Halloween from us all at Portlebay Popcorn, we hope you have the spooOOookiest night, and don’t forget to enter our competition!
It’s that time of year again where our screens are filled with gruesome ghouls, haunted houses and even the streets have a vampire or two on the prowl. With all this horror and gore coming at us from every angle, do we really need to bring it into our kitchens too? Carved pumpkins sure look impressive on Pinterest, but the amount of scraping, scooping and swearing at the shoddy carving kits you buy from the supermarket, it’s enough to put anyone on edge, even without the jump scares.
Painted pumpkins are another story altogether. With little mess, no knives and a whole world of colours at your fingertips, the possibilities are endless, and leave you with pumpkins that will jazz up any windowsill or Hallows Eve spread!
You will need:
1 tube of matte acrylic paint
1 tube of metallic acrylic paint
1 large paintbrush
1 medium paintbrush
1 small paintbrush
Halloween doesn’t have to be all blood and guts – give your pumpkins oodles of opulence with metallic acrylics and matte finishes. Not as scary as your typical jack o’ lantern, but this will definitely add a little extra gothic glamour to any ghoulish gathering! Use the large paintbrush to cover your pumpkin in the base colour, allow to dry either naturally or with a hairdryer, and apply another coat if necessary. Using the medium paintbrush, create the lines going down the pumpkin starting at the stalk at the top, making sure to go all the way around, and varying in length. Then using the smaller paintbrush, create the paint globs at the end of the lines for a realistic oozing effect!
You will need:
Acrylic paint in at least 3-4 different colours and varying finishes
Washi or masking tape
3-4 medium paint brushes, or just 1 if you’re happy to clean between colour switches
This style is perfect for those who LIVE for the satisfaction of slowly peeling off pieces of tape to reveal a glorious design of your own creation. We chose a geometric pattern commonly found in Ikea, but you can create whatever style you like! Simply use washi or masking tape to create your design, fill in the gaps using acrylic paint and a medium paint brush, and make sure to layer up so the colours POP! It usually takes between 30-45 minutes for the layer to dry, or around 4-5 with a hair dryer, so make sure the layers aren’t too thick. It may be difficult but be restrained when pulling off the tape, and peel off slowly; acrylic paint tends to lift and tear away if ripped away too quickly!
You will need:
A pencil or pen
A pair of scissors or craft scalpel
Some sewing or drawing pins
2 tubes of acrylic paint
1 large paintbrush
1 medium paintbrush
This requires a little extra effort, but the results are terror-ific! Apply your base colour first, using 1 or 2 layers if you need to, and while it dries create your stencil using the card and scissors or scalpel, making sure to consider the size of the pumpkin before you draw out your design. We found it best to then use sewing pins to stick the stencil on to the pumpkin before filling it in with your contrasting paint, as tape or blue tack would peel away your base layer! Maybe you’re gifted in calligraphy and you don’t need stencils to tie your creativity down, but for us mere mortals stencils are a necessity for creating a truly polished looking pumpkin!
You will need:
Acrylic paint in at least 3-4 different colours and varying finishes
3-4 small paint brushes, or just 1 if you’re happy to clean between colour switches
With these adorable balls of spookiness, you can really do whatever design you would like and they will always come out great because…well…look at it! You won’t find these gems in with the carving pumpkins; instead you’ll be more likely to find them in with the cooking pumpkins in the vegetable section. If you can’t find any of these, look out for little squashes in the vegetable section too, as they will work just as well!