We are delighted to introduce you to one of our very wonderful stockist, Pretty Local. Based just down the road from us in Kingsbridge, in sunny Devon, you can find the lovely Andrea and the Pretty Local HQ!
Pretty Local provides the option to have your weekly shop delivered right to your door with minimum food miles. The company offers everything from fresh seafood and meat, to fruit, veg, freshly cut flowers and all your cupboard essentials; all from a selection of trusted producers located in South Devon.
So why did Andrea start Pretty Local? “There is an abundance of wonderful food being grown, harvested or caught within a few miles of my home, but no easy way to buy it all at once. I created Pretty Local to provide a one-stop shop supporting the fabulous producers, farmers, fishermen and growers on our doorstep and bringing their produce closer to our community.” Says Andrea – and we utterly adore this idea!
Whilst living in the USA, Andrea unfortunately fell ill with Lyme disease. With no medical care, she decided that eating better would be her road to recovery. Sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy were all eliminated from Andrea’s diet, as she focused on being healthier. This highlighted, to Andrea, the importance of sourcing her food. However, when she returned to Devon, the local produce she was looking for just wasn’t that easy to get a hold of…until now. Pretty Local became the solution to our’s, your’s and Andrea’s food sourcing struggle and we think it’s pretty amazing!
Pretty Local currently deliver to locations within the South Hams, but not to worry if you aren’t quite in the delivery territory, Pretty Local also have multiple collection points for you to pick up your delicious goodies! Have a peek here for further delivery and collection info!
Vessel, located just outside the heart of Plymouth’s city centre, is a seriously cool spot for those of you that are looking for a different evening venue. With over 100 varieties of beer, from some of the best breweries around the world and regular events that allow you to experience various beer styles, what’s not to love?! (Just in case you aren’t all about the beer, Vessel do also have a lovely selection of cider, spirits, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee too!)
Who are the geniuses behind this beer-illiance? The fabulous Sam and Katie! With a shared passion for beer, their interest in breweries grew, leading them to sample a great amount from across the globe. Now the lovely pair are sharing their beer knowledge with us all through Vessel!
Not only does Vessel allow you to indulge in delicious drinks in a charming setting, it also offers the option to take your beverages home, to continue enjoying in growlers. A growler is a reusable glass bottle that prevents the air from coming into contact with the contents of the bottle, so your beer can remain fresh up to two weeks!- If you haven’t already drank it all that is!
Our Portlebay team heard all about Vessel when they recently became a stockist of our popcorn (and Sean our Sales Magician also LOVEEES the place and can be found there regularly) and of course, we just had to check it out! We made use of an evening one weekend and a handful of us popcorn lovers took to tasting some beers, gin and cider! We have to admit, we absolutely loved the place! With it’s modern interior and gorgeous display of bottles from around the world and not to mention the incredible drinks, how could we not have had a marvellous evening?!
The 10th June 2018, is the next great Vessel event! Sam and Katie recently visited Cascade Brewery whilst they were away in Portland, Oregon and decided it was certainly a brewery worth showcasing! Cascade Brewery specialise in barrel aged sour beers using fruit grown locally in Oregon. Tickets are quite limited for this event so make sure you snap them up and pop it in your diaries! (Here’s the Facebook event for more info!) Also, here’s a clip of Sam tapping one of the Cascade Brewery beers!- just click here!
As this week is Mental Health Awareness week, we have an amazing blog post to share with you, written by Amy, the author of the blog ‘Surviving Now Thriving‘. Amy has had a very incredible and inspiring journey that she has shared with us and we think she is truly spectacular! YOU GO GIRL!
Who am I?
Popcorn addict, Plant-powered, Positive, Passionate Psychology graduate – think that pretty much sums me up (I do love a good bit of alliteration).
I maybe should have started with my actual name, but that’s not half as fun – I’m Amy (not Surviving as I laugh about being called) and I started blogging on Instagram last year at www.instagram.com/survivingnowthriving.
From numerous failed suicide attempts to now living every moment as if it’s my last, I created my blog to inspire others to do the same. Struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, depression, anxiety, acne, trichotillomania, and a make-up addiction, I know that my past struggles put me in a unique position to truly be able to help those currently struggling. And that is exactly why I do it. Because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through the torture that I did. My past does not define me, but it has certainly shaped me into the warrior of a woman I am today.
My blogging is extremely diverse covering a whole range of topics, but one of my main passions is mental health. I actually think it is becoming more normal to have suffered or to currently be suffering from some form of mental illness than not. Therefore, it’s of vital importance that we talk about it! In my experience, openness encourages openness. From sharing my story, this has inspired so many others to tell their own and also to seek help. In addition, it assists in improving awareness and understanding, and also to decrease the stigma around mental health that still prevails.
I could write a book (and I actually have been asked to) on my advice on recovering from mental illnesses. But the truth is, everyone is different. Mental health is not a one-size fits all approach, and what works for one will be highly detrimental to another. I have experienced this first-hand in that reccommendations from mental health professionals have made me a lot worse. For example, last year, in the roots of my depression and anxiety, I was told that I had two options – take anti-depressants or go into hospital. Otherwise, I couldn’t expect to get any better. And that was traumatising for me to hear at such a vulnerable time of my life, because I didn’t want to do either. I ended up sectioned in a mental health hospital against my will. I had been hiding away from the world for almost half a year and was forced into this place where I would have to be around so many people. It was a mixed ward too which meant there were guys asking me questions, and the last thing I wanted to do or felt comfortable with was talking to anyone. Thankfully, I was discharged after 2 weeks and was able to make a full recovery all by myself.
But how did you do it?
Well, mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is. Both myself and my family had accepted that I was going to be this way forever. Locked away in my home, never seeing anyone ever again. I decided to fight, and here I am writing this now, living and THRIVING.
Here’s 10 simple tips on how to thrive:
Love yourself like your life depends on it.
Boring but important – nutrition – Food affects your mood so nourishing your body is a massive help.
Move your body in a way that you enjoy, and also make sure to rest.
Surround yourself with good people ONLY, and cut the rest – choose radiators over drains.
Find what you’re passionate about, follow your dreams and never stop until they become your reality.
Write down what you’re grateful for every single day.
Never stop learning.
Learn from the past, live for the present, and believe in the future.
Train your mind to focus on the positives in everything.
Spend time visualising your life exactly the way you want it to be, and watch it materialise (this sounds crackers I know, but I have manifested A LOT through doing this).
If you are currently struggling with your mental health, I want you to know that you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself and know that you can get through this. You can get through anything. Never give up. And remember, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. A life filled with technicolour is awaiting you.
We are over the moon that we have reached 5,000 followers on Instagram! We would like to say a hugeeee thank you to all of our wonderful popcorn fans from far and wide and high and low! Of course we wanted to mark the occasion on our Instagram page and so we decided that a group photo with our trusty mascot, Bob, (on our logo) was in order!
As with anything, when the Portlebay Team gets together it is always a raucous affair, with a great amount of laughter and hilarity, and this photo-taking occasion was no exception. For those of you that have ever tried to organise a group photo, we are sure you can understand the difficulty of trying to get everyone positioned, looking and smiling in the right direction, along with the ever unpredictable weather conditions that add a whole new level of challenging to the situation (for us it was a rather blustery day)! With everyone happy to pause their popcorn-related tasks for a short period and jump outside into the sunshine, there was extra excitement and so this simple task became, well…. tricky (but of course it was still wonderfully entertaining for all!)
With this entertaining afternoon turning into a hopeless photoshoot, we managed to capture a range of unsuccessful but amusing snaps, that we thought we would share with you! Have a peak below at a small selection of our not so triumphant snaps…
You may have guessed that we attempted the classic jumping team snap, however after a long while of trying, we gave up and settled for smiles and happy arms! It was for the best.
Introducing, the one, the only SEEEEEEAN! Sean, is the new kid on the block, he’s a fresh face amongst The Portlebay gang and he’s our cheerful new Sales Magician (although he hasn’t yet pulled a rabbit out of his hat, but we’re still hopeful that he will!) In true Portlebay style we gathered at The Poppery and took to quizzing Sean all about what he gets up to when he’s not working his magic. Have a read and see what we dug up:
-Not only a man that can talk the talk, Sean is also an avid baker! As well as being known to make the odd wedding cake, Sean specialises in making doughnuts and has even made a Bacon and Maple Syrup Doughnut!- We have to admit we didn’t just chose him for his sales magic…
-Sean spent three years traveling all over the world and managed to fill three passports full of stamps! He can even say he has been to every continent and we are insanely jealous!
-His favourite popcorn is Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup! If it has bacon, Sean is there!
-Sean can frequently be found roaming around Dartmoor with his trusty partner Nova (his dog pal). The pair are keen explorers and foragers!
-He is a man with a serious passion for coffee. We are talking eight cups a day, 2 before he even leaves for work.
-We will definitely have to keep an eye on this new popcorn-enthusiast, as he has broken between 25-30 bones! That’s nearly a bone a year!
-Sean is a giiigantic Foo Fighters fan and has seen them in concert 14 times! Including in; Toronto, Ireland, Australia, Wales, Portugal and New York!
-When Sean was baby Sean, he was known for being a big biter and to protect on-lookers from having their fingers bitten, his Dad created a ‘Beware This Baby Bites’ sign which was hung either on his pram or around his neck! (Hopefully the biting days are over now!)
If you haven’t yet met Roddy and Mark, make sure you read our posts all about them too!
Another sunny day in beautiful Devon and another welcome to a chirpy new Portlebay team member. Today, we are introducing Mark, he has undergone the vital rite of passage of posing with with Bob the seagull and is now an official Portlebay Popcorn warrior. WOO HOO! GO MARK! It wouldn’t be an official Portlebay greeting if we didn’t investigate into what Mark loves and what he’ll be doing when he’s not frolicking in a sea of popcorn, so here’s some fun facts about him…
-Mark is our shiny new National Account Honcho and Chief Phone Chatter
-His favourite Portlebay Popcorn is Chilli & Lime- he loves his chilli and loves his lime, it’s a match made in heaven!
-Mark can also been known as ‘Motorcycle Mark’, as he has a great passion for the speedy two wheel machines and travels around the country following The British Super Bike Events (of course on his own motorbike!) Mark’s love for motorbikes began with motocross racing, when he was only 14, and has been flourishing ever since! At one time Mark had a collection of four motorbikes; a traditional bike, an adventure bike, a touring bike and a sport bike! Fancy a spin? Marks ya man!
-He has a gorgeous German Shepard, called Ellie-May, who is just over a year old and will melt your heart!
-Mark has lived in 17 houses!
-Along with motorcycles, Mark also collects beautiful fountain pens. His interest in pens started after a customer gifted Mark a fountain pen as a thank you and ever since he has loved them! Mark’s collection now exceeds 30 of these glorious creations!
-At 12 years old Mark’s music teacher told him not to sing as he sounded like ‘an old growler’ and has never sang since, not even in the shower!
Here’s a snap of Ellie-May- look how adorable she is!
If you haven’t yet met Roddy, make sure you read this post too!
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.
Agne Nazebetauskaite is a luxury knitwear and homeware designer. We totally loveeee her gorgeous knitting and handmade garments, which is mostly created with very cool chunky merino wool and makes for the perfect, snuggly, human cocoon!
Agne very kindly took the time to write us a piece about her fabulous knitting, keep reading, you’ll be ready to pick up those knitting needles in no time (we’ve got ours at the ready!)
ONA by Agne
I am a textiles and fashion designer and maker, currently residing in Northern Ireland.
I have been passionate about textiles all my life and specialise in knitting. I create knitwear and homeware collections, as well as teaching others to knit. My latest work involves arm knitting with various chunky fibres, merino and man made synthetics.
I am a big believer in slow fashion- shopping less, but buying high quality items. My work celebrates quality garments and home-ware accessories that will last you a long time, can be passed on or up-cycled into something new. I source only natural and sustainable materials, while incorporating better practices throughout the supply chain. My aim is to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion.
I am originally from Lithunia, but have been living in UK for almost 13 years
I graduated from The University of Ulster in 2012 with a Degree in Business
I have been knitting since I was 6 years old. My grandmother taught me a lot of the techniques and styles that I often use – knitting, crochet, sewing.
Passionate about textiles, I love creating my own patters and designs, mixing techniques and teaching others.
Knitting is a great form of relaxation for me. Knitting is my happy place.
My Brand – ONA by Agne
Ona is my grandmother’s name. I thought it would be a nice way to honour her memory, as she was the one who inspired me the most, from her I truly learned to create. She introduced me to knitting, she used to let me wreck her sewing machine, I would sit for hours and sew, asking her over and over to thread the needles, and it felt like magic.
I discovered chunky merino wool over 2 years ago and fell in love with it. I have been specialising in chunky knits ever since. I love to use traditional techniques and crafts to create modern designs and the chunky merino wool is perfect for this!
In 2016, my first autumn/winter collection “Kilpos and poms” was showed in Belfast Fashion week (Oct 2016).
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.