Five Minutes With...
Five Minutes With...

Five Minutes With...

Laura Jackson,
co-founder of Popcorn Shed.

Describe your business in one sentence.

Here at Shedquarters, we’re devoted to making crazy-delicious gourmet popcorn. It gets us out of bed in the morning and keeps us up late at night. We believe that food has the power to bring people together. It’s a form of self-expression. But when shared with others, it can build relationships, help mend problems and be a source of inspiration. We like to say we’re in the business of creating memorable moments. We take pride in creating elaborate and whimsical flavours with artful attention to detail. To date, we've released over 20 scrumptious gourmet popcorn flavours, with many more coming your way this year. Operating out of our garden shed since 2016, Popcorn Shed is a home-grown, family owned business – a “made in Britain” artisanal brand.

What inspired you to start your own company?

I spent seven years in a Fortune Global 500 company, doing digital project management – making sure you can subscribe to binge TV and keeping your online banking working, most of the time. Alongside this, I ran a string of side projects: a gingerbread pop-up bakery, singles tasting menu, dinner parties and country-manor weekends away. My real passion, however, is great-tasting food. I took a leap of faith – an early life crisis – in 2016, and from a “kernel of an idea”, I have been popping up a storm with the launch of a luxury gourmet popcorn brand Popcorn Shed. We have been awarded six Great Taste Awards, which are the Oscars of the food world. We sell all over the world – more than 25 countries – and have a growing portfolio of wild and delicious products created by a team of five popcorn-obsessed individuals. We’re selling in well-known outlets like Ocado, John Lewis, Harrods and others.

How did you come up with the name?

Popcorn Shed is a kitchen table start-up. Sam and I – we’re cousins – spent months in my mother’s home kitchen experimenting with popcorn recipes and managed to break a popcorn machine and a hob in the process. As recipe development continued to create the perfect-tasting popcorn, so did the mess and we were banished to the garden shed in my mother's back garden. The family started referring to the shed as the ‘Popcorn Shed’, and that’s how we stumbled upon a name for the business. Our families are food-obsessed people and it has had a huge influence on our upbringing. All of our family celebrations have inevitably been food-based, and we manage to bring food to every important occasion of our lives. Our families have a rich culinary heritage, and good-quality food is a very important part of our lives and tradition. You could say it is in our blood. We did try a few different snack ideas, but during a trip to the US, we discovered gourmet popcorn and we were bowled over with how tasty the popcorn was and how many different flavour combinations there were across the pond. Popcorn is not only sweet and salted but it can be a healthy snack; it can be indulgent, covered in chocolate and caramel; a treat; a gift. It’s so versatile, the possibilities are endless. When we came back to the UK, feeling inspired, we set ourselves a challenge to make the finest and tastiest gourmet popcorn in the world, using flavour concoctions and textural inclusions that tasted better than the ones in the States. We wanted to start a business that would have a positive effect on the world, make people smile and prioritise flavour and quality. We have always loved popcorn as it brings people together. Popcorn is associated with happy memories, like watching a movie, sharing with work colleagues or snacking with friends on a long car journey.

What's the greatest lesson you've learned about being in business?

There are a few: There are no overnight successes. Feedback and advice is invaluable. Don't be afraid to ask. Be bold and just do it! What’s the worst that can happen?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Enjoy the journey; the destination is overrated.

How do you stay motivated after a setback?

That's a really good question. We’ve experienced lots of setbacks along the way which have all been learnings, in hindsight. I believe each setback has built our resilience. If it was easy, everyone would run a business. I think successful businesses seem to have a common thread of not getting distracted or disheartened, and so I would say that it's really important to stay focused, not give up and remember why you're doing what you're doing. Every day is a new challenge to overcome, which is all part of the fun and the journey.

Where do you see your company in five years' time?

Total popcorn domination. Making Popcorn Shed the number one gourmet popcorn gifting brand in Europe – so many ideas and possibilities. We've only just started.

Want to tell us about your business?

“Be bold and just do it!” (Laura, pictured with co-founder and cousin Sam.)

Uk Office

111 Piccadilly, Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2HY

Hours: Mon-Thur, 9:00AM-5:30PM. Fri, 9:00AM-5:00PM

Phone: 0161 638 0841


Popular Pages

© 2022 Reachology Limited (an Ology Holdings Limited Company)