When Cassandra Stavrou started experimenting with popcorn flavours in her home kitchen, she didn’t intend on establishing Propercorn, Europe’s fifth fastest-growing company of 1,000 and the UK’s bestselling ‘gourmet’ popcorn brand.
With big competition on the market from the likes of Metcalfe’s and Butterkist, Stavrou employed her already well-established skills as a brand expert to grow her business: years spent working as an advertising professional with BBH cemented this young entrepreneur’s knowledge of brand identity.
However, it was from the young age of 15 that Cassandra knew a future in business was her destiny. The idea behind Propercorn came to Stavrou after she made some simple market observations in 2009: healthy treats such as snack bars, cereal biscuits and low-cal crisps that claimed dietary benefits (organic, sugar-free and GM-free) were becoming big sellers, with growing spaces across the shelves of Britain’s supermarkets. However, despite the health pros offered by these snacks, the taste factor appeared to be lacking. Healthy snacks suffered from a severe blight of bland marketing and bland favours, meaning that only the most indulgent snacks looked appealing to consumers.
For Stavrou, however, the decision to go into the business of gourmet popcorn was not solely motivated by a glaring gap in the market: the young entrepreneur often recalls the final gift her father bought her before his death – a vintage popcorn making machine. As with many successful business, Stavrou demonstrates that a combination of emotional attachment and entrepreneurial commitment can make dreams come true. Now sold in 10 countries across Europe, Propercorn shows no signs of slowing down as it proceeds to dominate the gourmet popcorn market.